A senior at Deering High School in Portland, Maine, Laura is passionate about empowering youth and her fellow students. As a Youth Lead Organizer with Youth Engagement Partners (YEPs), a youth group within Portland Empowered, Laura works to improve relationships between teachers and students in their schools by engaging them in youth-designed and youth-led workshops about education. YEPs are committed to creatively and collaboratively addressing challenges that arise within education.
Laura works as a community organizer with the Organizing Partnership and Engagement in Neighborhoods (OPEN) project in Portland, a collaborative program that engages diverse youth to take an active role in the decision-making and dialogue around social justice issues affecting their community. Through this project, youth members present at city, state and regional conferences about the program’s advocacy work.
Laura moved to the United States in 2015 from Burundi and is fluent in Kirundi, English, French and Swahili. She tutors middle and high school students and works with Goodwill to design internship programs for students in the Portland public high schools’ free and reduced lunch program.