Project: Strategies for Youth. Cambridge, MA. Intern. Youth Trauma Initiative. Policy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions and reducing disproportionate minority contact.
Laura Jenny is a senior at Harvard College concentrating in Integrative Biology, with a secondary focus in Global Health and Health Policy. Born and raised in Leominster, MA she witnessed first-hand the struggles of many underserved youth in central Massachusetts, which prompted her to co-found PLAY. PLAY teaches youth how to safely interact with police and aims to reduce tensions between youth and police in Central Massachusetts and across the country. Laura has served as a representative for youth at the Police Youth Engagement Conference and has discussed the plight of underserved youth in her community with educational and community leaders and the office of the governor to influence public policy. As a Presidential Public Service Fellow, Laura will research and document the types of trauma and adversity experienced by youth in her community, and others across Massachusetts. Her goal is to raise awareness about experiences youth face and identify opportunities for additional support amongst youth-facing agencies and advocates.
Laura is also a 2019 Adrian Cheng Fellow with the Social Innovation and Change Initiative. At the College, Laura has served as a case manager for the youth homeless shelter Y2Y, the co-director of the community service board of Eleganza, and as a violinist and board member of
the Harvard Pops Orchestra. Laura works in the Naomi Pierce Lab investigating plant diseases, insects and their microbiomes to combat crop failure and food shortages.
After graduation, Laura hopes to study the area of childhood trauma through a research program while also continuing her work in Massachusetts. In the future she hopes to continue to work to help children and youth, especially those from adverse backgrounds.