Laura Powers was raised in Barrington, RI and Avon, CT, and currently resides in New York, NY. While a student at Harvard, she was a member of the Harvard AIDS Coalition and the Harvard Cancer Society’s Pediatric Oncology Program, and also served as the Mentoring Programming Group Officer for the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) and volunteered with PBHA’s Franklin Teen Mentoring Program.
As a member of the Harvard AIDS Coalition, Laura devoted most of her efforts to raising awareness on campus about the global AIDS crisis. She helped plan numerous speaking events, film screenings, etc. to try to educate the campus community about the pandemic and encourage interested students to take action. In planning the events surrounding World AIDS Day, though, Laura decided to venture a bit further outside the box. She wanted to grab students’ attention so as to make it impossible for them not to think about the issue of HIV/AIDS. During the years in which she was involved in coordinating World AIDS Day events, Laura helped implement projects such as the construction a 6-foot paper-mache AIDS ribbon which was displayed outside Harvard’s Science Center, a 3-story high AIDS ribbon made out of Christmas lights which was hung on one of the dormitories in Harvard Yard, a display using stakes in the ground to represent the percent of HIV patients in the United States in need of treatment who were not receiving it, and an installation piece of sorts in which red ribbons were tied around many of the trees in the usually un-tampered-with Yard.
Outside of the AIDS Coalition, Laura devoted much of her time to the Phillips Brooks House Association, an independent student-led non-profit affiliated with Harvard, which consists of over 70 different programs. She served for four years a member of the Franklin Teen Mentoring Program, and she co-directed the Franklin I-O Summer Program in 2006. Both programs work with youth from the Franklin Hill and Franklin Field housing developments in Dorchester, MA. Additionally, she served as co-director of the Native American Youth Enrichment Program in 2008.
Additionally, Laura volunteered on the stem cell transplant unit of Children’s Hospital Boston, part of the Pediatric Oncology Program run by the Harvard Cancer Society. After graduation, Laura began medical school at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. She is currently a fourth-year student there, and plans to pursue a career in child psychiatry.