No child should be without a home.
A Lesley alumna, Laurie Schoen, earned a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education in 1986. For more than the two decades since her graduation she has been a compassionate, fierce, and effective advocate for homeless children. Emblematic of her advocacy for children was the founding of Great Beginnings: A Newton Kindergarten Readiness Program. She served as school director, curriculum developer and educator for many years. Her leadership on the Board of Directors of Horizons for Homeless Children has expanded her advocacy and increased her understanding of the challenges vulnerable children face and the role of citizens, foundations, public policy, and teachers in ameliorating homelessness and vulnerability to homelessness.
Laurie's life of service has been consistent with Lesley University's social justice mission and with her sense of citizenship, justice, and opportunity for homeless and vulnerable children. Currently, Laurie volunteers weekly in a toddler classroom for homeless children at the Schoen Family Community Children's Center in Dorchester. She serves as an advisor to the Weston Teacher Travelship Fund; she serves on the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine. Working with her husband, Scott, she co-chaired the United Way of Massachusetts Bay's Millennium Fund, a 30 million endowment fund, as well as the Allocations Committee to that fund.
Laurie is the founder of United States4Kids, a collaborative organization working directly with Project HEALTH, Share Our Strength, and Horizons for Homeless Children. With more than 20,000 Massachusetts children experiencing homelessness this year, half are under the age of six. The Schoen family's generosity has helped provide homeless children with safe, fun, and stimulating Playspace in Brighton. The space is equipped with books, art supplies, safe toys and equipment designed to help homeless children enjoy play in ways that allow them to develop educational, physical, social and emotional and pre-academic skills. Established by Lesley University in May 2011 with support from the Schoen Family Foundation, the Child Homelessness in Massachusetts Initiative is designed to bring attention to the growing number of children and families without adequate shelter in the Commonwealth.
Undergraduate Study Abroad
Foreign Languages at Lesley
News from 29 Mellen
Child Homelessness Initiative
College of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
2011 Conference Presentations Archive
Dean Coleman's Interview with Laurie Schoen
Year One Inquiry
Year Two Inquiry
Reflections on World Homelessness
Partnerships in Policy / Advocacy
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