Laura Hurse

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Laura Hurse

Laura Hurse

Institute for Human Development
University of Missouri, MO

Laura E. Hurse earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Sociology in 2012 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Currently, Laura is earning a graduate certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership and Disabilities Studies. She plans on continuing her education to eventually earn a doctorate degree to focus on research and people with disabilities. She is an intern for UMKC - Institute for Human Development. She co-instructs and helps to facilitate the KC BANCS and Safety First projects, as well as the Bridge to College program. She helped to evaluate KC BANCS/ S.T.E.M. Scholar project by surveying alumni. For Safety First, she co-facilitated the Accessibility and Responsiveness review for the Family to Family team at the Institute for Human Development. For the Bridge to College program, she co-instructs courses on self-determination and employment for high school students with disabilities who are interested in going to college. Laura believes working with the Institute has been a great opportunity for her to combine her knowledge with others in the field, while helping her to gain an understanding of developing programs or organizations that incorporates all types of diversity.

Project Narrative

1. Please describe your activities during your fellowship experience. Describe your final capstone project(s).
The goal of my project was to have young people with disabilities examine American politics and become aware of the importance of being politically engaged. The class lecture and webinar were given to help the students understand how they could become politically involved and become aware of the issues that affect their generation.

2. Who did your project inform, help, influence or impact? (UCEDD, individual, community, state) How?
My project informed young people with disabilities that their voices and votes matter in American politics. After my lecture and webinar, I was able to help them with registering to vote and to become more political engaged.

3. Why did you choose to work on that project(s)?
As disability rights advocate, I chose this project to let young people with disabilities know that their vote has power and they have choices. My purpose for my project is to increase awareness and activism among people with disabilities.

4. What did you gain from being a Diversity Fellow?
As a Diversity Fellow, I learned leadership skills, negotiation skills, and how I can use my advocacy skills to increase awareness for people with disabilities in any way possible. I hope to increase awareness, access, and opportunities for people with disabilities through my work and research.

5. How will this experience impact your education or career decisions?
I now realize that I must use my voice to increase inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities. I will probably spend my career advocating and building opportunities for the next generation.

6. What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In the next five years, I hope to continue my education of advocacy work and awareness for people with disabilities in any way I can. I would like to earn my Doctoral degree in the upcoming years.

7. What recommendations do you have for other fellows?
My recommendations for future fellows would be to use all the resources they have available to them in order to capitalize on this experience as a fellow. I would also tell them to be open to new experiences and to challenge themselves to think outside of the box.

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