Meet Our 2014 “Civic Leader of the Year”

Laura Brusseau

Photo credit: Allegra Boverman Photography

Photo credit: Allegra Boverman Photography

How does it feel to be recognized for your dedication towards helping others?

I feel truly blessed and humbled to have been recognized for my service to others. Giving back is just who I am and to be recognized for who you are and what you love to do is a huge honor, and a testament to my parents and grandparents who raised me.

What inspired you to start “The Faith, Hope and Love” non-profit?

In my first year of teaching I was overwhelmed by many of the obstacles my students faced at home and in their personal lives so I wanted to start something to help my students or as us teachers say, my kids. In my second year teaching we had two guest speakers come in from Gilford to talk about their recent trip to Haiti and making a difference there. I challenged my students that night to research a teenager that is making a difference in the world today. After talking with my classes I wanted to lead by example and show my students that you can make a difference at any age. Thus starting FHL was for kids to be encouraged to have faith in something, to have hope in a better tomorrow, and know that someone out there does love them even if they feel alone.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start fundraisers such as “Lakes Region Dancing with the Stars” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

I love planning fun events to raise money for great causes. Some of my favorite fundraisers I’ve helped with are Lakes Region DWTS, the FHL Fashion Show and Annual Benefit Dinner. I’m currently planning a painting for Pibbles fundraiser for the spring. My advice would be if you have an idea and a plan, go for it. Every dollar raised for charity is much needed for many of the organizations and if you can plan a fundraiser that is fun, family-oriented and raises awareness about great causes its totally worth it. Every cause I am a part of I am passionate about and that makes the planning and implementing of the event easy for me.

Why do you feel it is important to give back to the community?

I teach civics and I try to implement in my students that giving back to your community is a part of our civic duty. I think it’s extremely important to give back for numerous reasons such as: it helps the community, you can see how your work and effort help others, you can make new friends, volunteering can lead you to many new experiences, it makes others feel good, and it makes the person volunteering feel good and it can also make you fall in love with a cause or a career. Most importantly every single person can make a difference and pay it forward and you never know how much your one act of kindness or one day volunteering will leave a lasting impression on someone’s life. I would encourage everyone to find a cause and start volunteering with them!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with my students! 85 different personalities, and life experiences each day is full of new adventures. The most rewarding part of teaching is forming teacher-student relationships with the students and encouraging them to work to his/her full potential and follow their dreams. Years later when you run into a student that you didn’t think you had a huge impact on and they thank you for something that makes it very rewarding.

We know you love the Granite State, so tell us:

What is your favorite “hole-in-the-wall” eatery?

Patricks Pub in Gilford.

Where is your favorite weekend-getaway?

Crawford Notch.

What’s your favorite NH season and why?

Fall because of the foliage, weather, and activities.

How do you love to spend a rainy day in NH?

Reading a book or volunteering.

What is your fondest NH memory?

Memories / Friendships made at Plymouth State.

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