Laura grew up in Broadway, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley and graduated from Bridgewater College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences and Certifications in Family and Consumer Sciences grades 7-12 and Early Childhood and Elementary Education grades PreK-Middle School. She later earned a teaching certificate in Special Education. Upon graduation, Laura began her teaching career in the Montgomery County, Maryland Public School system and lived in both Montgomery County and Frederick County during that time. She taught second grade from 2006-2008 at Takoma Park Elementary school in Takoma Park, MD and then moved to Sherwood High School in Olney, MD to teach Child and Adolescent Development and Food Trends and Technology in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department from 2008-2012. During this time, she was also the school’s Student Service Learning Coordinator and school liaison for the MCPS On the Move Wellness Program. She was also involved with her church and volunteered with the Helping Kids Eat Backpack Weekend Food Program through Women Who Care Ministries in Gaithersburg, MD. Laura moved to Garrett County in October, 2012 when her husband Jared, who grew up in Garrett County, took a job back in the area with the Beitzel Corporation/Pillar Innovations companies. Laura was offered the the Garrett Mentors Executive Director position soon after. She is passionate about the mission of Garrett Mentors and its role in the community and loves living and working in the area. In Laura’s near ten years with the organization she has worked hard to significantly grow Garrett Mentors visibility in the community and the state, earning local and state level recognition over the years. The program has grown and expanded in many ways and the organization has greatly increased the quality and quantity of resources and programs to its students through this time. Laura collaborates with various local groups, businesses, organizations, volunteers, the school system and the Garrett Mentors Board of Directors to carry out the mission and spearheads the organization fundraising efforts. She recruits volunteers and matches students and mentors together at school and organizes events and activities for the children and mentors to participate in together several times a year. Aside from her work with the Garrett Mentors organization, Laura serves on the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and chairs the Chamber’s Workforce Development Taskforce to address workforce needs in Garrett County and develop solutions to create a sustainable labor pool. Areas of focus include education and training, affordable housing and public transportation. Laura previously served on the MD State Chamber of Commerce and has served as secretary of the Garrett County Chamber Board and as secretary of her Homeowners Association Board. She serves serves on the Community Trust Foundation Garrett County Advisory Council and the Garrett County Public Schools Career and Technical Education Local Advisory Council. She attends Crossroads Church and has volunteered and helped to support numerous local organizations and causes over the years, as well as helping with an orphanage in South America where she has also enjoyed visiting. Due to her work with our organization, our Executive Director, Laura Fike was named on the 2022 Maryland Daily Record’s list of the Top 40 Leading Women Under 40 in the state and in 2023 received the Bridgewater College of Virginia Young Alumnus Award as well as the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Laura and her husband Jared have been married since 2006 and live in Oakland near the lake with their their three Yorkshire Terriers, Berkley. Frank and Jack, and enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family.