Being Miss Laurie

Lessons From Mentoring Amazing Kids


A gradu09-13_m_moline-laurie-uw-042_cmyk_cropate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Laurie Moline started her career as a business communications specialist and has worked as a producer, writer, corporate communications manager, and business owner. Shortly after moving to Canton in 1986, she began a working as a producer for Aultman Hospital and subsequently advancing to director of marketing and public relations. In 1997, she left Aultman to work as a freelance communication specialist, serving large and small businesses and local non-profits.It was through those relationships that she began to develop an interest in the intersection of business and social issues. In 2004, when the Moline family returned from an expat assignment in the United Kingdom, she joined the newly formed Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Greater Stark County, becoming a member of the Steering Committee, then chairing the Service Committee, and eventually taking over the role of chairman. Her involvement with the WLC led her to working closely with Canton City Schools, where she began to realize the untapped potential that existed in inner city students and how it could help meet local workforce needs. After returning to work at Aultman in 2009, she leveraged her roles with United Way and Aultman to create a program called Get Connected, geared at giving disadvantaged high school students an opportunity to visit business environments and form connections with area professionals. As the program grew and she became closer with the students who participated in it, Laurie began recognizing the potential for it to lead to mentoring relationships for what she had come to think of as “her kids”. So, three years ago, she began taking her own deep dive into mentoring in order to understand the issues and challenges faced by inner city students as they try to escape lives of poverty. This was the start of Laurie’s journey into researching the neuroscience of poverty-associated trauma and how forming strong community connections can bolster resilience. The Get Connected program is now being funded by an Ohio Department of Education Community Connectors grant. More than 400 students and nearly a dozen businesses have participated in Get Connected activities, with many students forming mentoring relationships with the professionals they meet through the program. Laurie mentors more than a dozen students, and has close connections with many more. They call her Miss Laurie. Laurie is currently working on a book about mentoring young adults.