Originally from Boston, Laura moved to Maine in 1974 where she attended Lincoln Academy High School and graduated with a BA in Communications with high honors from the University of Maine at Orono. Since that time, she worked as a Regional Director of Sales and National Trainer for Marriott as well as a Leadership and Motivational Speaker for numerous organizations. For the past 17 years, she has specialized in prevention with her own non-profit agency as well as the Council for Drug Free Youth in the Midwest. Recently, she moved back to Maine and is thrilled to continue working with a Drug-Free Community grant and the amazing community of Windham and Raymond in keeping our youth drug-free. She lives in South Portland and has two adult sons, Ben and Josh.
Our Project Coordinator, Nicole-Raye Ellis, recently graduated in the top 10% of her class, as a high honors student from Southern Maine Community College in May 2018, with an Associates in Education and Associates in Liberal Studies. Nicole was very active in the campus community as Vice President of Service for Phi Thetta Kappa Honors Society as well as being Vice President of the Business Club and participating in the Student Senate. Nicole knows the impact of being an influence, whether it be negative or positive, and what effect it has on our youth because she has experienced it first-hand. Growing up, Nicole had a lot of negative influences around her and faced numerous adverse childhood experiences (ACES). Due to the lack of emotional support she struggled to overcome them, which led to her developing an addiction as a young adult. Nicole is 30 years old now and has been in recovery for 7 years. She is grateful every day that she was able to find positive people, whose influence in her life, enabled her to finally break free of that lifestyle. Nicole is determined to be a positive role model to her 4-year-old daughter, as well as to all other youths whose lives may be lacking a positive influence.
Jennifer Alvino is the Library Director at Windham Public Library. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Communication and Simmons College with a MS in Library and Information Science. Ms. Alvino is a member of the Maine Library Association and Minerva Consortium Executive Boards and is a Past President of the New England Library Association. She has also worked in a variety of capacities with the American Library Association.
Capt. William (Bill) Andrew has been in Public Safety since 1990. He started as a member of the Windham Fire/Rescue Department before becoming a dispatcher. Has an A.S in Law Enforcement Technology, a B.S. Criminal Justice, and he is working on finishing his MBA. In 1996 he became a full-time police officer. Since becoming a police officer he started the Department’s K-9 program, and worked to start what is known today as: Be the Influence Coalition.