Laura Jankstrom runs civic engagement programs that educate and mobilize New Yorkers around policy priorities for children. This work includes YouthAction NYC, a program for high school students which trains the future generation of leaders to stand up for what they believe in and work to make the world a better place. She also provides technical assistance and professional development to community-based organizations that wish to incorporate meaningful civic engagement practices into their programs. Laura has a BSW from New York University and earned her MSW from Hunter College in 2009.
Laura Jankstrom is the Director of Civic Engagement Programs at Citizens' Committee for Children (CCC), where she educates and mobilizes New Yorkers around the organization’s priorities for children. She coordinates CCC’s Community Leadership course, which helps concerned citizens build the capacity to become champions of change. She also manages YouthAction NYC, a multi-faceted after school program for high school students through which she seeks to inspire a future generation of leaders to stand up for what they believe in and work to make the world a better place. For her work on the YouthAction Program, Laura received the 2014 PaseSetter Award, which honors afterschool educators whose commitment, energy & creativity have had an indelible impact on the children and youth of New York City.
Laura also organizes CCC’s adult and youth volunteers to participate in advocacy initiatives, whereby they help to convince legislators to move the needle on issues pertaining to child well-being. In addition, she provides technical assistance and professional development to community-based organizations that wish to incorporate meaningful civic engagement practices into their programs.
Prior to joining CCC, Laura was a youth worker and community organizer in New York City’s non-profit sector. She attended the Silver School of Social Work at NYU as an undergraduate, during which time she worked as a teacher’s assistant and interned at Girls for Gender Equity, where she was involved in advocacy efforts around Title IX, lobbying for gender equity in schools.
In 2006, Laura began her post graduate career at StreetSquash, an afterschool program for middle and high school students in Harlem. There, she was a guidance counselor and social worker for 50 youth, and worked intimately with students, families, schools, and community stakeholders to ensure academic success and access to needed services. In 2009, Laura completed her Master of Social Work degree at Hunter College, with a concentration in community organizing and public policy.
Combining her passion for youth work with her interests in public policy and social change, Laura was thrilled to join Citizens’ Committee for Children in 2010. She believes it is her mission to inspire citizens to become more civically engaged and help them to recognize their potential as makers of real and lasting change. Laura is honored and privileged to do the work she loves, with bright and motivated people, in an organization that recognizes and fights for the fundamental rights of all children.