Meet the team: Laura Villarreal

Meet Laura Villarreal, Health & Violence Prevention Specialist

Where are you from?  

I was born in Des Moines, IA and grew up in a rural area nearby. 

Where do you feel most at home? 

I feel most at home wherever I am surrounded by people I love. 

What inspires you, professionally and personally? 

I am inspired to be a life-long learner and to grow each day. I often focus my growth around knowledge and awareness, expanding my networks, and being open to new opportunities. 

What are your areas of expertise or what areas are particularly interesting to you? 

My studies involved nutrition, global health, and maternal and child health. My greatest interests are Social Determinants of Health and Intersectionality. 

Share one thing you have learned, big or small, doing your work over the past year?  

Breaking down tasks to the smallest components helps with making projects more manageable and achievable. 

Who inspires you? 

The children in my life inspire me, they remind me to be present and to laugh even through challenging times. 

What do you do to relax, de-stress or recharge your batteries? 

Spending time with my loved ones and exploring nature helps me to recharge my batteries. I also enjoy journaling and listening to alternative music or rainstorms to relax and de-stress. 

Why have you chosen to do this kind of work?  

I saw this as an opportunity to be in an engaging and intentional space which is exactly what I needed to grow as a person and professional. 

What is your favorite food?  

I love all kinds of food and cooking/baking for others. My favorite food at the moment would be paneer tikka masala. 

What is your favorite book?

Currently any book by Don Miguel Ruiz. I recently finished The Mastery of Love and have started The Voice of Knowledge.