Blog, In the News
Meet Laura Muriello: N4’s New Vice President, North America
Laura Muriello joined the N4 team in July of 2021 as the Vice President, North America. Laura is a Mexican-American, first-generation college graduate and grew up near Chicago, Illinois. Laura’s entire career has been focused on giving students like her voice and agency to write their own stories and forge their own paths. Laura has been a middle school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, a school leader at a charter school in Chicago, and led multiple nonprofit organizations (such as Teach For America, OneGoal and Pitch In) to grow and scale while focusing their models, defining and measuring their impact, and gaining support through fundraising and awareness. Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in Education and Social Policy, and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Dominican University, and lives outside of Chicago with her husband, three daughters and huge dog.
N4:What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
LM: I believe deeply that we have to know each other as humans before we can accomplish big goals together. I wear my heart on my sleeve and lead from within. I love helping others to shine in roles they were destined to be in. As a first-generation college graduate, I benefited from moments where others stood back and opened doors for me, and I am determined to do the same for others less privileged by society than me.
N4: What excites you about Narrative 4?
LM: In all the work I’ve done with young people over the last 17+ years, whether it be in the classroom, in after-school programs, in small groups, in supporting teacher/student relationships, the common thread has always been a need to understand each other as humans. Understanding where we’ve been, and how the experiences, biases and perspectives we bring to the table are impacting the moment and our actions, has been key to moving forward towards a common goal. Narrative 4 gives us the tools to build relationships from an empathy-based, human-centered place.
N4: What’s the best thing that happened to you this year?
LM: This year brought upon a lot of change for my family: a big move, a medical diagnosis for one of our children, a shift in schooling, a new puppy (of course!) and now, a job change. While change is hard, it’s also necessary, and I’m amazed by the peace I feel leaning into this life we have created right now.
N4: What inspires you?
LM: I’m inspired by the stories of students I’ve taught or had the pleasure of collaborating in the past—some of whom are living out their best lives in ways they define for themselves, while others have fallen victim to structural racism and oppression they encountered simply because of the color of their skin or the zip codes they were born in. I’m inspired and driven to do better for all of them, and often reflect on how I can continue to improve my own systems, structures, practices and internal beliefs to set students on a path of agency and voice.
N4: What does the world most need now?
LM: As we continue to wrestle with multiple pandemics throughout our country, this period of history has proven that structural change is needed to combat societal ills that have always been placed on the individual. Young people all over the world have stepped up to enact change, and older generations, who come to the table with talent, perspective and skill, but also with deeply ingrained biases, have to listen to their ideas and innovations to move forward.