It has been wonderful to watch Laura break down barriers for others, empowering the people who need it the most. Her honesty and openness creates space for the conversation around some of the most stigmatized topics.
Arienne Good, YWCA Niagara Region
As a member of the planning committee, I felt certain Laura Hughes was our obvious choice to lead the Healthy Communities Forum on Radial Self-Care. With over 70 participants from front line health care agencies across Niagara, we were very mindful that participant expectations would be high. Laura did not disappoint. She presented as bold, thoughtful and innovative. Laura made an instant connection with the room by sharing her own journey with courageous vulnerability. She delivered an intelligent and progressive perspective leaving us with strategies for adopting self-care and collective-care tools that are both attainable and highly effective.
Judith Rudoler, Project Manager, Niagara Region
You can't pour from an empty cup! Laura's workshop "Forget Your Bath Bombs and Scented Candles: Radical Self-Care on the Front-line" was very relevant to our work with vulnerable clients. The practical lessons and tips we learned could be used by staff, or with family members of clients who often need respite from caring for a loved one. Keep up the great work.
Marty Mako, Community Paramedicine Program Manager, Niagara EMS
This workshop was extremely authentic and real for Front-Line workers in the social service field. How Laura defined radical self-care really stuck with me and has helped me understand more about engaging in my self-care and most importantly creating self-awareness. Laura redefines self-care practices and challenges everyone to reassess how to view self-care. This workshop was incredible and inspiring
Sarah, Community Addiction Services of Niagara
Laura Hughes has facilitated her Radical Self-Care workshop twice for ETFO Halton women members: once in March 2018; and again in October 2018. We are currently booking her again for May 2019! Laura works hard to ensure her workshop is relevant, meaningful, and extremely helpful for our elementary teacher members. Participants’ feedback is overwhelmingly positive and they speak to the many “takeaways” from the workshop especially given that teaching can be a career where we prioritize so many other people's’ needs before our own. We recognize that our teachers need to hear and internalize the messages within Laura’s Radical Self-Care workshop and are so impressed and pleased by how she is able to deliver them. Thanks Laura!
Elizabeth Norman, ETFO Halton, Status of Women Committee Member
Prior to attending Laura Hughes' radical self-care workshop, I had little knowledge of effective self-care techniques and struggled to support myself as an individual in a high-stakes, emotionally laborious role. I was convinced "self-care" was an expensive trend and certainly not meant for someone like me.
After attending the radical self-care workshop, I walked away feeling confident in my ability to add self-nourishing tasks to my daily routine that would support me in my professional life. Laura did an excellent job of breaking down self-care to its core ideas and provided accessible, easy to understand strategies to prevent emotional exhaustion and foster positivity and balance in my work life.
Zanab Jafry, outsidermag.co
I had the pleasure of listening to Laura present at a Women's Empowerment Conference in the spring. She stressed the importance of self-care and what that means for a woman, a mom, a teacher...she made me realize that I can only be my best for others if I take care of my own self first. Her energy is contagious and her insight is beyond her years. It was such a pleasure and I hope I can learn from her again.
Kaitlyn Harshaw, Elementary Teacher, Halton District School Board
Put simply, Laura is an inspiration. She gave a powerful workshop on equity and mental health for my university-level students in a diversity education course. Laura’s approach provides the perfect balance between addressing sensitive and difficult issues while keeping students open and engaged. As someone who teaches in the area of equity and social justice education, I appreciate how difficult this task can be - and often is. Laura seamlessly combined activities, research, literature, and personal experience that students immediately connected with. As one student told me after class, Laura’s presentation “really hit home” and “opened my eyes”. Many took the time to speak highly of Laura on my course evaluations – long after her talk. I will definitely book Laura again for my classes. I hope others take the opportunity to experience her down to earth and informative workshops.
Dr. Leanne Taylor, Faculty of Education, Brock University
Laura facilitated a workshop on reconnecting with sensuality and the body for our Wednesday Wellness group (a workshop series/support group for individuals struggling with eating disorders and/or negative body image). Laura is an incredibly empathetic, articulate, and engaging educator. Her commitment to trauma-informed and anti-oppressive teaching is evident in the safe spaces she creates within the community. Laura facilitated the workshop in a way that made participants feel comfortable sharing, and this vulnerability, in turn, helped build solidarity. We loved having Laura facilitate!
Olivia Strohschein, co-facilitator at Wednesday Wellness Workshop Series, Hamilton ON
I highly recommend Laura as a workshop leader and sexual health educator. Laura is a respected expert in the field of sexual health education who works closely with community groups to develop workshops unique to their needs. She delivered an excellent workshop for our school on consent culture; it was both interactive and engaging. Laura's ability to communicate effectively with teens on a sensitive subject was greatly appreciated by our staff and students.
Monika Pries-Klassen, DSBN Academy Student Services Program Leader
I had the privilege of working with Laura Hughes in her completion of a teaching practicum in my English classes at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. As an associate teacher, I found Laura to be highly professional and reliable in undertaking her teaching duties. She established herself as a well-respected and excellent teacher amongst both the student body and staff during her placement. I was particularly impressed by Laura’s effective teaching skills and professional knowledge. Laura showed an ability to engage her classes with an array of creative and meaningful lessons that showed a consideration for the diverse learning styles and needs of students. She was especially effective at incorporating important social issues in the study of literature, as well as integrating diverse cultural and gendered voices. Laura’s attention to making her lessons culturally relevant demonstrated her grounding in a strong teaching philosophy. One of Laura’s most admirable traits as a teacher would have to be her genuine concern for students. She was quick to establish a positive rapport with her classes and students felt comfortable with approaching her for help and advice. I can attest to Laura being a hardworking, committed, and effective educator who has a lot to offer students, whatever the learning context.
Bob Rigas, High School English & History Teacher, PhD Education Candidate
I've had the honour of working with Laura during her role as Student Justice Centre Supervisor at Brock University. She is dependable, kind, caring, hard-working, articulate, and a great teacher. With the immense support from Laura on multiple projects, we were able to bring educative and interactive events and campaigns to Brock University students. All students that have interacted with Laura can attest to the fact that she brings comfort and kindness into every room she enters. Laura's empathetic approach to her work is what makes her such a great activist, ally, and also friend!