Laura Gardner, 20 years experience, Founder of Immigrant Connections, Presenting on Educational Professional Development, Refugee Resettlement and Social Work

Laura Gardner founded Immigrant Connections in 2017 after noticing a great need for training on how to support immigrant students and families in schools. Nearly every training available for educators was on the instructional aspects of teaching English, but almost nothing was available on understanding immigrant students' backgrounds and journeys, the immigration systems that they and their families must engage with, how to partner with parents and community-based organizations, how to address immigrant students' social-emotional needs, and so on. After all, working with English Learners is about so much more than language!  With these burning unmet training needs, Immigrant Connections was born!

Immigrant Connections' Vision:

Immigrant Connections envisions a world where educators and other professionals  understand the backgrounds, strengths, and needs of the immigrant children and families they are working with and have the information and tools needed to engage and support them as they integrate into their new country. 

Immigrant Connections' Mission:

Immigrant Connections improves the lives of immigrant children and families by helping educators and other professionals better serve this population through training, coaching, and consultative services.