Laura LaFave was born in Washington, D.C. in 1954 and grew up in Arlington, Virginia. Laura received a BA in psychology from the College of William and Mary in 1977. After graduation she worked as an art therapist in a psychiatric hospital in Virginia. After three years working in psychology, Laura moved to Arizona and decided to focus on her artwork and foster her natural creativity. She received a BFA at Arizona State University in 1982, then moved to Tucson and received an MFA at the University of Arizona in painting and drawing in 1986.
Laura worked for several years with the Arizona Commission on the Arts and did numerous residencies working with students with schools in Arizona. She then began teaching art at Southside Community School. After teaching art to underprivileged elementary and middle school students, Laura became a trusted and respected member of the school community; students began coming regularly to her for guidance. Laura first became the counselor and then additionally assumed the role of principal at Southside. She began working to build a stronger community committed to nonviolence and the eradication of bullying.
Laura's work as a principal and counselor has had a significant impact on the community. She has been an important figure in many students' lives and has helped to create a safe environment for her students. Students have often told her that she is one of the few people that they can trust and her students describe her as being one of the most important people in their lives. During one recent Christmas, elementary students decided to put her picture on the angel on their classroom Christmas tree. The students remarked, 'Ms. LaFave! She is an angel to all of us!' This truly exemplifies the important role that Laura plays in their lives.
In addition to her work as a counselor and principal, Laura is also a wonderful mother to her two daughters, Kathryn and Charlotte, a loving wife of Joseph Labate, and a caring daughter to her parents, Mary Jane and Al LaFave. She has always been devoted selflessly to her family. Laura has the ability to love without boundaries or conditions. She provides unconditional support for all people, regardless of their trials or achievements.
Laura LaFave is a woman who exemplifies the values that she believes in. She is committed to building a better world and lives her life with compassion. She positively impacts not only those who are in her personal life, but also everyone with whom she comes into contact. She is a powerful and effective agent of positive change in others through the integrity of her own character. Laura is selfless, caring, and wise. Her wisdom lies in her profound compassion toward others, astute sensitivity and perceptiveness in her relations with others, and a strong dedication to decreasing suffering in the world.