Laura Van Engen is IAPCHE's full-time Program Manager. She hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is a graduate of Calvin College (January 2014) with a Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and a Minor in Sociology. During her time at Calvin, Laura studied abroad in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia (with the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute or ISDSI) and in Honduras (with Calvin's Justice Studies Program). She plans to go to Graduate School for an advanced International Studies program (Development Practice and Policy, Development Anthropology, International Peace Studies, or MBA).
Laura brings to IAPCHE experience from other non-profit organizations including: Co-developing Bethany Christian Services' Hope Farms, a five-acre farm in southeast Grand Rapids where she assisted refugees developing their past farming experience into deeper agricultural and entrepreneurial skills and to sell their produce to local farmers markets, restaurants, and grocers. She was also a volunteer at Bethany Christian Services' Refugee Resettlement program for four years. Laura has a second job coaching girls' soccer for a grassroots community soccer team, the River City Futbol Club (RCFC).
Laura manages IAPCHE's central office in Grand Rapids, focused primarily on areas of communication, finance, and event-planning.