On the final night of Moving in the Spirit’s 2014 tour performances, Laurie Jones was presented with Moving in the Spirit’s Volunteer of the Year award. The Volunteer of the Year award honors individuals whose outstanding dedication and service have made a phenomenal impact on the lives of young people.
“Laurie has served as an unfailing mentor and role model to our students,” says Dr. Charné Furcron, Director of Outreach Programs at Moving in the Spirit. “Through planning and leading special sessions with our dancers that we fondly refer to as ‘family time,’ she has enriched their characters and created a safe space in which they can explore and express their world views. Impressively, she has spent hundreds of hours launching our Polar Watch Initiative, which tracks the heart rates and physical activity levels of students in our performance companies. This amazing volunteer activated the watches, helped students and their families set fitness goals, and analyzed all the data from the watches so that students could track their progress. Her heartfelt dedication, hard work and encouragement have helped our students develop both healthy bodies and healthy minds.”
Ms. Jones’ involvement with Moving in the Spirit began when she was a counseling intern in 2011. Her love for dance and how it is used to positively transform the lives of children and teens at Moving in the Spirit led her to continue working with here as a volunteer long after her internship ended. Ms. Jones brings considerable expertise as a volunteer. She serves as a Commissioned Corps Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and is a member of RDF-3, a Tier 1 Rapid Deployment Force Team that responds to health needs following natural disasters. When not deployed, Lieutenant Commander Jones is stationed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she works as a health scientist/consultant in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Scientific Resources, Office of the Director. Ms. Jones has obtained degrees in health education (BS), public health (MPH), naturopathy (ND) and clinical mental health counseling (MS). She is currently receiving training to become a dance movement therapist and is also in the process of becoming fully licensed as a professional counselor. Laurie received her associate professional counselor license (LAPC) in September of 2013.
“Laurie has gone above and beyond the expectations of a volunteer,” says Kacey Dennis, Mentor Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator at Moving in the Spirit. “She is truly supportive of our program and what we do. It has become a part of her everyday life outside of volunteer hours. She shares Moving in the Spirit with so many people, which is a huge support, and she helps connect us with other volunteers who support Moving in the Spirit.”
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to be involved in this movement,” says Ms. Jones. “I am consistently impressed with the holistic, person-centered approach used throughout all of the programming, and with the students, parents, and staff’s level of dedication. It is a wonderful experience to watch the community come together to help children grow into the magnificent beings that they are. Moving in the Spirit is the best organization that I have ever volunteered for.”