St. Paul native will help lead expansion of services for single mothers

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The Jeremiah Program, a Minneapolis-based program for low-income single mothers who are trying to improve their lives and the lives of their children, is in the process of opening a St. Paul expansion location. To oversee this process, St. Paul native Laurel Bunker has been appointed the associate director of the program.

In her position, Bunker, a Hamline University graduate, will be responsible to engage civic, business, government, community and faith-based organizations in the establishment of support for the new Saint Paul Jeremiah Program campus.

Laurel Bunker’s early training came from parents who demanded excellence from each of their children. She is the middle child of five born to Stanley and LaVerne Williams. The lessons Laurel learned from her parents, family and community include the expectations of excellence in behavior as well as accomplishments. Love and compassion for self as well as others was lived, practiced and conveyed in the Williams household. These life skills and passions continue to be exemplified in her everyday living experience.

A holder of a Master of Arts degree in cross-cultural ministries from Luther Theological Seminary of St. Paul, Bunker’s alma mater immediately after graduation tapped her as an admissions counselor. She then was hired as the interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Macalester College.

Bunker then moved on to the Minneapolis Blaisdell YMCA as the program coordinator, where she supervised a staff of 20 who recruited and trained teens and young adults for programs in community service, career development, money management, conflict resolution and mediation. She later went on to direct the Family Outreach Program at the St. Paul YMCA.

After a successful stint at the St. Paul YMCA, Bunker was called to be the area director of Young Life Urban, which allowed her to use her pastoral skills in working with over 100 youth and 200 key stakeholders in a local urban youth ministry. It was after a three-year tenure as pastor of Children and Family Ministries at the Living Word Church that Bunker became interim associate director of the Jeremiah Program.

Bunker is a lifelong resident of the Rondo/Summit University neighborhood, where she lives with her husband, Josh, and daughters Naomi and Camile.

For more information about the Jeremiah Program, call 612/692-8711 or go to “www.jeremiahprogram.org”:http://www.jeremiahprogram.org.

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