Leadership Institute Blog / “My City, My Home” by Flor Maldonado

Focusing on the negative things that surround Lawrence, I can say that many people when they hear we come from Lawrence, one of the first things that come to their mind is the high crime rate, education issues, pregnancy, and STDs among youth. While being an SLI member, I have been able to show the positive side of Lawrence to my classmates and colleagues.

SLI has given me more confidence. I have been able to get to know my community better and show others that although we have barriers, we also have many resources. I have been able to explore and expand my resources.

Each class is a new opportunity to open new doors. The City of Lawrence has a lot of potential and has a lot of talent that still needs to be discovered and the Merrimack Valley Sandbox is knocking doors to discover all these hidden talents.

Some of the challenge that we have here in Lawrence include the language barrier, lack of communication with some providers, health disparities, and lack of support from local governments/

Being a Lawrence resident since I first came to this country has given me the strength to work and to settle for anything less. Being an immigrant city, Lawrence is a great target for social innovation. There are so many opportunities for new businesses and for people to make Lawrence their home.