LAURA BAKKEN; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 87
(Extensions of Remarks - June 11, 2009)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1385]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                              LAURA BAKKEN


                            HON. SAM GRAVES

                              of missouri

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 11, 2009

  Mr. GRAVES. Madam Speaker, I proudly pause to recognize Laura Bakken 
of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Laura is active in the community through her 
work and has been chosen to receive the YWCA Women of Excellence Award 
for Woman in the Workplace.
  Laura Bakken serves as the Spanish interpreter for the Head Start at 
Community Action Partnership, and is certified in ``Los Ninos Bien 
Educados,'' a nationally acclaimed curriculum for strengthening 
Hispanic families and enhancing parenting success. Laura recruits low 
income Hispanic families to participate in the Head Start program. She 
was nominated by her peers for excellence in performance and is 
currently training colleagues about cultural diversity. Laura uses her 
interpretation skills throughout the community to assist children and 
families. ``To make a community better, it starts with the people. If 
everyone can adopt one family, and help that one, and get them on their 
feet, then it'll be a chain reaction.'' Laura has faced the challenge 
of overcoming an abusive childhood, homelessness as a teenager, breast 
cancer, and physical disability to become a survivor and a nurturer. As 
her nominator describes her, ``She defies the odds and simply gets the 
job done, making the world a brighter, prettier place just by the 
  Madam Speaker, I proudly ask you to join me in recognizing Laura 
Bakken. She has made an amazing impact on countless individuals in the 
St. Joseph Community. I am honored to represent her in the United 
States Congress.