Laura R. Ernst
Laura joined the Foundation in July, 2016, as a program associate and was promoted to program officer in July, 2021. Laura manages multiple grant programs and oversees specific aspects of the grantmaking process between applicants and the Foundation. She is responsible for program research, grantee proposal evaluation, grant activity tracking and post-grant evaluation. Laura facilitates the selection and award process for the Foundation’s scholarship funds by working with local high school guidance departments. She also provides administrative support for several of the Foundation’s initiatives and grant programs, including Community Needs, Bright & Early DuPage, Arts DuPage, and donor-advised funds.
Prior to joining the Foundation staff, Laura dedicated a year to national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Northern Illinois Food Bank. She holds a bachelor's degree in environmental studies with minors in economics and business and management from Knox College.