Gem story was written by: BOBO Marketing Services
“My passion is education.” – Laura Dorsey
Working in corporate America for 20 years, Laura Dorsey ultimately decided to step away from the hustle and bustle of the finance world to become a university professor and founder of LLD Consulting — where she writes articles and other content on a freelance basis. A firm believer in giving back to the community, Laura also sits on the board of three nonprofit organizations. One foundation helps students get scholarships, another feeds the homeless and the last one provides parents with diapers for their infants.
Passion is what makes Laura stand out as a now-retired professor who still teaches lectures every now and then. To stay upbeat and positive, she gets to campus an hour early with coffee in hand. Always happy to talk to her students, Laura does not believe in-office hours. Instead, she gives out her personal mobile number to encourage them to call her at all hours of the day — whether it’s 5 p.m. or 1 a.m. Laura also finds it important to connect with her students.
“I talk to my students like they’re real … and they respect that,” she explains.
What If You Did Not Have to Work for Money?
Laura says, “People go to work every day and hate what they do." While working in the finance and stock industry, she realized she was one of those people. Her free time, however, was often spent volunteering as a Sunday school and music teacher. She discovered a real passion in education — enough to realize it was time to make a difference in the lives of America’s next generation of young professionals.
After leaving the corporate world, Laura got a job in administration earning an excellent salary at an educational institution. When she saw that students were not well prepared or lacked important life skills like good study habits, Laura knew what she was doing wasn’t enough. She transferred to an organization that helps students before going to college but was not a fan of its strict rules. If payments were late, for example, it was not uncommon for that student’s education to be disrupted. She credits God for opening her eyes to realizing that she needed to forgo her cushy salary and get in the field to truly help these young adults.
Trials & Tribulations
It is no secret that university professors in America don’t earn as much income as their coaching colleagues. When you go from making upwards of $80,000 a year to $30,000 or $40,000 a year, you must make some lifestyle changes.
“My image is important … I need [my students] to see what a successful black woman looks like.”
Looking polished by having her hair done, nails painted, and clothing fresh are all part of maintaining that image of success. You see students not only in the classroom but also out in public too, so it is important to look put together at any given moment.
Laura’s Support System
An introvert at heart, Laura has a solid support system that consists of her daughters and best friend Pat — who she considers a sister even though they are not related by blood.
After fracturing her spine in 2019, one of her daughters invited her to live with her and her husband in the District of Columbia area. Her daughters often help her out with phone plans and car payments to ensure she’s financially comfortable and able to donate to her charities when necessary. She jokes that not going into a nursing home is every parent’s dream and parents need to cash in on their investments, or children, every once in a while!
Laura and Pat have been friends for almost 45 years. Whenever she needs to remember where she came from, Pat is there to give her that dose of reality. She humbly explains that Pat has been there for her when she was a single parent on welfare and food stamps.
Laura’s short-term goal as a freelance writer is to continue writing stories for magazines. She also wants to complete her vanity project, which involves 25 women who don’t look like they’re in their 60s. She’s never written about herself, so she’s excited to tell her own story while also ghostwriting for the other women’s stories. Her long-term goal is to travel more and begin writing in publications about places instead of people.
When asked what her biggest takeaway is for others following her journey, Laura says to build confidence in yourself early and learn to put money aside. It’s time to start thinking about the future because at some point you’ll be 60. Laura says don’t live paycheck to paycheck and instead ask yourself,
“What do you want your tomorrow to look like? What do you want it to be?”