1983 Spotlight - Laura Gilbreath Green ('97)
Laura started out as an army brat, but her dad retired in Fort Polk when she was nine. She then lived in Rose Pine until the age of 18. Laura heard about LSMSA from her big brother, who was a 1994 LSMSA graduate.
She thinks her Dad probably sought LSMSA out because Rose Pine High School did not have the curriculum to get her into a four-year university. Laura was eager to attend and was mainly interested in the challenging coursework, especially in math and science. She said it was also exciting to live away from home.
Laura works in the arts now, and being exposed to the field at LSMSA has made a huge difference in her life. She loved experiencing a challenging atmosphere. At other schools, it would be cool to not work hard and that’s not the case at Louisiana School.
“It opened up a lifelong love and openness to learning," Laura said. "LSMSA showed me that you should not be afraid of being a beginner and learning something new.“
LSMSA turned out to be even more challenging and exciting than Laura's college experience. At first, she did not know what she wanted to do after LSMSA. At Trinity in San Antonio, Laura majored in pre-med, then English. She finished undergraduate studies with a degree in business before earning her MBA at UT Austin McComb School of Business.
Laura's career path decision was practical since she was good at finance, which she knew would help her pay the bills and build a life. Laura enjoyed working in finance and marketing for 12 years, but found that she really just wanted to read all the time. In 2017, she rode her bicycle across the county and reflected on what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Laura says that ride was one of the coolest things she has ever done: 42 days. 100 miles a day. 14.5 mph.
Laura decided to embark on a writing career, and was 31 when she wrote her first creative work. At 42, she has a writing career and had six works published in the last year alone. She’s in the MFA Program at Columbia University and is now a teaching fellow there. Her favorite place to travel is Italy -- she even translates Italian creative works into English. Laura says she is living a more interesting life than she ever anticipated, and it all started at LSMSA.
Laura believes that giving back is very important and is grateful for her LSMSA experience. Without LSMSA, she would not be where she is right now, and might not even be out of rural Louisiana. All of her fun adventures that came after would not be possible. In 2017, Laura joined the 1983 Society and has been a consistent member ever since.
“Don’t be intimidated by anyone," Laura advises incoming LSMSA students. "Everyone feels out of their element a little bit when they first arrive at LSMSA.”
To graduates, Laura says, "Be okay with just going along for the journey and shifting if something else comes up that you want to do. Be open to opportunities.”
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is the preeminent state-supported residential high school with competitive admissions for Louisiana's high-achieving, highly-motivated sophomores, juniors, and seniors. As a public school, there is no tuition to attend, and assistance from the LSMSA Foundation ensures the program is available to all qualifying students regardless of family financial need.