Groundswell recently welcomed Teara Harris to our team as our new Community Building Associate. Teara brings with her a passion for building up people in traditionally underserved communities. Her vision is to bring about change and unity while connecting people in her community with the resources they need.  

In this installment of our "Road to Groundswell" series, Teara shares her story.

Where did you grow up? 

I was born and raised in LaGrange. Growing up, I endured many hardships in life that slowly laid the foundation for who I am today — a passionate advocate for those who have no voice in the community and those struggling to improve their lives in one way or another.

What led you to Groundswell?

I originally heard about Groundswell through the Save On Utilities Longterm program, which helps residents save money with major energy efficiency upgrades like heating and air conditioning unit replacement, insulating ductwork, wall insulation, and updated thermostats. 

What do you do at Groundswell? 

I make sure that people in the community know what the SOUL program offers and walk people through the process. I know that people can get overwhelmed when they hear about a program like SOUL, so I create a safe place to ask all of those questions they need to have answered to make the best decision for them.

How is this work similar to what you’ve done before?

My passion has always been for people. I worked in the Human Resources industry — for large corporations like DeVry University, Seoyon E-Hwa Interior Systems Manufacturing, and Yasufuku USA. Later, my Human Resources expertise intertwined with my service as a Workforce Specialist, which was the perfect opportunity for me to continue serving disadvantaged individuals in need of guidance, support, and resources. 

I also founded the non-profit Communities of Tomorrow in order to help serve the community. Communities of Tomorrow is a non-profit organization with the mission to provide community outreach and workforce development. I feel like serving the community by connecting people to the SOUL program was an obvious next step in serving the community.

How does the work at Groundswell align with your passions?

I have a passion for seeing the City of LaGrange transform into a thriving community for all of its citizens. This transformation includes housing, workforce development, and social and economic development.

What kind of impact do you hope to make at Groundswell?

I hope to increase the energy efficiency of homes in LaGrange through resources offered by Groundswell.

Are there any fun facts about yourself that you would like to share?

I love Big Chic and serving in the community.