A young woman with a dream since the fourth grade knew who she wanted to be and where she was going. Now 21 years old and soon to be an APU alumna, senior journalism major Hunter Foote is inspired to provide a platform for young women, celebrating womanhood and their transitions through life.
Foote, former editor in chief of The Clause, created Laurel, a print and online magazine for women 18-25 focusing on the pursuit of excellence through health, relationships, travel and career.
Foote was on a plane from her hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan, back to Los Angeles when she first came up with Laurel’s mission and vision. She decided to be a participant in the ZuVenturez business competition and formulated a full business plan in less than two weeks. After a lot of training and sessions through the competition, Foote placed second, receiving $3,000 and a business mentorship with Jeff Griffith, a ZuVenturez mentor.
What inspired Foote in creating Laurel was her dissatisfaction with most magazines for young women.
“The problem I see is that most magazines speak into this ‘Friday night’ [culture] instead of a season of life,” Foote said. “Laurel magazine speaks into a season of transition, whether it’s into or out of school, career and relationships, and it’s not just about tomorrow, but setting yourself up for success for the rest of your life.”
The meaning behind the name of the magazine stems from Foote’s middle name as well as representing the symbol for excellence. In Greek Olympic games, winners would receive crowns of laurel in recognizing and honoring them for finishing the race well.
She sees Laurel as being the tool in combining mentorship and a news publication into one. In making Laurel different, the staff will set up young women who seek mentorship to older women that meet their specific mentorship needs.
In making Laurel different, the staff will set up young women who seek mentorship with older women that meet their specific mentorship needs.
“In your 20s, when life and transitions can be so confusing, we want to help women pursue a life well lived that includes excellence even in the face all different circumstances,” Foote said.
Foote recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 in 30 days for the first print issue and creating events for Laurel. Foote must reach her goal or receive nothing. Laurel had $3,045 in fundraising as of March 29.
Julia Russell Toothacre, a career counselor in the Office of Career Services and Foote’s boss, advocates for Laurel because she believes that it represents Christian lifestyles in a positive light.
“She [Foote] wants to create a positive and uplifting publication in a world that honors darkness and sin. She wants to change the face of women’s magazines for the better, and that is something that everyone should support, woman or man,” Toothacre said.
Although not an outwardly Christian publication, Laurel is rooted in Christian values. Foote believes that this is the best way to evangelize and reach audiences. She sees the magazine as providing a way into asking faith questions.
“I see it as an evangelical tool for young women to ask the question of why they want to live their lives well,” Foote said. “I hope that in these questions, young women will come to the answer of ultimately wanting to bring glory to God, and thus living a life of excellence.”
If you would like to subscribe to Laurel’s weekly newsletter or donate to the first print issue, you can go to www.laurelmag.com.