Laurel was born in Jamestown, North Dakota and named after her great grandfather, Chief White Shield of the Arikara Tribe. Laurel graduated from Cal State University Hayward with a BS in Business Administration. She began her career in Silicon Valley as a Financial and Sales analyst. In order to give back to the community Laurel founded the National Coalition of Native American College Placement Services which seeks to link Native American students with colleges in order to increase the Native population at our nation’s universities. She has built a coalition of over 200 colleges and universities in the United States. Today Laurel continues her Non-Profit work and is seeking election to the North Carolina State Senate.