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“Helping to create change in the lives of Marylanders”

Helping Hands
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Takes A Village For Change Logo final transparent_edited.png


The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

It Takes A Village For Change, Inc

“Helping to create change in the lives of Marylanders”


We are a 501(c)(3) organization who relies on support from donors to provide the quality of services we do. 

We believe every person deserves to live with dignity. At It Takes A Village For Change, Inc we provide high-quality, comprehensive healthcare, and support services to the most under privileged. We are here to support their transition towards social mobility and advocate for their needs including mental health care. We provide support and services to families and those suffering from mental health illnesses, homelessness, addiction, incarceration as well as victims of trauma and the LGBTQ community.

We aim to reduce chronic disparities experienced by low-income Marylanders by ensuring that needed services are accessible, exceed quality, and results are driven regardless of disability or socio-economic status. Our organization wants to be the link to community supports that can help them lead productive lives and provide stability in their futures.

"We believe every person deserves to live with dignity."


Accountability – We have the integrity to do what we say we will do and promise nothing more


Believe - We believe that status quo is changeable and believe that unitedness can overcome adversities. Change can only be enforced by believing in it.


Caring – The needs of our clients matter first.


Courage - We aren't afraid to face the problems in our communities and the tasks that lie ahead of us to do so. We take pride in demonstrating the courage and commitment to stand by our opinions, advocate for change and reach for our goals.

Equality - We don't believe people have to earn the right to live, thrive, and grow. No one is disposable, despite any mistakes they have made in their lives. Everyone is capable of change.


Teamwork - We act together and function as one inclusive group. Together we can change the world.


Trust – Our clients can rely on us

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The People Behind It Takes A Village For Change, Inc.

Laura Shears Coates

Laura Shears Coates

CEO and President

Laura Shears Coates is the CEO and President of- It Takes A Village For Change Inc. Laura obtained her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from University of Maryland and a Bachelors of Science in Juvenile Justice. Laura is continuing her education to obtain her Masters degree and then apply for her clinical licensure in psychotherapy. Laura is also certified in; addiction counseling, veterans counseling, and juvenile justice residential support staff.

Laura's personal experience as a youth with limited life chances, gives her first hand knowledge of what has and hasn't been effective in overcoming trauma. This has also been her driving force of wanting to devote her learned skills to help other children overcome trauma and beat the odds against them.

Laura has over twelve years experience working with underserved populations in a number settings to include but not limited to; mental health practices, juvenile justice institutions for youth, prisons, non profit organizations and advocacy programs. She loves growing a relationship of trust with her clients and standing beside them as they make great strides in life. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with family, spending time with her pets and volunteering for community events that give back to children.


A quote that inspires Laura is, "We are all here for some special reason. Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future" -Robin Sharma

Dominique Coates

Dominique Coates

Vice President

Dominique Coates is the Vice President of- It Takes A Village For Change Inc. Dominique is a certified master life coach who uses himself as living proof that one can change their way of thinking to lead a more productive life. In 2009, a prison sentence that Dominique received is what helped change the direction of his life. However the release from that same system made it very difficult for that new road to be a smooth one. Now Dominique has acquired the skills to overcome life obstacles and excelled to be a mentor to other men and young men who lead lives similar to his. Dominique also has first hand knowledge on the effects that drug use has on family dynamics and youth.

Dominique enjoys seeing young men succeed in a world that wasn't designed to be easy. In his spare time, he is a self proclaimed "grill master" who enjoys cooking up a meal for those special to him, fishing and watching comedy shows/movies.


A quote that inspires Dominique is "It isn't where you come from; it's where you're going that counts" -Ella Fitzgerald.

Markita Cook

Markita Cooke

Board Director

Markita Cook has a passion of helping almost everyone, even if she feels like she hasn’t done enough she reaches out to her team to get the job fully completed. Markita is the only girl out of 8 brothers so she is firm, caring, loving, and compassionate and protective of her loved ones (including clients).


As a young adult Markita realized she was the only friend that had both parents in a household. All other homes had just a single parent. It made her wonder why so many homes were broken apart? From then on she knew she wanted to mend all broken hearts and try to preserve families. Markita started caring for her father by the age of 16 but he sadly passed when she was only 21.


Today Markita is caring for her mom which is 71 because that is what is instilled in her is to help others. Markita loves what she does and her good deeds never go unnoticed.

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