Social worker, coach weaves life experiences into empowerment lessons for Lawrence youth

Audrey Trowbridge sits in her basement surrounded by glitter, wood, paint cans and her favorite crafting supply of all time — pipe cleaners. Her craft room serves as a retreat, and during remote learning, the Free State High School social worker took her video conference calls there.
Behind her, a painting of a glowing Black woman wearing a bejeweled crown draws attention. When asked if she painted it, Trowbridge says one of her sisters gifted the piece to her. Its placement is purposeful. She wants others to see it in the background, but she also hopes to glean inspiration from it when she glances at herself on screen. The powerful art serves as a self-affirmation and a reminder while advocating for herself and her students.