Laurada Byers is the founder of the Russell Byers Charter School (RBCS) which she opened in 2001 as a tribute to her late husband, a well-known Philadelphia columnist. By 2018, RBCS will serve 725 elementary and middle school students from approximately 42 neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
She currently chairs Philadelphia Charters for Excellence, an alliance of high-performing public charter schools in the city. She is the founder of the Philadelphia Film Festival which is celebrating its 26th year.
She has received wide recognition for her community service, including Philadelphia Magazine’s Volunteer of the Year Award and the Drexel University School of Medicine Woman One Award. She is the author of two Book of Blessings which have sold over 55,000 copies. She earned her MBA from Temple University and is a real estate broker. She lives in Center City Philadelphia and has two children and three grandchildren.