For 25 years, Susan Rose worked in various positions in government and politics in the state of New Jersey until February 18, 1999, the day her world came to a screeching halt. Her oldest daughter, Lauren Rose Albert, was traveling in Morocco when she was killed in an auto accident. Susan was engulfed in grief, unable to function at work or at home.
After existing in a grief-induced limbo for more than a year, Rose was approached by friends who suggested that she start a scholarship fund with some money she had left from her political campaigns. She agreed to it but Rose didn’t have any direction so she decided to write and explore ideas about how to best honor Lauren’s memory. Not long after Susan started this process, the inspiration for the Lauren Rose Albert Foundation was born. “I spent years in government watching women fall through the cracks,” explains Rose. “Lauren was a mother. Her children were the most important thing in her life and I decided that the best way to honor her memory was to help mothers in need.”
One of Rose’s friends learned about the foundation and wrote an article about Lauren’s legacy and the foundation’s mission to help women for the Courier Post. The article hit a nerve and Susan found help in an unlikely place. Five years prior to the article being published, Rose had run for Camden County Clerk and lost to a candidate named Jim Beach. Beach read the article, remembered his former opponent and felt compelled to reach out to Rose.
“Jim and I hadn’t really spoken since we were political opponents and, at the time, I was still in such deep grief that I was just putting one foot in front of the other. We agreed to meet and that meeting sparked a friendship that lasts to this day,” states Rose.