Title: Volunteer Coordinator (AmeriCorps VISTA program)
Humanities, Service Learning
BS, Education (Art), Missouri State University
Lauren is inspired by people "who seem to travel on the path less taken." Perhaps that's why this two-year AmeriCorps member, who has served as Parkland's volunteer coordinator for 2010-2011, is now planning to join the Peace Corps, where she'll continue her mission of giving back to the community. Before joining the Parkland staff, Lauren worked with AmeriCorps' City Year Louisiana program in Baton Rouge, where she developed a grant that enabled her team to repaint four hallways at the middle school where she worked with "bright colors and inspiring murals." She was also a member of the Parkland Alternative Spring Break group that went to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in March 2011 to plant a healing garden and labyrinth for its young cancer patients and their families. "Parkland College is engaged in the community; I have especially enjoyed seeing our students volunteering and working on behalf of others," she said.
It's likely no surprise to anyone that Lauren has read The Giver
by Lois Lowry more times than she has most other books, or that her favorite quote is from humanitarian anthropologist Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." A St. Louis native who enjoys art, reading, volunteering, and exploring, Lauren is also a bit of an athlete; she is in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Missouri State University Handball Team and plays numerous sports.
The Parkland family, fortunate to have had Lauren as its AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer coordinator, wishes her much success as she continues to "change the world," one service moment at a time.