Lauren is a 12th grade student from Colorado whose interest in emergency preparedness began a decade ago when she was in daycare. In 2012, Lauren remembers watching from the window as Colorado’s Waldo Canyon wildfire shot up black plumes of smoke. She will never forget how the Black Forest fire the following year left many of her friends without homes. Lauren felt helpless facing a wildfire then, but now hopes she can help prevent wildfires and prepare for other disasters using the experience she gains on the YPC. She would like to see more formal emergency preparedness curricula in schools and hopes the YPC can increase its social media presence to reach out to other youth about the importance of preparedness.
Lauren has volunteered with her local Community Emergency Response Team’s (CERT) “chipping” events in which community members bring brush and fallen tree limbs from around their houses to help reduce fuel for wildfires. Lauren started her school’s first Teen CERT, hosting a community Wildfire Preparedness Day event that brought together speakers and agencies from across our county. The CERT is planning a winter safety event as well.
In addition to her preparedness work, Lauren was junior class president and was elected student body president for her senior year. She serves on the executive board for Real Alternatives to Drinking and Drugs, a local organization that provides a fun, safe drug- and alcohol-free space for high school students to hang out on Friday evenings. Lauren has also volunteered with food drives to support a local food bank and with fundraising efforts for the Make-A-Wish foundation. She plans to major in environmental studies and public health in college.
In her free time, Lauren likes playing field hockey, going on adventures that take her out of her comfort zone, and spending time with her dog.