Lauren B. of Hubbardston
Alliance Against Violence ~ Caring Today, Caring Tomorrow
While looking for a place to donate stuffed animals, Lauren was introduced to the YWCA of North Central Massachusetts. She became interested in the YWCA’s mission and soon learned about the needs of children in domestic violence shelters and the growing epidemic of teen dating violence. Lauren knew she wanted to help the children, but was also passionate about educating students about the differences between appropriate and inappropriate dating behaviors.
For the first part of her project, Lauren organized collection drives for school supplies and was able to fill 75 backpacks for children at the shelters. She also took this opportunity to educate approximately 1,000 men, women, and families. Next, she developed a Healthy Relationships/Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Education Program which she presented to high school health classes. Her interactive presentation included statistics, an introduction to the power and control wheel, a video, pamphlets, and discussions on healthy and unhealthy relationships. She further raised awareness through posters, banners, and articles published in local newspapers. “I was overwhelmed by the positive response and interest from the community, teachers, and students; and it affirmed my belief that we can change the world.”
A Girl Scout for 13 years, Lauren has devoted many hours to community service. She has fond memories of travel, activities and camping, and has earned the Bronze, Silver, and, now, the Gold Award. Lauren is a senior at Quabbin Regional High School where she is a member of the Blue Gold Key Society and Health Occupations Students of America. Lauren is a decorated field hockey player - captain and MVP of her high school team, a league all-star, and one of the top 60 seniors in the state. She also plays the flute and enjoys dance, particularly, hip-hop and jazz. Lauren was recently certified as a nursing assistant and plans to attend Anna Maria College where she will major in nursing.