Building Lifelong Community Leaders
Lauren York is the perfect example of the impact the Volunteer Center of Lubbock can have on an individual. Lauren’s journey with volunteerism started at the Volunteer Center and continues today. She has been involved in multiple programs the Volunteer Center has to offer and believes she has gained insurmountable growth, skills, and knowledge through those programs.
Lauren first heard of the Volunteer Center when she joined the United Way Youth Division her sophomore year of high school. She had always had a passion for helping others, but it is through the United Way Youth Division that she learned how to put her passion in play. Lauren got to volunteer with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, which showed her the needs of her community and the change just one person can create. “The only regret I have about being a part of the United Way Youth Division is that I didn’t join my freshman year,” said Lauren.
While in the United Way Youth Division, Lauren had the opportunity to be in two different officer positions. Lauren was a Senator her junior year and then the Vice President her senior year. By being an officer, Lauren learned more about what the Volunteer Center has to offer and was inspired by the amazing work they did in the community she grew up in. Lauren realized that she wanted service to always be a part of her life.
Lauren moved away from Lubbock to attend Texas A&M University. Although she is over four hundred miles away, she “will always keep the Volunteer Center of Lubbock close to her heart.” It was her time in the United Way Youth Division that inspired her to make service a part of her path in college. “The first organization I joined on campus was the Student United Way, because I knew I wanted to have the same opportunity to volunteer as I did in high school with the United Way Youth Division,” said Lauren. Additionally, Lauren knew she wanted to do more with her degree. She decided to pursue a degree in accounting, while also obtaining a Certificate of Nonprofit and Social Innovation through Mays Business School. “I had never considered working at a nonprofit agency until I saw the amazing impact the staff at the Volunteer Center has and realized I wanted to be able to create the same kind of impact,” said Lauren. It is because of the Volunteer Center that she knew this Certificate was for her.
When it came time to think about her summer plans after her sophomore year of college, Lauren knew she wanted to be the Nonprofit Fellow at the Volunteer Center of Lubbock, a program she had heard about while in the United Way Youth Division. The Volunteer Center was so excited when Lauren reached out to apply for the position and heard about her plans for her future in nonprofit. “I knew there would be no better opportunity for me to learn about what working at a nonprofit is like and I am definitely not disappointed by my experience. I could not have learned more,” said Lauren. Through the Nonprofit Fellowship, Lauren had many opportunities to do things she had never done before, like attend a board meeting. Lauren was able to become a part of the staff and gain incredible work experience.
“Not only have I gained so much knowledge, but I have also gained so much love. The Volunteer Center staff feels like family,” said Lauren. Lauren is forever grateful for the experiences she has had at the Volunteer Center and the Volunteer Center is excited about Lauren’s future and knows she will be able to achieve wonderful things.