Lauren Allen - Arkansas Nomination and Photography by Photography by Melisa Issue 49 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Lauren Allen is an amazing young woman. She spends weekends and free time volunteering with her church through an outreach program, by mentoring under privileged youths and helps serve dinners to cancer patients and care givers at a local nonprofit lodge. All while keeping her grade point above a 4.0 and plays soccer and volleyball.
Photography by Photography by Melisa
What else should we know about you? I love to spend a lot of my time doing volunteer work for different organizations. For over 2 years now, I have been working with an outreach program through my church where I spend time with little kids and families in an underprivileged area of Little Rock. I love getting to play with the kids and teach them more about God while doing so.
What is your favorite thing to do with the kids? I really enjoy painting the little girls’ nails and playing football with the boys. I also love getting to teach them about the Lord and see them start to get to know God more and more.
What is a favorite memory from working with this outreach program? I will always remember this one little girl named Myla who was there my very first-day volunteering. We quickly hit it off and became friends and she decided to give me her mom’s phone number so that she could reach me whenever she wanted. One day I was doing homework at my house, and I got a call from a random number and thankfully I decided to answer it. It was Myla calling to ask what I was doing and to tell me that she missed me so much. This made me realize just how important I was to these little kids because they saw me as a best friend and someone that would always take care of them.
What was your portrait experience like with Photography by Melisa and what was one thing you'll always remember from it? My experiences with Melisa have always been wonderful. She is a kind, hard-working, and very talented photographer. I will always remember this photoshoot with my guitar because my friends and I thought it was so funny when everyone would be watching me while I was pretending to play for everyone.
Photography by Photography by Melisa
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I am very dedicated to my schoolwork and I maintain a GPA above 4.0 every year. I take multiple AP classes, including an honors foreign language class, and I have been inducted into the National Honors Society and the National Hispanic Honors Society at school.
Why is having such a strong work ethic so important to you? My parents have always instilled in me the importance of education to be able to get a good job doing what I love when I am older to support my family and help those in need.
What has your favorite AP class been and why? My favorite AP class has been AP Physics 1 because it is challenging to understand, but once you figure it out it is actually enjoyable. I also love my teacher in this class!
What honors foreign language are you taking, and do you have any plans to visit that country? I am taking Honors Spanish 4 and I would love to visit a Spanish-speaking country one day and be able to communicate with the locals!
What do you do in the National Hispanic Honors Society? I was recently inducted into it and I was called on-stage at the school ceremony to be awarded a certificate for my academic excellence in my previous Spanish classes.
Image by Lauren Allen
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I feel passionate about volunteer work, as previously stated in my nomination. It is something that I devote a lot of my time to, and I believe that all teenagers should be a part of at some point in their lives. It is extremely rewarding to directly see how you are impacting other people's lives that need it the most.
What tips do you have for teens interested in getting into volunteer work but aren't sure how to get started? I would advise all teens to start local. If you are involved in a church, then ask your pastor or youth pastor if there are any outreach programs that you could be involved in. You could also start by signing up to volunteer at a nearby food bank or animal shelter. However, my most important piece of advice would be to find some kind of volunteer work that would allow you to work first-hand with people because there is nothing better than the rewarding feeling of directly seeing who you are helping and how it improves their lives.
What is the hardest thing you have ever accomplished, and how did you do it? I would say teaching myself to play guitar was very challenging and I accomplished it by frequent practice and watching YouTube videos to learn.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? My advice would be to always give your best effort in school because it really pays off in the end and to find a group of friends that will always have your back and support you through thick and thin.
Image by Lauren Allen
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? As of right now, I see myself going into the medical field and attending the University of Arkansas.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? I love to go shopping with my mom and my friends!
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I can wakeboard, waterski, and wake surf on the lake.
3 Things on your bucket list I want to go to Bora Bora and stay in one of the huts on the water, visit Santorini, Greece, and swim with dolphins.
Who do you find inspiring? My mom inspires me because of her strong love for others and how willing she is to help anyone that needs it.
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I think that my dedication to volunteering could possibly inspire others to begin volunteer work too.
Look for Lauren in issue 49 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!