Lauren Lopes

Age: 20

School: University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

I intend to motivate young people the way I have been motivated to pursue my dreams and overcome challenges my whole life. While I myself have been blessed with good health and fortune these past 20 years, I have also seen first-hand how some are far from fortunate. Whether I was building a house for an underprivileged man in Appalachia or taking on the role of a character overcoming great hardship, I paid great attention to how important and fulfilling it is to empathize with those in need.

Additionally, I have always made it a point to include and work to understand all people regardless of color, background, affiliation or opinion. It is important for me not only to not discriminate, but also to find and celebrate the good in everyone I encounter. Like this foundation, I plan to inspire people to do the same. I plan to follow my dreams without forgetting to appreciate those who help me get to where I want to be and to continue to give back to my community and beyond.

Once I graduate UConn, my long-term goals include pursuing my dream of becoming an actress by auditioning in New York City while juggling nighttime graduate school courses or an internship. I have big dreams to win an Academy Award in the next fifteen years, but while I am confident I can work to accomplish this difficult goal, I am also confident that I can fall back on a fulfilling career relating to my major/minor if my luck as an actress does not work out. Overall, my long-term plans are to follow my heart with a determined but realistic mentality, find financial stability so that I can take care of my parents and family, give back to my community, help those in need, and live a happy, healthy life.