Lauren graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2008 with degrees in Spanish, government, and plan II. During her time in college, Lauren focused much of her attention on the Latin-American community. Among other activities, she served as the first ESL program director at an Austin nonprofit and started a mentorship program for middle-school girls at risk of dropping out. For these and other accomplishments, Lauren was awarded the Truman Scholarship in 2007.
As an Autry Fellow, Lauren worked on the State of the South report, the Disconnected Youth program, and MDC’s strategic philanthropy engagements. Lauren has continued to draw on her experiences with place-based work and strategic philanthropy in subsequent positions at both the Strive Partnership and the Promise Neighborhoods program. In May 2012, Lauren earned a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is currently the assistant director of strategic planning at Jefferson Parish Public Schools, the largest school district in Louisiana.