April Volunteer of the Month

Lauren Wagner

Major: Bachelor of Social Work

Year: Senior

Colleges Against Cancer

We asked Lauren a few questions about why she volunteers and some of her past experiences, here's what she had to say:

Q: What is some of the volunteer work you've done?

A: Since my sophomore year, I have been dedicated to Colleges Against Cancer and Relay For Life. Starting as a committee member, I have worked my way up to President where I collaborate with other AMAZING volunteers to educate GVSU on cancer information and of course, plan and manage Relay For Life on April 11. It is an all night fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Beyond my extensive role with Colleges Against Cancer, I have also been involved in such organizations GVSU Cancer Warriors Network, Gilda's Club Grand Rapids, and BRCAn't Stop Me. If you couldn't already tell, cancer is an important issue for me. Finally, I am currently interning at the Lakeshore Clubhouse in Holland, MI. There, I work with adults managing symptoms of severe and persistent mental illness (called members). We collaborate on the daily operations of the Clubhouse and instill confidence in the members so that they may work toward wellness and recovery.

Q: What's been your favorite place to volunteer so far?

A: Of course, my favorite volunteer role is as President of Colleges Against Cancer. The committee members are such inspiring, fun, and hopeful individuals. Not only do they brighten my days, but they give me hope that a cancer free future could be possible if we keep working together.

Q: How did you start volunteering?

A: I have always been involve in volunteer projects, but I started with Colleges Against Cancer after I returned from going through chemotherapy in my Freshman year at GVSU. I wanted to get involved with an organization that would let me express my passion for kicking cancer's behind and CAC allowed me to do just that.

Q: Why do you volunteer ?

A: Volunteering puts good into the world. Not only do you personally benefit from the fulfilling experience socially and emotionally, but others are being impacted in a positive way. Volunteering connects you with a larger cause and helps you to understand the bigger picture of your community.

Q: What has been your most rewarding volunteer experience so far?

A: The most rewarding experience so far has been Relay For Life. It is absolutely incredible to see the GVSU community come together for 12 hours and fight back against cancer, a disease that has affected us all in some way or another. The feeling I get when I am able to inspire young adults to strive for a cure is incredibly fulfilling and the reason I plan on continuing my role well past graduation.

Q: What do you do when you are not volunteering?

A: When I am not volunteering, I am painting, binging on Netflix shows (just finished House of Cards - SO GOOD), trying new hobbies, or having fun with friends. I am always seeking a new adventure.