Editor’s Note: Women AdvaNCe is proud to continue our recognition of young girls and women making change in the world. If you have a nomination, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominated by: Karen Brothers
When I hear the word fierce, I immediately envision Olivia Pope, the fictional character from the ABC television show Scandal, strutting through the halls of the White House (in some fabulous outfit, of course) as she prepares to fix whatever scandal confronts her and her fellow gladiators in that episode. She exudes intelligence, confidence, and a special brand of finesse that lets everyone know that everything will be alright. Fortunately, gladiators like Olivia Pope exist in real life, and I am honored to know a gladiator-in-the-making —Lauryn Elizabeth Brown.
Even as a little girl, Lauryn made a lasting impression on everyone she met. Inquisitive, precocious, and expressive (just try to get her to talk without using her hands!), she made it known that she would leave her own special mark on the world. Now a teenager making plans for college and a legal career, she does not disappoint.
Lauryn is currently a junior at Hickory Ridge High School in Harrisburg, North Carolina, where she is a Student Council member, Beta Club member, and varsity cheerleader. She also serves as a mentor to students at Hickory Ridge Middle School and as a buddy to a special needs student whom she accompanies to Special Olympics events. Outside of school, Lauryn is a member of Precision Dance Center’s competitive dance team and serves in multiple roles at Parkwood Institutional CME Church — treasurer of the Christian Youth Fellowship, Youth Sunday speaker, and choir member. Already saving for college, she works part-time during her breaks from school and babysits during her free evenings and weekends. Lauryn does all of this without skipping a beat and while maintaining her honor roll status every academic term. (Talk about Olivia Pope-like finesse!)
Lauryn’s commitment to service fuels her activism; she recognizes a need and takes the steps necessary to make it a reality. In February of this year, Lauryn organized and hosted her school’s first ever Black History Month celebration, which showcased students’ artistic talents (including Lauryn’s own lyrical dance performance) and invited African American business leaders in the Charlotte area to share stories of their own personal experiences and deliver messages of encouragement. Due to Lauryn’s hard work, the event was a great success. It will surely become an annual tradition at Hickory Ridge High School and a small piece of the huge legacy that this fierce young lady is creating.
Our shared future requires continued activism on behalf of many groups — women, girls, students, people of color, individuals with special needs. I have no doubt that Lauryn will continue to be an activist, advocate, mentor, and buddy. I envision her and her fellow gladiators strutting down the halls of buildings where important decisions are made to take on challenges affecting us all. Because of Lauryn Elizabeth Brown, I am sure that everything will be alright.