Student Spotlight - Lauren Graham

March 14, 2014

Q: What does the Lead4Justice campaign mean to you?

A: Lead4Justice is a movement that is aimed at opening the eyes of Stonehill student and anyone affiliated with the college to show that many of us have strong passions for social justice. Our school is full of leaders who have the potential to make change in our community and the world. There are a number of justice “areas” that Stonehill students, faculty, and staff care about; the justice issues of one person may be completely different from those of another, but the common theme is that we all care about something. I think it is important to let the members of our school community come forward to share their passions and learn about others’ passions because this campaign is not only a way to acknowledge that we care, but also to spark interest in others and eventual change around us.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Lead4Justice?

A: I heard Prithak’s idea for this conference during the first Into the Streets meet this semester. I loved the idea of extending service and justice beyond any type of passion for justice. I think it is amazing that we are working to bring something together that the college has never seen before; in our history, there has never been a student-organized and student-run conference or event with as many components as the Lead4Justice conference has. I joined the committee beginning to the final product. I also got involved in hopes that we could inspire students to share their passions openly with others to the point that justice and passions become common topics of conversion among the members of our school community.

Q: Tell me about your work with the Best Buddies program.

A: My social justice passion is promoting respect for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and on campus I do this through Into the Streets and Best Buddies. I am the Into the Streets coordinator who manages Stonehill volunteers at the HOPe House through the school’s chapter of Best Buddies. Best Buddies is a global club that works at creating friendships between people with and without IDD. Here at Stonehill, I work with the individuals at the nearby HOPe House to create “buddy pairs” of people with IDD and Stonehill students. We have small weekly event at the HOPe House and we have a few big events each semester such as holiday parties, arts and crafts days, and dances. At the HOPe House, I have many fun and inspiring friends with IDD, and being the president of our school’s chapter of Best Buddies has allowed me to vocalize my passion for including, respecting, and accepting individuals with disabilities. I hope that by making people with disabilities such a big part of my life, others will see how much they have to offer and also find ways to learn from everything they have to share.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Stonehill?

A: My favorite thing about Stonehill is that I feel like my passions matter here.