Fellow of the Week – Lauren Simao


Lauren is serving her second year as a Senior Fellow and with MGH Youth Scholars

What inspires you to serve?
My youth are definitely my biggest inspiration. This is my second year serving at the same host-site, so I’ve been fortunate enough to build strong connections with an amazing group of youth. Our MGH Youth Scholars are passionate, inquisitive, insightful, and powerful, and the time I spend with them drives my passion for the work.
What social justice issue are you most passionate about and why?
This is a super tough question, but recently I’ve become very interested in the intersection of gender equity and access to clean water and sanitation. There’s a women’s collective in Mali who have partnered with the United Nations Development Programme and the Mali National Directorate of Agriculture to bring improved access to clean drinking water to their community via solar-powered wells. I love learning about and from powerful women!
What benefits have you been able to take advantage of as a Massachusetts Promise Fellow and how has your experience been with those benefits?
One benefit that stands out to me from my time as a fellow has been the opportunity to take classes for free in Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. I am super close (2 classes away!!) to a Master’s Degree in Global Studies and International Relations, concentrating in Development and Global Health. I’m excited to bring what I’ve learned in the classroom and through my service to the next phase of my life and in careers throughout my life.
What do you do to practice self-care?
I am not always great at self-care, but my favorite things to do are running and dancing. This year I’ve also started meditating, and while I’m still working on building a strong practice of my own, it has been immensely helpful to me this year. Shout out to the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at MGH!

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