Name: Lauren Seroyer
From: Suwanee, GEORGIA
School: Peachtree Ridge High School
Forward Scholarship, 2017
My passion for volunteer work started at an early age. Because of
this, I’ve found significant ways to remain involved within my
community. The moment I realized giving back is what I am supposed to
be doing, I had a very organic and genuine start to a community
project that later flourished into something much more. When one of
my classmates asked for my breakfast at school, I knew there was a
need in my community. I’ve chosen to volunteer in the area of teen
hunger. After seeing the significance of teen hunger, I chose
to take an uncommon approach. My twin brother and I worked to
create the Community Assistance and Resource Effort, or The CARE
Closet. These confidential, mobile food pantries are in private areas
in high schools locally and out of state. Students can confidentially
visit the CARE Closet to retrieve food and hygiene items to bring
home to their families.
In the beginning, one major obstacle I had to face was my peers
not initially understanding why I was doing what I had chosen to do.
In the typical teenage mind, you only do things that benefit you. You
don’t truly understand the long-term impact you may have on others.
Being the type person that I am, I never let this bother me because I
knew that my overall goal was so much larger and more important to me
than any teenager’s opinion. Because of this I could stay focused,
making very intentional decisions to work towards my main
I gain the most
satisfaction from knowing how much of an impact my foundation has
made. It truly is providing people with a crucial service that allows
them to function and be successful.
Along with the development of my project, I’ve had to put my
marketing skills that I learned in my high school classes to use to
properly market myself in the way that I want others to view me. This
has exposed me to working with real businesses to create things for
the good of my volunteer work. “Looking forward, I have a plan in
place for after my brother and I go off to college. Since by then
we’ll have a solid foundation, the administrative toolkit will
serve as the total “instruction guide”. It includes personal
notes from us about why this is so important, and it will help with
the business aspect of owning a CARE Closet.
I want students to create an overall school culture where they can
look to each other for any type of help- regardless the situation. I
absolutely think CARE Closet will have a tremendous impact on the
teen hunger issue. If I were to come back in ten, twenty, or thirty
years, I’d expect to see overall change in the school culture,
where students are less apprehensive to ask for help. Hunger will
likely continue as a global issue that will require our hard work and
dedication as we help make this world a better place.