Lauren Raymond, a third year student at Texas Lutheran University, is a student leader passionate about making education accessible and universal regardless of socioeconomic status. For over two years, she has worked with a local elementary school, which is located in a predominately low-income neighborhood of Seguin, TX. In addition to recruiting and facilitating long-term tutoring volunteer experiences for TLU students through a co-curricular course, Lauren has helped to re-shape the TLU tutoring program to focus on long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships. She is currently exploring possibilities of expanding the school's partnership with educational departments at TLU to better share resources between both TLU and the elementary school.
From an early age, I have always wanted to help people, regardless of age. My mom is a teacher, and I grew up hearing about the value of education both at school and at home. Having a teacher as a parent meant that I spent a lot of time at schools, helping to tutor each morning before classes began and in the late afternoons helping teachers prepare for their lessons. Because of this direct connection to education, I have enjoyed connecting with and mentoring students, particularly those students that are under-resourced. As I became more involved as a college student, I began tutoring and mentoring at Jefferson Elementary School through a partnership with the Center for Servant Leadership. At the Center, I recruit ongoing, long-term volunteers to mentor and tutor at Jefferson Elementary, which helps to bridge the resource gap that exists for many students attending the school. Working for the CSL and volunteering at the elementary school has opened my eyes to the socioeconomic issues in this area, and I am so glad that I get to connect TLU students with the children in the school and give those children a role model and mentor.