Majors: English, Women and Gender Studied and African America Studies
TFA Region: 2019 Corps in New York City
Lauren Bell knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. She wants to help people. “Seeing people happy and if they’re not happy, figuring out what I can do in my power to make them happy — I just love that,” she said.
The hard part was figuring out the right way to fulfill her passion for helping.
Currently, Lauren serves as the president of UT’s service organization, Chi Kappa Phi, otherwise known as Chickadees. As president, Lauren connects volunteers to opportunities to make a difference. It’s also through Chickadees that she was originally introduced to Teach For America (TFA).
“In Chickadees we have a lot of alums and people doing TFA now,” she said. It’s largely the stories of former Chickadees that inspire her to take on the challenge of Teach For America. “My fairy godmother just finished her first year of teaching. She was talking to me about one of the worst days she had as a teacher. But then she said ‘I just know tomorrow is gonna be a good day for them.’ She knew they weren’t bad kids. They were just having a bad day,” Lauren said. That’s when she had her own realization about the difference she could make. “If every teacher just had that mentality things would be so much better,” she said.
Lauren was also drawn to TFA as an organization where she could provide kids with something she rarely experienced: an authority figure who looks like them. “I think the idea of representation is really important,” she said. “In my past, I didn’t have enough representation in general. It was really nice to have that one black doctor, one black teacher, and I want it to be more. I want my students to look at me and be able to say, you’re doing this and I can do something like it.”
In 2019, Lauren will be joining the 2019 New York Corps.