“SVSU makes it easy for me to love what I do every day; SVSU is truly home for me. I simply love everything it has to offer — the campus life and all the opportunities for growth.”
For Lauren Little, it’s all about making connections.
The professional and technical writing major spends her summers volunteering and works during the school year giving tours as a Club Red ambassador and an Orientation Leader.
One day, Lauren was performing with a student gospel group, when the mom of a student she’d given a tour to came up and said, “Lauren, you did so well!”
Thing is, Lauren had given this tour two years before. No wonder the orientation leader won a Student Ambassador Award.
“That’s the kind of connection I want to make,” Lauren said.
Lauren was just starting high school when her brother Derek died.
“It really changed my perspective of what I do now and why I do it,” she said.
“Any race I’ve ever run, any bar I’ve ever jumped over, sandpit I’ve jumped into — I’ve always had a vision of Derek in the back of my mind. That’s my motivation for everything.”
But Lauren remembers what it’s like to be young and not sure where to go with her life. Lauren volunteered with Salvation Army throughout the summer in metro Detroit. That’s how she met Tia Russell, who had an idea about what they could do to help young people. She and her friend Tia Russell began an organization called Take My Hand. Take My Hand is aimed at helping children ages 12 through 19.
“That’s when a lot of people get lost,” Lauren said.
The project aims to pair young people with older friends, for a chance to receive mentorship and advice on the challenges life throws their way.
“And now, I want to take that person’s hand and walk them through whatever they’re going through,” Lauren said. "When I was in high school freshman year, you wouldn’t have thought that I was graduating, or that I was going to make anything of my life.”
But today, Lauren’s dedicated. If you’re on campus early in the morning, you might spot Lauren, running the streets in a blood-red shirt. On the shirt’s front, bold white letters scream “TRUST.” And on the back: “IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE, YOU DON’T BELONG.” Up at 5:30 every day, Lauren organizes her life around this single activity — this peaceful moment between her and the road she runs. Her friends make fun of her for it, she said, but she loves it. (Well, it’s a hate-love relationship, she explained. She hates it while she’s doing it, but she couldn’t imagine skipping it.)
Dedicated to self-improvement, Lauren hopes to go on to pursue a master’s degree, live in Chicago and eventually to run her own public relations firm. But ask her, and she’ll tell you — education is the top priority.
It’s why she’s glad she chose SVSU.
“SVSU is truly home for me — it makes it that much easier for me to love what I do every day. I simply love everything it has to offer — the campus life and all the opportunities for growth.”