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BJUG DAY: Q&A with Scholarship Recipient Lauren Mendez ’15

BJUG DAY: Q&A with Scholarship Recipient Lauren Mendez ’15

Posted by:
October 28, 2021
By Veronice Craker
Marketing & Communications

Your investment in scholarships is an investment in the personal and economic well-being of individuals and our communities. With your support, students will join generations of Lutes who are thought leaders, engaged community members, and local leaders. With increasingly diverse lived experiences, their presence on our campus generates a greater understanding of the complexities our mission strives to achieve in diversity, justice, and sustainability. When you invest in a PLU student you are investing in our collective future.

Meet Lauren Mendez ’15, a psychology major and Rieke Scholar who received a number of scholarships, including the Katherine Kandel and Elizabeth Oleksak Scholarship for the Women’s Center. We asked Lauren about her time at PLU and how her scholarship benefitted her. 

What would you like to share with your scholarship donors?

Thank you so much for providing a scholarship opportunity to me. Because of your generous support I was able to pursue an education full of meaning and rigor. I met incredible faculty and staff that poured into me and believed that I could make a difference.

What is your fondest memory of your time at PLU?

I was incredibly thankful to be connected with the dCenter (Diversity Center) at PLU and attended an Alternative Spring Break Trip that was a Civil Rights Tour in both Georgia and Alabama. This trip was an opportunity to immerse myself in both the history and continued Civil Rights work.

How did your PLU experience prepare you in ways you did and didn’t expect?

My coursework and opportunities at PLU helped me to better understand my own identities and different structural injustices that impact our world. Because of the comprehensive and engaging curriculum I received, I knew that to be an effective educator I must work toward culturally responsive and equitable educational practices, and come to education with the knowledge that my students and their families’ voices must be valued and heard.

What has your vocational journey looked like since leaving PLU? 

I currently work as a school counselor in the Auburn School District, and as an advisor at Seattle Pacific University in their Multi-Ethnic Programs office. Working in the Auburn School District has provided me opportunities to give back to the community that I was raised in and the school system I attended the entirety of my childhood. In the future, I hope to continue to advocate for equitable practices in education, and the value of socio-emotional support for students.

Let's keep the conversation going! Read the additional Bjug Day Q&A's

Bjug Day Q&A: Athletics

Bjug Day Q&A: Academics

Bjug Day Q&A: Student Experiences