Lauren Keller

Lauren Keller

My name is Lauren Keller and I am an Agent of Change. I am 16 years old and a junior here at PTS. I decided to apply for Agents of Change because I have seen a lot of beautiful things in my lifetime and I want other people to be able to experience and appreciate those things too. Thanks to my family and my education, I have grown to value knowledge, travel, service, open-mindedness, and the environment. These values fuel my passions, among which are women’s and gender issues, photography, writing, helping others, learning, and exploring.

Last year I was enrolled in a course called Global Studies: Women, Culture, and Development with Ms. Massa. The class opened my eyes to the injustices faced by people all across the gender spectrum everyday.

I am the current Vice President of the Eco Club. I have been interested in the environment since early elementary school. In second grade my friends and I formed a Tree Club and taught our class which materials were recyclable in our area. In fourth and fifth grade, we made up the Green Group and wrote articles about native endangered species and easy ways to save energy for our column in the school newspaper.

I am on a mission to visit every state park in Florida, every national park in the country, and every country in the world. This dream began when I visited Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Grand Teton, Canyonlands, and Arches National Parks, as well as Dinosaur National Monument, and Colorado National Monument in the summer of 2011. I earned Junior Ranger badges at each one of these places and the Junior Ranger motto “Explore, Learn, and Protect” is now something I live by.

In middle school I sold friendship bracelets to raise enough money for a school in Arusha, Tanzania (where my family and my mom’s company sponsor orphans) to buy a chalkboard. At the same time, I conducted an athletic uniform and shoe drive at my elementary school to provide the children with proper clothing and equipment for when they play soccer. We collected about 800 pairs of shoes. We sent over three shipments, but we saved a duffel full of shoes so we could pass them out in person when we went to Tanzania this summer. Meeting these kids face-to-face was an incredible experience after communicating with them through writing for so long. We toured a village near Arusha with our friend and local Kitoi and gained greater insight about the customs and culture of Tanzania through stories he told us and exploring a local market. Following our stay in Arusha, we went on safari in the Ngorogoro Crater and on the Serengeti where we learned about their ecosystems and witnessed the Great Migration.

This summer I stayed in the town of La Plant on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota with a group from Palmer Trinity. We worked with an organization called Simply Smiles that strengthens the sense of community in La Plant and provides the children on the Reservation with activities to keep them entertained throughout the summer. I loved every minute of my time there.

I want to use my skills and passions to create an initiative that will have a lasting impact on my community. In the future, I hope to write for National Geographic so I can continue to travel, learn, and make a difference in others’ lives.

Class Roster: Meet our agents of change