SowHope Board Member, Lauren Spangler, first learned about SowHope’s work at a gathering with friends in 2018: “I was particularly inspired by SowHope’s mission and vision, which center around the empowerment of local leaders to solve local problems.” Not long after, Lauren joined the Board of Directors and the Fund Development and Marketing teams in order to lend her expertise to the cause.
Lauren, a lifelong Michigander, works as a Grants Manager for Kennari Consulting, but wasn’t always planning on working in the nonprofit field. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish before pursuing and attaining a Master of Public Administration, all from Grand Valley State University. “I have always been passionate about fostering equitable, sustainable, and vibrant communities in West Michigan and beyond, which is what drove me to pursue a career in nonprofit administration.” Outside of work and serving as a Board Member at SowHope, Lauren spends her time volunteering with and supporting other local organizations, in addition to reading, spending time with her dear dog, Wallace, and cooking for friends and family.
Lauren cherishes her time as a SowHope Board Member, which she says provides a uniquely rewarding opportunity to support women around the world. “It is also a wonderful way to connect with other passionate advocates for women’s rights through my fellow volunteers, board members, and the SowHope staff.” Lauren explains that, although each program of SowHope (wellness, education, and economic) is important, she is particularly compelled by projects which promote and provide access to education for women who may not otherwise have the opportunity. She also believes in the power of community. “By empowering transformation within a community by those who live and work in the community”, she says, “change becomes sustainable and impacts those who live in the community now and in generations to come.”
If there is one thing that Lauren would encourage others to do, it would be to immerse themselves in the work of SowHope and other organizations supporting women around the world. “Consider taking an active role in furthering these missions – whether volunteering, donating, or another method”, she explains. As for Lauren, she is committed to immersing herself in SowHope, “the positive change that I see in the communities that SowHope supports is more than enough motivation to continue giving my time to the organization!”
SowHope is very lucky to have her on board. Thank you, Lauren.