By Micaela Michalk
Fifteen year-old Lauren Wheeler, with her brunette hair and large hazel eyes, is passionate about normal teenage girl ideals. She loves music and writing. That is not surprising seeing that Lauren won state awards in the middle school writing competition known as Power of the Pen. She placed first in state, winning the humor award in 2009, and then placing third in state in 2010.
Music also takes a big part in her life. Her brother, Drew Wheeler, happens to be in a band called Whitewell, and even before that was a successful musician in the band Sicadia. Lauren often goes to Musica with him, enticed by bands like Moon Men and Love Drug. However, there is another side to this girl, a side that takes the ‘typical’ away.
Lauren loves to give back to the community with volunteer work. That is not something most teenagers would devote their free time to, but to Lauren, it is a fun hobby. "I’m passionate about social injustices,” She explains.
Among various community service opportunities, Lauren’s favorites are Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society, and her all-time favorite, the Special Olympics.
At Habitat for Humanity, she works to build and repair houses for those in need.
While working with the Humane Society, she cares for different animals. Their ages and types vary, but to Lauren, they all deserve the love of a friend.
“It smells bad,” she admits, though, with a wrinkled nose.
Finally, at the Special Olympics, Lauren tracks times or simply cheers on the competitors. She even stayed the weekend at Ohio State University for an event, which she believes was the most memorable experience in her years of giving back.
Someday she wants to bring light into the world, possibly through a career in journalism.
"I've realized lately that is is more important to make a difference rather than to become wealthy,” she humbly says, as she looks into the future of her possibilities. In order to practice the necessary skills, she joined Mr. Friedline’s journalism class, hoping to add to the paper, website, and TV show that is to be.
“I want to further pursue something that will bring social injustices to light,” she explains.
Lauren does not do all of this without some inspiration though. Her favorite quote from Emma Bombeck, she looks to daily, “Do not confuse fame with success. Helen Keller is one, Madonna is another.”
Surely, she will not confuse them. Lauren is already heading down the right path. Think about what the world would look like if we did even a bit of what this tenth grader has accomplished.