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Lauren Camarillo, Program Manager

I grew up in a small town in West Texas. As the grandchild of Mexican immigrants, I never took for granted the privileges afforded to me as a citizen. I knew that my grandparents had done migrant farm work, construction work, factory work, and truck driving in the hopes that their children would have a better life. My parents were the first in their families to go to college, and their hard work and effort allowed me to grow up in a financially stable home.


Growing up, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be or what I could be. My family members and family friends were hairdressers,  accountants, auto mechanics, and insurance agents, none of which I could see myself pursuing professionally. The only thing I was completely certain of was that I had to go to college. When I was in high school I had the opportunity to shadow doctors in a local emergency room. I got the first glimpses of a career I could imagine myself in that would require a long path through academia and the help of mentors. Shadowing in the emergency room introduced me to a mentor who would change my life. He inspired me to aim high and cast a broad net.


Fast forward several years, and I find myself now a Stanford graduate with a degree in psychology, thanks to the help of my mentor, friends, and family. These important people in my life supported me through so much struggle, including a leave of absence during my freshman year and the difficult decision to return to Stanford.


My goal as Program Manager at SLA Foundation is to develop and administer programming that inspires the amazing young people we work with to see themselves with bright futures that involve education, health, financial stability, and happiness. Getting inspired, taking initiative, and staying the course are lifelong endeavors that are made more possible with the help of mentors and community partners.