“I’ve noticed that today’s teens can carry the mentality that ‘one person can’t make a difference,’” says Lauren Aimee Carriere*, a recent graduate from Isidore Newman School, “and I simply don’t buy it because I’ve witnessed one person change a whole lot in a community.”
Carriere is the student leader of Heart of Passions, a student led nonprofit organization that hosts a summer retreat, Red Carpet Day, in New Orleans for teenagers all over the nation who are suffering with cancer. The organizations give those who are suffering with cancer a chance to get away from their daily lives in the hospital.
“Red Carpet Day retreat has provided me with the most rewarding volunteer experience because it allowed me to connect with the participants on a deeper level compared to the other community service projects that I’ve been involved in,” says Carriere. During the three-day retreat she stayed up late every night playing goofy games, making lasting friendships and listening to amazing tales. One evening, she received an e-mail notifying her that one of the participants had passed away and the only thing the participant would talk about during the final moments of her life was the retreat. Carriere cried about the passing of her friend, but was honored to give the teenagers bravery and carry amazing attitudes.
Heart of Passions has allowed Carriere to explore the business world. As a student leader, she, along with a team of 20, is in control of almost every aspect of the retreat. The leaders form the retreat’s itinerary and sponsorship, ask businesses for donations, invite patients and hospitals to participate and decorate a hospitality room.
At Newman, Carriere was on a committee called ACTIONS (A Committee To Involve Our Newman Students) that hosted Newman’s Breast Cancer Awareness Week. The event consists of a week full of fundraisers and activities dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. “I’m proud of this particular event because the small ACTIONS committee overcame many obstacles, and we successfully rallied the entire high school behind a single cause,” she says. “I feel that I’ve gained a more realistic and well rounded perspective of our community. I’ve also met a lot wonderful people and simply gained a lot of ‘real world’ experience through my volunteer work.”
Carriere also enjoys photography, music, Barre3 classes and travelling. While attending Louisiana State University, she plans on studying engineering and wants to start a nonprofit once she graduates.
*Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Lauren Aimee Carriere's name. We apologize for the error.