Lauren Boswell has always been captivated by space, urban landscapes, culture, and the policy-making process that creates diverse and sustainable communities. At the age of 16, she was nominated by Congressman Steny H. Hoyer to represent Maryland’s 5th District as a House of Representatives Congressional Page. The experience of living and working on Capitol Hill surrounded by lively debates on national policy solidified Lauren’s desire to study Urban and Environmental Planning and African-American Studies at the University of Virginia and work towards creating sustainable policy for America’s most disadvantaged cities and communities.

As a student at the University of Virginia, Lauren volunteered with middle school girls through the Young Women Leaders Program, and was awarded a research grant to extend the program to include a local high school. Lauren was also an active member of the Black Student Alliance, eventually becoming the organization’s President.  Under her leadership BSA won the title of Best Organization at UVA in 2010.

Lauren began her work in the nonprofit sector as an intern with the Public Housing Association of Residents, an organization that seeks to empower and educate residents living in public housing. Lauren organized job readiness opportunities for public housing residents, facilitated home ownership seminars, created volunteer opportunities, and most importantly, gave public housing residents in Charlottesville, Virginia a platform for civic engagement and involvement.

Upon graduation from UVA, Lauren enthusiastically embraced the challenge to become a Teach for America 2010 Corps Member. She made the commitment to teach Kindergarten for two years in an underserved community in Washington, D.C. Through teaching, she gained broad insight into the needs of our nation's families while understanding the obstacles that can arise in formulating sustainable policy.

Lauren has earned a variety of awards for her civic engagement and scholastic achievement. She was awarded the Reid Ridley Full Scholarship to the University of Virginia and the College Career Award from the UVA chapter of the NAACP. Lauren was presented two awards from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, including the 2008 Mabel G. Young/Grant Capital Management Scholarship for her civic engagement and the 2009 Land-Use Planning Scholarship for her dedication to the field of urban planning.

As a National Urban Fellow, Lauren is committed to synthesizing her diverse experiences into a career in serving the public as an administrator and community advocate.