Meet Lauren Johnson, the newest SOVA team member: Research Assistant and Main Moderator. Lauren is a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Social Work. Her main interests include: social activism, traveling, and attempting to learn new languages.
We interviewed Lauren to find out a little more about her as well as gain insight about our project.
What are your educational aspirations?
As of right now, I am focused on gaining work experience and building a career. My aspiration would be to use my educational background to try to make the world a better place in some small way. I have spent the better part of my life in a classroom, and now is the time to take everything that I have learned and put it to use in the “real world.”
Despite having no immediate plans to continue my education, I would like to take several Swahili classes, to become more familiar with the language.
Where do you see yourself in your career 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I would like to own my own business, possibly a non-profit, and continue to fight for social justice. Ideally I would love a job that would allow me to directly impact my local community, while also attempting to affect positive social change on a global scale as well. I would love to be work to address health disparities that exist for so much of the world’s population.
What personal goals are you working toward right now?
Right now I am attempting to teach myself Swahili. I have a limited working knowledge of the language, but I would ultimately like to become fluent one day.
I have also been focused on remembering the importance of self-care. Life can become chaotic and overwhelming, but every day I try to do something for myself. I have recently begun meditating, which greatly contributes to my self-care.
What do you like about the SOVA project?
I love the idea of engaging people and bringing them together through an online platform. I think that the SOVA project is an innovative idea and could positively impact on so many people. I am a firm believer that in order to help people you have to meet them where they are at, and the SOVA project does a fantastic job of this.
What do you think are some of the barriers to the project gaining speed?
I believe the greatest barrier to getting the project to gain speed would be the registered users not logging on, reading, and commenting on a regular basis. If every registered user for the website commented at least once a month, the website would see a lot more traffic and an online community could really begin to take shape.
What do you think are some of the strengths the project already has?
Just like the greatest barrier, I believe the greatest strength of the SOVA project would be the registered users. There are several users that regularly log on and comment on the various blog posts. Due to the number of registered users, it is proof that there is a need for an intervention of this type. The users are the backbone of the SOVA project and are the ones that create that online supportive community.