Feature Friday: Queen Lauren Willie, Volunteer Manager - National Ability Center

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Feature Friday: Queen Lauren Willie, Volunteer Manager

Full name: Queen Lauren “Rockstar” Willie

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Position: Volunteer Manager

Hobbies: Rowing, Hiking Dormant Volcanoes, Crafting, Home Demolition

What brought you to the NAC?

A passion for creating opportunities for others who seek to generously donate their time to support a cause they believe in. And of course I love the mission and how my position helps to further it.

What should we know about Lauren?

First and foremost, Lauren loves to travel. She graduated from the University of Utah with a double major in Public Relations and International Studies. Not ready to jump into a 9-5 after college she moved to Australia for an internship with the U.S. consulate. After that she joined the Peace Corp for 27 months, but she has spent over 30 months total in Cameroon, Africa. While there she researched how to promote the use of local assets, community member’s skills, and local resources to benefit and further develop the infrastructure of the community. She also, brought hand cycles to people with Polio so that they could get around easier and planted lots and lots of Moringa trees. Interestingly enough you can use every part of the Moringa tree. Lauren told us the leaves are the best because you can add them to any dish and they will add a good source of calcium. After her Peace Corps mission Lauren attend Westminster for her Masters in Arts and Communities Leadership. She was in the first cohort with an international development focus, essentially, learning how to run non profits. Her thesis was: The Voice of Indigenous Populations in Development. Her time in Africa was a huge influence in this as she sought to make an argument to bring community development back to the grass roots level. After achieving her Masters degree Lauren worked for the Ronald McDonald House and developed their volunteer program. Lauren was ready for a new challenge and loves the outdoors so naturally the National Ability Center was a great fit.  The NAC would not be what it is today without help from our many volunteers. Lauren’s role is crucial in organizing and empowering our volunteers while ensuring they feel appreciated and valued for all of their precious donated time and hard work.

Fun Fact, how Lauren became a Queen:

Lauren is a Queen in Africa! Her title is Ekandim Nkanda. She was given the highest honor awarded to women in the Manyu Division in Cameroon, Africa. This honor was bestowed upon her because of the work she did in the community and her ability to listen instead of imposing Western culture on the people. Since she is a Queen, if someone should offend or cross her she may fine them one goat and up to one cow.

You are stranded on a deserted island, who would you bring and what is one item you have to have?

I would have to bring my niece and nephew, Mason and Emma. We would have to have snow cones, because if that isn’t happiness I don’t know what is.

Lauren is absolutely wonderful to work with. She greets you with a smile and makes you feel like a member of the NAC family from Day 1, regardless of what you do to help the organization. Also, she has great candy at her desk so going to her with questions or just to visit is always extra sweet! Thank you for all you do Lauren!

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Posted on Jun. 23th

EKANDIM LAUREN WILLIE is an amazing example to so many people. She is one of the most incredible people I have met. She is truly emanating Christ like love to God’s children and she will be richly blessed for her selflessness. She is generally friendly and willing to take up new challenges. She has ability to work with little or no supervision and can work efficiently under pressure.

Diana McKay

Posted on Jun. 23th

Lauren makes each volunteer feel not only welcomed and appreciated but also as a friend!
Thanks Lauren!!

Whitney Thompson

Posted on Jun. 23th

Thanks Diana! Lauren is awesome! And volunteers like you are what makes our programs possible. Thank you for being a part of all that we do!

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