Lauren Black


By far the person that has impacted my life the most has been my grandmother, Connie Black, with her kindred spirit, love, and selflessness. When I was an infant, my Dad was a single dad attending graduate school with custody of me and living with my grandparents. So, my grandmother has been my anchor with spiritual, physical, emotional, and educational support since the beginning of my life.

My grandmother introduced me to Oak Grove AME Church at an earlier age. She took me there in a baby carrier before I could walk and then at ages 3, 4, and 5 enrolled me in their preschool and kindergarten. I really love church and am actively involved in the Church School and the Young People’s Division of the Women’s Missionary Society (YPD). As YPD’s 1st Vice President, I am responsible for all fundraising and our numerous community service projects.

Supporting me by attending my Girls’ Varsity Swim Team and Concert Choir events, my grandmother increased my confidence and desire to do my best. She attended the lengthy swim meets and choir concert no matter where they were held. Several swim meets were as far away as Oxford, MI. Another example of her support is her making sure that I completed the requirements to participate in an awesome tour of Europe with the People to People Ambassador program last year. Now that I am about to graduate, she keeps me focused on meeting my senior deadlines and qualifying for college.

My grandmother has instilled in me values of religion, education, humility and family that hopefully will guide me throughout my life as I make major decisions and become a contributing citizen in the global society.