A Powerful Influence in My Life -Lauren Simonis


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Lauren’s (right) first AMIGOS summer in Veraguas, Panama.

Well, Amigos, after two volunteer summers, four years on training staff, and three years as Training Director for the Tucson Chapter, my time with AMIGOS is finally over. I’m moving to Portugal as my next great adventure.

I will always be grateful to this organization for being such a powerful influence in my life. New Amigos, you have only just begun your journey, but ask any veteran and they will tell you this program opened their eyes to the world. Some of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in my life, I learned from AMIGOS.

I learned that we all have something to offer. The people who you think are so different from you, the ones you don’t always get along with, the ones who challenge you to be better — they all bring something valuable to the table and so their presence in your life is also valuable.

I’ve learned to always ask questions. So much of life is not a science — there is no one right way to do things. You have to constantly be checking in, checking back, and adjusting your approach to make a real impact on the world around you. Know what kind of impact you’re making and don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure. And more than anything, don’t be afraid to redirect if you get new information.

Did you catch that last one? Don’t be afraid to redirect. Have as many adventures as possible so you can experience the world. Being content is not enough. Find the thing that makes you passionate. Find your purpose. You won’t do that if you keep inside your comfort zone.

Not that there’s anything wrong with your comfort zone. AMIGOS has become mine, which is why I’ve come back to it again and again in my life and I know it will always be there when I return, with a new generation of change-makers taking on the world’s challenges.

I am so honored to have been a part of the AMIGOS legacy. Thank you all for the beautiful roles you’ve played in my life as mentors, as young leaders, and as friends.

¡Nos vemos pronto! -Lauren Simonis

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Lauren in the middle of a cinnamon roll hug at the end of 2016 Tucson Chapter training.
Gina Pham

Gina Pham

Gina is a fan favorite of all local chapters. She thinks the AMIGOS office is too air conditioned and wears a beanie everywhere she goes.
Gina Pham

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