Born and raised in Washington, DC, Lauren Zapko graduated cum laude with University Honors from the University of Alabama in 2016, receiving a Bachelor of Science in management and a minor in public policy studies. With the Honors College, Lauren loved volunteering with READ Alabama, serving as a mentor to elementary school students in the Tuscaloosa County school system. After working with Impact America, Lauren hopes to attend graduate school, eventually pursuing a career in education or public health.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment is deciding to attend the University of Alabama and moving over 800 miles away from home. Choosing Alabama was completely out of my comfort zone because it was so far from home and everything that I knew. Looking back several years later, I still cannot believe I did it, but I have never been happier with a decision.

Name and describe a memorable place you’ve been.

Years after visiting Hawaii, Black Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii stands out in my memory. The black sand, created by the constant volcanic activity from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, extends from the grand palm trees all the way to the Pacific Ocean, creating the most amazing sight.