Lauren Abbott

Special Initiatives (SPIN) Coordinator
Artist. Latina (at heart). Future Hostel Owner.

"One of my proudest moments in life was being able to direct a camp in Mexico in 2014. It was absolutely amazing. I had found the opportunity through ESL (English as a Second Language) Cafe.. I signed up to volunteer but once they heard about some of my past experiences, I was asked to be the director for one of the camps. When I was there, I lived with a family for five weeks and directed a camp for three-and-a-half of them. We didn’t have resources but we had volunteers who helped us with almost 100 kids. The whole community really came together for this camp. It was amazing to see everyone do that and help us. I went back two years later and did it all over again. It was awesome. 

"My ability to share my creativity at Phoenix is huge reason why I am in the position that I am today. Before Phoenix, I had worked with youth through the government. I felt pretty suffocated creatively. Two of my friends told me about Phoenix and how they have forward-thinking ideas. I remember looking at the website thinking, “This is such a breath of fresh air”.

"When I first visited the Shelter to have my interview and see the space, I knew then that I could probably do some pretty cool things here. I appreciate the creative freedom. Being given so much leeway and freedom to think of new ideas and implement them leaves me feeling so fortunate.

"I respect Phoenix a lot for having that faith in me and in my job. 

"Knowing that Phoenix is needed in the community is motivation for me to come in every day. Knowing that there is such a strong need for Phoenix can somethings be draining and it can leave you wondering “If we’re not here, what’s going to happen”. Everyone here works so hard every day. I also love seeing youth take steps forward. It gives motivation to whomever walks through the door next. If one youth can do it, than the next can do it too.  Phoenix youth are phenomenal. They’re amazing.

“Doing fun stuff with the youth has been one of my goals from the start. No matter who they are, I want them to have “normal” experiences, if you will - safe, teenage experiences. They don’t need to think about how old or young they are, or even think about all the stuff that’s happening in their lives. When we took youth to a cottage with the Choir, you could see their confidence grew just in that one day. That was super special.

"Working with Phoenix has helped me learn to respect the process. I’m a visionary person and like having things done right away. I’ve learned that the little steps in between are very important. I’ve learned so much since being here."

Lauren has been working at Phoenix since March, 2015. She first worked at the Shelter and then moved into her current role in July, 2016.