Fiver Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren

A longtime Fiver supporter, Lauren is now the co-chair of the Advocates for Fiver, a junior board committee dedicated to advancing the organization’s mission. With the help of her leadership, the Advocates are set to reach milestone goals in 2017!
Lauren Gearhart was first introduced to Fiver through the organization’s high school internship program. Lauren is the General Manager at Panjiva; hired as the tech start-up’s first salesperson back in 2009, she now manages both Panjiva's New York and Shanghai business teams. When she was approached about hosting Fiver kids at Panjiva as part of the Job Training program, Lauren recognized it as a good opportunity for both Fiver and Panjiva. Lauren and several Panjiva employees hosted a group of Fiver’s high school students at their office to discuss their careers and how they got there. “It was great for my team,” says Lauren, “but it was also a great experience for me. So that’s when I decided to join the Advocates.”

Since Lauren first joined the Advocates, it has grown from a small group of people who want to make a difference, to a well-structured and motivated committee that sets fundraising goals and plans major events for Fiver. The Advocates have hosted an annual wine tasting event and a 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, and are now organizing their first 5k race to benefit Fiver scheduled for Sunday, May 21st. The committee will also dedicate more volunteer time towards Fiver’s youth programs, and plans to coordinate activities and events for the Fiver kids throughout the coming year.

As the Advocates co-chair, Lauren is happy about the committee’s growth and upcoming events, but she is most looking forward to setting up more programs with the Fiver kids. Her favorite Fiver memory is when she hosted a particularly shy Fiver intern at Panjiva; while this student remained relatively shy and quiet, she demonstrated incredible growth when she presented her work to a group of Panjiva employees at the conclusion of her internship. Lauren shares, “It was really cool to see her confidence. There was a big change between when she first arrived and when she was standing up, presenting in front of everyone.”