2019 Young Adult Honouree
The philosophy that drives Lauren Castelino is to always see solutions instead of problems and ultimately grow from all of her experiences. This is very evident reflecting on the challenges Lauren has personally experienced around policies that have excluded her from opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way, and how she’s chosen to adopt the mindset to be inclusive and to keep an open mind no matter what she pursues. Taking the high road, Lauren has become a changemaker, helping to empower others to embrace the same mentality and become change makers too.
A number of initiatives spearheaded by Lauren have launched through Pitch It Green, an organization she founded whose mission it is to bridge the disconnect between youth, environmentalism, and entrepreneurship. One project that aligns particularly well with Lauren’s love for supporting small and local businesses selling sustainable products is Pitch It Green’s Ecopreneur Box. The seasonal subscription box is made with products sourced from local ecopreneurs, and the funds go directly toward Pitch It Green’s sustainability-focused business opportunities for youth.
One of her most memorable moments of giving back, so far, is when she secured a government grant to create a garden at her (now former) high school. Teaching a class how to plant the myriad of herbs and vegetables for the garden will be forever etched in her mind as a highlight of this time.
What has also inspired her to help others is the wealth of knowledge she’s acquired through her independent study of environmental issues. Lauren believes it is powerful information and meant to be shared, especially the importance of growing food organically, sourcing locally, and treating farmers ethically.
Learning how to manage a business has been truly profound for Lauren. She identifies the obvious skill sets she’s cultivated such as accounting, marketing, and operations; however, she also emphasizes the value of the soft skills she’s acquired such as appreciating different perspectives and collaborating with others. Seeing first-hand a concept becoming reality and realizing that hard work truly does eventually pay off is incredibly rewarding.
Lauren encourages everyone to keep themselves informed on local and global issues that affect their lives and stirs something in them. Ask questions. Dig deep. This will inspire you to want to make a difference, get involved with your community, and share your gifts.
Motivated by the satisfaction of loving what you do and doing what you love, Lauren strives to become more engaged with humanitarian projects. A dream of hers is to teach English in a developing country, learn the language and culture there, and help grow small businesses abroad.