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Spotlight! Lauren Silverman (Leadership Institute Edition)

Name: Lauren Silverman

Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Job Title: Associate Director of Changemakers Engagement and Strategic Partnerships

Organization: Jewish Federations of North America

Time in current role: 1 year

College/School: Franklin and Marshall College (BA); Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership (MAJPS)

Area of Study/Expertise: Undergrad: American Studies/Environmental Studies; Masters: Jewish Professional Studies

What do you like most about working in the nonprofit sector? I love working for an organization where caring is at the root of what we do. We are mission driven and impact driven. I feel lucky to be in a role and a community that is affecting so many people, and ultimately generations to come. As an employee, I also feel like I have been able to gain so many skills in non profit work from event planning to community engagement to fundraising to data management and so much more.

What drew you to the Leadership Institute? I currently work on a leadership development program for Jewish young adults. As I continue to think thoughtfully about what success looks like in my job and the program that I am growing, I thought by participating in the Leadership Institute, I would be able to grow my own personal skills and see how leadership development feels from the perspective of a program participant. In the past few months, I feel like I have already gained so much both in my personal leadership, as well as understanding how to implement it in my work.

What do you like most about YNPN? I currently am the sole professional of my organization based in Chicago. I love that YNPN has opened up a great local network for me of peers and mentors who work in the same field as me. I love attending some of the in-person programs offered through YNPN because it makes me feel more connected to the local Chicago non profit community.

Favorite place to volunteer? I volunteer once a month at Lincoln Park Community Services. LPCS is an organization that provides support, resources, and interim housing to individuals experiencing homelessness. I cook dinner with a group of young adults in partnership with two organizations, Base Lincoln Park and Repair the World. We make dinner for 35 individuals who reside at LPCS for up to 90 days. It's given me a chance to try out new recipes, improve my cooking skills, discuss homelessness, inequality, and inequity in Chicago, and give back to my local Lincoln Park community.

What is your favorite hidden gem in Chicago? I love Cafecito! They have a couple locations across Chicago- one conveniently across the street from my apartment. Their coffee is out of this world and their sandwiches are delicious. It is always my go-to and I recommend it to every person I meet.

Favorite vacation you've been on? For my 30th birthday, my sister and I traveled to London and Paris. We've never traveled just the two of us and it was so much fun to travel throughout Europe together. We saw close friends who live abroad, went to incredible restaurants, had afternoon tea, visited museums, and went on a culinary walking tour. It was picture perfect and such a special way to celebrate.

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