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Lauren Lee Fischer
Lauren Lee Fischer is the seventeen year-old founder of The Washington Project. While most teens fall into society’s various traps that waste their lives away she took a stand against Pop Culture. Being an intern for the website myself her determination to stand for what she believes in is very inspiring. While interviewing her she revealed some little known factors that went into creating her website.
At what age did you become interested in being a writer?
“I started writing at a very young age, probably around 7 years old. My Mom entered me in a contest for aspiring young writers, and I jumped at the chance. I've been writing ever since - short stories, inspirational essays, speeches, and of course, articles against society's various evils.”
2) What made you adverse to pop-culture?
“Friends, actually. I know that's a horrible thing to say (let’s hope none of them are reading this)! It's true, though. Many of my girlfriends talk of nothing but clothes, boys, and makeup - things, that while fun in moderation, have turned into an all-consuming lifestyle. Guy friends also (while not necessarily obsessing over clothes and makeup) aspired to a superficial existence that revolved around their own comfort and indulgences. I knew that there had to be a deeper purpose out there than just living for ourselves, like that.”
3) Have your controversial opinions about society affected you socially?
“Surprisingly, no. Though, when I refrain from certain activities that I believe are wrong, people will tease me for being "innocent" or "naive." However, that teasing happens to everyone who takes a stand, so I don't consider that to be any special persecution. Overall, other kids who see me voicing my opinion want to voice theirs too - and I'm excited to see the ripple effects of that. There's been a lot of affirmation for what I do.”
4 )What prompted you to start a website?
“Everyone in life can put their talents to use for their own personal gain - but I believe there's an even higher calling for each and every one of us. When I started The Washington Project (http://www.the-washington-project.com/), it was more than a resume booster. It was aimed to reach out and help kids across the world who struggle with the influences of pop-culture. I want to make a difference. With the help of some great teen interns, that difference is starting to happen.”
5) Why George Washington of all historic leaders?
“I chose George Washington as the poster-child of the project, because as a young man, he didn't sit around. He didn't wait to be entertained, or wait to take responsibility. He embodied the change he wanted to make in the world. I admire the ambitions he had as a youngster, and think that he is the perfect role model for 21st century teens.”
6) Have your parents played a role in your success?
“My Mom has played a huge role in my decision to become an activist. She has been through a tremendous amount of hardship in her life, and her strength has been the thing that has propelled me through my own trials. My father abandon my family years ago, and was just sent to prison in 2011. My Mom was able to keep me focused and grounded through that time, making me stronger all along. She has sacrificed for me in ways that I will never completely understand, and I will always be so grateful for the inspirational figure she's been in my life.”
7) So far has your age been an asset or liability in terms of what you are able to accomplish?
“Am I allowed to answer that question with "both"? Because age, certainly, has been BOTH a liability and an asset! Since I'm 17, I haven't been able to take advantage of business smarts in the way trained adults often do. So, starting up my Project was difficult. Yet, there was also a lot of support as the Project developed, because peers and adults alike are always fascinated when young people take action for a cause that they care about.”
8) What are your goals for the future?
“My goal is to attend a four year university, before going on to get my J.D. and M.B.A. at an Ivy League Institution. Higher education will give me the means to effect change on an even greater level - hopefully reaching areas that are currently limited by my limited experience and youth. I'm sincerely looking forward to beginning college this fall!”
9) What advice would you give to other young writers who make a name of themselves?
“I would say: Get out there! Write. Start a blog. Don't be afraid of failure - talk to high level executives, make the calls, do what you have to do to get noticed. Life is about the people you know, so get plugged in with internships, etc. Don't consider your age to be a factor, even if other people do. Best of Luck!