By: Amy Xiang
If it wasn’t for PEEP (Penn Early Exploration Program), ACLP Editor Lauren Davidson probably wouldn’t be at Penn today.
While still attending high school in her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren discovered Penn through a YouTube video about the campus, but was initially put off by the style of the buildings. A few months later, however, she was able to visit the campus in person through a free fly-in program for underrepresented minorities as well as first-generation and/or low-income students.
“Attending PEEP changed my view completely,” Lauren said. “Now, the architecture of the campus and the fact that each building has its own character and style are my favorite things about Penn.”
Lauren is currently a sophomore on the pre-med track, studying biochemistry, neuroscience, and fine arts. She is also involved in a wide range of extracurriculars at Penn: club gymnastics; a film club called Cubics Entertainment; African American Arts Alliance, where she does sound design; and After School Arts at Penn Program, where she serves as a dance mentor.
Her past experience and passion for editorial work, combined with her background as a second-generation American, made ACLP Editor the perfect role for Lauren.
“I'm the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants. They always told me about their struggles coming to America for college and that no one really told them how to succeed in college. So, the reformed curriculum of ACLP really resonated with me and I knew I wanted to be a part of it in any way,” Lauren said.
She also mentions the community-oriented aspect of ACLP, which is another important value she was taught by her parents.
“I learned that life is much easier, much more enjoyable if you share it with others. There is no need to go through life feeling that you are alone in your endeavors and trials. More times than not, there are people in your corner ready to support you and I’m very appreciative of that,” Lauren said.
Aside from working for ACLP and taking chem lab as an online summer course at Penn, Lauren enjoys spending her time practicing violin and piano, baking (though, not the cleaning that follows), and looking forward to the day when she can hit the golf course again.
If she could share one piece of advice for ACLP students, it would be this: “be proud of where you come from. Our culture is a rich and beautiful one.”