The 1828 Project’s one of our signature programs at IndyHub, and each year it’s full of incredible leaders between the ages of 18 and 28. Lauren was a part of 1828’s Class III. We sent her some questions. She responded. We totally think you should meet her, so keep reading.
IndyHub: How would you describe 1828 to a stranger?
Lauren: 1828 is epic connection. ‘Networking’ unfortunately has quite a negative connotation for so many, yet 1828 does just that in a fun, comfortable and appreciative manner. 1828 connects future Hoosier leaders with those who have and continue to lead in all fields.
How many years have you lived in Indy? What are some of your favorite Indy spots?
I have lived in Indy since I was 5 years old except for 4 years at IU Bloomington and 1 year in Chicago. (17 years total!)
How would you describe your connection to Indianapolis when you began 1828?
I have always believed in Indianapolis as a place the not only draws people here, but keeps them (often surprisingly).
Yet, even with my Indy pride, I found myself qualifying my reason for moving back and for staying here. 1828 continued to remind me why that qualification was unnecessary and strengthened my reserve to be an emphatic Indy ambassador.
What have you been up to since 1828?
Since 1828, I have implemented the EveryBody Rides program within Pacers Bikeshare with the goal to expand the reach of bike share users beyond the traditional (and statistically traditional) white male.
I’m consistently working to continue and better engage Cultural Trail users, adjacent businesses and downtown neighborhoods with the fantastic public space; and am assisting the North American BikeShare Association with some projects this spring and summer.
What would you say is the current environment for your work within Indianapolis?
When I was younger, I remember loathing the walk from Lockerbie to Circle Center Mall movie theatre (my parents always made us walk or ride our bikes). How exciting that more and more people are choosing to bike and walk, let alone live, downtown.
I am lucky to be involved in projects that make this a more enjoyable, accessible and relevant aspect of daily routine. Long answer, short, the environment for the Cultural Trail, bike share and community outreach is strong, recognizable and inviting.
What sort of organizations and events are you most excited about in Indy?
To narrow it down…I am really excited about the organization TeenWorks and their fantastic summer program for area high school students.
This spring and summer there are several exciting interactive, music and celebration events about and around the Cultural Trail + Monument Circle, which excite me because they continue to challenge the status quo of how Hoosiers interact with and benefit from community time outside.
Of all the cities where you could live, why did you choose Indy?
Indy has potential. I am driven to improve my community and work to “Be Bold” with my internal dreams and ideas. Indy embraces this enthusiasm and offers its resources to those of us eager to make this fantastic city better.
Indy is happening. Not even 5-8 years ago, there were a select number of activities after work and on the weekends downtown. Because of the immeasurable efforts and ongoing work of so many die-hard Hoosiers, there are more calendar bookings than one can fit in a weekend. How exciting!
Indy is kind. Hoosier Hospitality is a real thing for many of us here, and is a quality I appreciate in others and hope to exude myself no matter where I live. I am proud Indy continues to challenge me to be more kind.