Meet Our Team: Lauren

Lauren Steensma is the new Grassroots Advocacy Intern for the Shot@Life campaign this summer. Learn more about her in this Q&A!

What drew you to Shot@Life and the UN Foundation?

I’m very interested in the UN, international development, global health, and advocacy so this was the perfect fit for my interests! The UN does great work in many fields, especially global health, so I was eager to help support their important work. Child immunizations is an effective way to improve global health for everyone by preventing the spread of disease. It’s a no-brainer to support global vaccine programs and I am so excited to help this great cause.

Where are you from, where are you in school, and what are you studying?

I am from Southport, Connecticut (about an hour away from NYC) but I was born in Atlanta and I grew up in Cincinnati. I am going into my senior year at University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland where I am double majoring in Sustainable Development and International Relations.

Can you briefly describe your previous work, intern, or volunteer experiences?

I have previously interned for NGO Sustainability and Senator Chris Murphy’s re-election campaign. During my internship at NGO Sustainability, I advocated for better local environmental policies and worked with the UN to spread awareness for environmental issues like climate change, sea level rise, and pollution. Prior to my internship with NGO Sustainability, I worked for Senator Chris Murphy’s campaign and other Connecticut Democratic campaigns leading up to the 2018 midterm election. Since the 2018 elections, I have volunteered for other Democratic political campaigns and for Democrats Abroad, helping US citizens living abroad to register to vote and request their absentee ballots.

What excites you most about being part of the Shot@Life campaign and what are you most looking forward to this semester?

Now more than ever, people realize the importance of vaccines. When I see pictures of my friends smiling with their COVID-19 vaccine cards and stickers, it makes me want to bring that same joy to a child in need of life-saving immunizations. I’m looking forward to learning more from everyone at Shot@Life, UNF, and from our Champions. I am excited to make a difference in the world and work toward improving global health.

What do you think the biggest challenge is for vaccine advocacy?

The biggest challenge for vaccine advocacy is misinformation. Unfortunately, many people hesitate to vaccinate their children due to their consumption of false information. The rise of the  anti-vaccine movement is already hurting public health. It is important for us to continue to advocate for vaccines and combat misinformation by spreading awareness of the efficacy and benefits of immunizations.

Do you have any fun facts that our Champions may not know about you?

I’m a twin! My twin sister is one minute younger than me.

  • Lauren is the Shot@Life Grassroots Advocacy Intern. She is a rising senior at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where she is double majoring in Sustainable Development and International Relations. Her interests include international development, advocacy, global health, and sustainability. After she graduates, she hopes to get her master’s degree and work in DC...