by JENNIFER FRAKES | photo by Thomas Photography

Doing Whatever It Takes

Lauren Clark is committed to strengthening the positive self-image of today’s young women. As a founder of the Embrace movement, Lauren promotes the work of women lifting one another up while fostering their own self-love. What began as a community-based social enterprise project her sophomore year at Francis Parker School, Lauren’s work and commitment is now evolving into a more global mission for Embrace.


Lauren’s work with Embrace is part of a national organization called Whatever It Takes (WIT), teaching students how to launch social enterprises. Lauren and her team began by selling Embrace bracelets locally to spread the message of positive self-image. “As we started promoting our message and reaching out to young girls across the community, we were selling so many bracelets we wanted to put our funds towards an Embracer who was in need of our support,” explained Lauren. “I loved the idea of creating a community where we could reach out and help one another with our message, collective love, and hard work.” The group chose to embrace a young woman who is an incest and rape survivor living in the Philippines. Lauren and her team have raised $1,000 for the young woman’s education. “I was lucky enough to meet her and live with her on my trip to the Philippines, and to say she is deserving of our support would be an understatement,” she shared.

Lauren’s greatest inspiration comes from the women in her own life, especially her sisters. “I grew up trying to be for my younger sister what my older sister is for me,” she said. Lauren acknowledged that she first joined the WIT program after being inspired by her older sister who had participated her senior year. Lauren also looks to the many other women role models she has had over the years. “From the media to my dance teachers to my old babysitters, I grew up with a very strong female influence.”

Name: Lauren Clark
School: Stanford University
Grade: Freshman
Parents: Catherie and Andrew Clark
Siblings: Christina (20) and Megan (16)
Favorite Local Spot: Thyme on the Ranch

Today a freshman at Stanford University, Lauren thinks about the role she plays for her younger sister in the community. “I want her to walk out of this place attached to her own self-resolve, for what she can give from her own spot on earth,” Lauren shared. “It is the biggest piece of advice I will ever give her, and the most valuable thing the women in my life have given me.”