Lauren DeRosa

High School Student, Student Board Member, Advisory Board Member

Lauren is a graduating Senior at Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy. She has been working in cooperation with Impact Teen Drivers for four years and developed the "Make An Impact Week: What Do You Consider Lethal" program. She has reached outside of her own school into the Gilroy community, speaking to the middle schools of Gilroy Unified School District. Lauren was also a speaker at the Western States Roundtable for Safe Teen Driving in April 2019. Lauren is passionate about the issue of reckless and distracted driving programs because of a personal connection. When Lauren was a seventh-grader, her best friend's older sister died the night before Mother's Day, a week before her Sweet Sixteen. She was a passenger in a car with three other girls, none of whom had also succumbed to the crash. The driver was driving with her provisional license at twice the speed limit. She turned around to look at a passenger's phone, and she hit a tree on Natalia Salcido's side of the car. This was what drove Lauren to do presentations and develop Make An Impact Week with the hope of never seeing another community go through the trauma of losing a teen unnecessarily.

Lauren became involved in ITD when California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Miceli went to her school with the proposal to create a program that could be taught throughout a school week. “I took all of the tools provided to me and I compiled them into a curriculum that schools can implement in thirty-minute increments throughout the next five days to create a fun-filled week of activities!”

Her wish for the future: “I hope to see more students like myself presenting to their fellow students in a peer-to-peer style such as the format that Impact Week encourages. I think that not only does the participation in Impact Teen Drivers benefit the students who are being presented to, but it positively helps young people grow and promote change in their community.”