The Next 125 Ambassador, Lauren Gehlen
What is your favourite thing about the YWCA? What area of the organization’s work is most important to you?
I love listening to YWCA program participants share their stories of resilience. Each time I hear a woman speak about her journey, I am humbled and inspired. I witness the power of women supporting women, and I want to do my part.
What drew you in to the YWCA?
My relationship with YWCA Metro Vancouver started as a Coordinator in the Communications department. Raised by a single mom, I had personal experience with some of the challenges YWCA program participants face. My position at the YWCA was my first purpose-driven job after university, and I was grateful for the opportunity. I learned first-hand how intentional and well-researched YWCA programming is, and how the YWCA’s mission permeates all levels of the organization.
What value does the YWCA hold for future generations?
The YWCA offers an opportunity to reflect on and draw from over a century of experience, while the organization adapts with and advocates for pressing issues of the current time. I can imagine this powerful combination will continue to hold value in the future. I also believe each woman who connects to her gifts and her power in a YWCA program creates a ripple effect in her family and her community that will carry forward into future generations.
Why are you committed to The Next 125 and what does involvement in this initiative mean to you?
I respect the breadth and depth of the YWCA’s work to advance gender equality, as well as the organization’s record of financial sustainability. I feel honoured to play a small role in ensuring the organization maintains a strong foundation into the future. There are many opportunities to partner with organizations to co-create the world in which we wish to live. I personally trust and believe in the vision and mission of the YWCA.
To learn more about The Next 125, please visit: ywcavan.org/next-125