According to senior Lauren Berninger, attending Gallatin was one of the easiest decisions she has ever made. “The ‘classroom without walls’ philosophy has motivated me to take advantage of the vast and varied learning experiences that NYU and New York City have to offer,” she says. Berninger is interested in creative writing and social entrepreneurship; her concentration is “Self-Representation and Recreation Through Life Narrative.”
Through an independent study project, Berninger designed a curriculum workbook and guide for a summer camp and outreach program she founded for girls ages 8 to 12. The idea behind the organization, Finding the Fabulous (www.findingthefabulous.net), she says, is to “target the core causes that increasingly diminish girls’ self-esteem, inner beauty, body image, health and ambition.” Berninger won a 2011 NYU Reynolds Changemaker Challenge Award and received a Do Something grant to develop a sustainable business strategy for the organization.
At Gallatin, she took a course with Professor June Foley, director of the Writing Program, called “Writing for Young Readers.” She also worked with Foley as an adviser for the Literacy Review. Berninger did an internship that has since turned into an editorial position at ClaudiaChan.com, a media-branding firm that celebrates positive change for and by women. After graduation, she would like to pursue an M.F.A. in poetry and to continue her role as director of Finding the Fabulous.