Story by Awa Badiane ’21
Finding employment and internship opportunities that tie in with future career plans is the ideal for college students. Adona Lauriano ’21 did just that this past summer and was able to work at two jobs that pertained to her area of interest.
The experiences built on the skills she was already developing as the resource coordinator for Lawrence University’s Diversity and Intercultural Center (DIC).
Lauriano, a government major from Brooklyn, New York, started the summer as a worker for Meredith Jones’ judgeship campaign for Kings County Surrogate Court in New York.
“For Meredith Jones, we would be in the office trying to figure out ways she could publicize what she has done in the community,” Lauriano said. “Because in New York, when you are running for court, your community has to elect you. So, we were trying to figure out ways to highlight all the good she has done in her life for her community.”
Lauriano was able get a first-hand look at what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to becoming a judge. This is especially beneficial, she said, because she hopes to be a judge herself one day.
“I learned that if I want to be a judge, I need to start with my community impact now,” Lauriano said. “I’ve learned that everything you say and do matters. It’s important to try your best and make a change in a way that’s impactful for more than one racial group, more than one type of community in general. And to be nice, that’s very important.”
Jones fell short in the primary in June, but the experience was invaluable for Lauriano.
After the elections were over, Lauriano became a campaigner for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“I wanted something in my field,” she said. “I’m going into political science because after I get my undergrad, I’m going to law school. So, I’m trying to figure out which path as a lawyer I want to take. The ACLU helped me solidify some of my beliefs that I believe is important to have as a lawyer.”
As a campaigner, Lauriano helped the ACLU raise funds to keep its programs running.
Leading the DIC remodel
At Lawrence, Lauriano had been building her fund-raising skills as the resource coordinator for Lawrence’s DIC. Recently, the center revamped its space, and Lauriano was the advocate behind the remodel.
“I definitely do think it’s representative of the community,” Lauriano said of the newly remodeled space inside Memorial Hall. “The people who are up [on the wall] are portraits of 12 leaders that the community voted on. And it was something that I definitely pushed for, outreached on. Through surveys, polls, emails, yelling at people, asking them for their input, we wanted to ensure that it was reflective of what the community wants.
“And it’s not done yet,” she said. “There are going be vinyl letters that go up with words that inspire people from diverse backgrounds, which we also got from our community outreach.”
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.