Lauren Albert is today’s Notable Young Professional. She is the Development Officer at Autism Speaks Canada.
Lauren Albert is responsible for driving engagement within the Autism Speaks Canada community and brings together people with a shared interest and inspires philanthropy. Through her passion, commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and genuine love for her job, Lauren identifies opportunities for positive growth and empowerment to inspire tangible change.
What was the inspiration for your career route?
My Mom, grandparents and Michael Diamond – a very special friend, mentor and leader in our community who I truly admire and respect. They have all served as role models for me throughout my life and my career. I was born into a family that embraced the philosophy that there is no joy in having anything if you don’t share – my entire family has provided me with inspiration since day one and I would not be me without THEM.
What has been the most memorable milestone in your career?
The first project that took my heart began with a beautiful little girl that I met while in Tanzania. She was just one of many wonderful children that lived under the roof of Huruma Orphanage. After convincing the right person to join forces with me, I collaborated with a foundation in Switzerland. Beau Soleil eventually took the Huruma family under their wing. Moving forward from one of the most beautiful chapters in my life meant that they no longer needed me – and that was OK. That was the goal.
What future goals are you currently working towards meeting?
I want to continue working within a space where I can inspire, and be inspired, through my work every day.
In around ten years, I see myself running a foundation and giving back to all of the places that have won my heart on my career path. In the far our future, I will be traveling the world on my bike while working with and supporting the different communities that I learn from along the way.
What is your mentor advice for other young professionals?
Whatever you do – do it with heart.
How do you contribute time and energy to social issues?
My philosophy in life is that there is no joy in having anything if you don’t share. I try to make philanthropy part of my every day. I have the privilege of working for Autism Speaks Canada and I am proud of the work that we do to support individuals and families across the country living with autism.
As a volunteer, I have worked with victims of terror that have been given the emotional strength to move forward through One Family Fund. I both love and respect the organization that was built from the idea that we should all work together to take action and support those who are not as lucky as you and I – WE. The first time I fundraised for an organization, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), in support of my aunt – she climbs mountains every day.
To this day, I get to ride 150km alongside my 82-year-old grandfather in the annual MS bike ride to do the same. There are so many organizations that have stolen a piece of my heart and I will continue to try and help one person in my life (big or small) every day – personally and professionally.
What is one major challenge that you’ve been faced with in your career?
Accepting that I am never going to be able to change the world we live in and there will always be something. I grew to recognize that through the passion, commitment and heart that millions of people around that world give, we make a pretty unbelievable impact. I chose to be a part of the collective and contribute in any way that I can and I am still working on accepting that it is enough…
What does #NotableLife mean to you?
If something is notable, it will create a memory, it will inspire a community or it will contribute to growth and learning.
Where is your favourite place to wine and dine in Toronto?
Terroni/Bar Centrale – Yonge and Price. Warm, beautiful, reliable, delicious, the most awesome staff and the most awesome view.
What’s your favourite digital destination?
The two most played songs on my phone are “Life is Better With You” by Michael Franti & Spearhead and “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison.
What’s your favourite country to visit, and what’s next?
Tanzania – there are no words.
Spain/France/Italy – the Pyrenees to Costa Brava (on my bike!!!
What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Not being on my bike when the sun is shining.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Marshmallows and anything covered in peanut butter or chocolate.
What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Macarons > My family and my friends
What does success look like to you?
Witnessing someone I have inspired to do more good experience the reward, the feeling I get inside after witnessing that moment, playing cards in sweatpants with my person, riding my bike, hiking in the mountains, time with family.