Lauren Latimer is one of two 2017 Inheritance of Hope Legacy Scholarship recipients. The scholarship is awarded to a college-bound high school senior who is living with a terminally ill parent and who demonstrates a compelling personal and financial need, a strong sense of family, and collegiate promise. Lauren grew up in Lakeland, FL and will attend University of Florida in the fall. Learn more about this scholarship winner!
Q & A with Lauren Latimer:
What is unique about you?
I have a CRAZY amount of freckles!
Name one fun fact.
I love to surf!
How did you choose your major?
I will be going to the University of Florida in the fall and will be majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis on International Relations. My goal is to obtain my master’s degree in International Business. I decided on this major after a mission trip to Nicaragua with my youth group. I have always been enamored with different cultures and traveling to Central America was eye opening. I loved the people’s willingness to give with the little that they had and knew that my heart was being called there. My hope is to be able to make a lasting impact on the people of Nicaragua through becoming educated on the culture, language, and global business aspects.
What's the most important thing you learned in high school?
One of the most important things I have learned in high school is how to balance your personal life (like your mother’s cancer) and a heavy course load. Although home life was a struggle with my mom losing her hair, getting sick, and multiple doctor appointments, I managed to keep my grades high and remain resilient through the situation that was in front of me.
How do you define success for yourself?
I define success as being joyful in the job I have and fulfilling the calling that the Lord has called me to. I believe being successful looks different for everyone, whether it is raising a family or being the CEO of a company.
What does your life look like in 10 years?
For me, I hope to be in love with the life that God has created for me and doing His work to further the kingdom. I hopefully see that as going to Central America and helping the people of Nicaragua. However, I can tell you from personal experience that God always has a different plan than what you expect to happen so who knows!
How will you use your Inheritance of Hope Legacy Scholarship?
I will be using my Inheritance of Hope Legacy Scholarship to pay for books and other odds and ends needed for college. It will help me pay for things that people don’t necessarily think of that are important for college!
How has your mother's illness impacted your high school experience?
My mother’s cancer has impacted my high school experience in multiple ways. I had to experience a lot of things that my friends at 15 and 16 years old never had to face. It has caused my family to become extremely close and stronger together. Likewise, it has strengthened my faith to fully trust God in every aspect of my life because cancer causes you to have no control of the situation. Your trust has to be in the only thing that is constant in your life, God.
What's one of the most valuable things you learned through that challenge?
The most valuable thing I’ve learned through my mother’s cancer is the delicacy of life. It has created a sense of urgency in myself to live “your best life.” Because of my mother’s cancer, I try to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. My mom’s death caused me to realize that life is short, and there is too much to live for rather than worrying about a silly Calculus grade or something that is not of eternal value.
What advice would you give to high schoolers dealing with a parent’s terminal illness?
My advice to fellow high school age children who have a parent with a terminal illness is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! One thing that I struggled with throughout my mother’s cancer journey was that I knew no one my age that had a parent with a terminal illness like mine. I felt like I couldn’t relate to people my age about things like hospital visits, chemo appointments, and the strange diets my mother had to be on at times. However, I would encourage them to go to Inheritance of Hope or a similar organization and realize that there are people in the same situation. For me, at Inheritance of Hope it was comforting to be around people who were affected by the same things as me and didn’t see it as weird or uncomfortable to talk about. Know that you’re not alone and that it will get better even when it seems like all hope is lost.
Who is your cheerleader?
My biggest cheerleader would have to be my dad. He is extremely supportive of the choices and decisions I’ve had to make through college, graduation, and relationships. He is strong, resilient, and determined to provide for my sister and me. I love him and wouldn’t know what I would do without his wisdom and support!
To learn more about Lauren, hear her share her story: