Lauren Kobylarz

Degree and Year: 
BA 2008
Professional Title: 
Program Director
Students Run Philly Style

Professional Background: 
After graduation I moved to Philadelphia and began working in nonprofit communications. I went to graduate school and earned a Masters of Public Administration with the goal of using my communications skills in the public sector. I am currently the Program Director at Students Run Philly Style, a nonprofit mentoring program that teaches middle and high school students goal setting and discipline through long-distance running. I train and communicate with 200 volunteer mentors who work with 1,000 students each year to train for races, including a half and full marathon. I also present our program outcomes to funders to ensure continued support for the organization. I truly believe that our program changes the lives of our students. I watch them gain confidence every day, as they work towards and achieve a goal they once thought impossible.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
The English department at Duke taught me to present my thoughts persuasively, appreciate different perspectives and think critically about my work. I remember analyzing every word of every line of a verse novel for a class. Whenever I write now, I choose each word carefully because I know how much every word can strengthen the meaning and tone of a sentence. Being an English graduate from Duke has inspired me to take risks and do something off the beaten path. My experience showed me the value in thinking about something differently, and gave me the skills I needed to bring those ideas to life.