At just two years old, Lauren Luke was removed from the hope of her biological parents – literally ripped from the arms of her grandmother by Social Services. Her parents were drug addicts who, it was determined, needlessly put the lives of their young children in danger. Over the course of the next two years, Lauren was moved between five foster homes, until she was adopted, at the age of four, by Bill and Ethel Luke. Since that time, Lauren has exhibited a determination not to portray herself as a victim of circumstance, and has risen above what might be expected of her given her past. She is an exceptional soccer player and student, playing for her high school as well as the very good under-18 Washington Rush. When asked to give a speech to the incoming freshmen at her school about bullying, she gave them some inspirational thoughts to mull over. “Hope – what I want you to get from my story is that there is hope,” she said during her speech. “No matter how low your life gets, you can overcome anything.”
"I have had the pleasure of coaching Lauren for the past couple years as her club coach at Washington Rush. Not only is Lauren an amazing athlete on the field, but a role model to many younger players as she works with soccer players within Rush and the local community," commented Lauren's coach and Washington Rush Technical Director Ben Somoza. "She has a positive, outgoing personality that is infectious to be around. I couldn’t imagine a better person for this award."
Said Lauren of being named a finalist, "It's a great honor being nominated for this award and having people find my story inspitational, I appreciate all the support that has been given to me throughout the local community and Rush."
To vote for Lauren please click here. Winners will be announced January 3rd!