Letter from the Executive Director

HSC Welcomes Democracy Fellow, Lauren Sands!

Four years ago, we added a member to our team whose charge was to support our nonprofit sector’s voter registration and voter engagement efforts. She made various contributions to that effort, especially this video, featuring several of our members as well as then-Ohio State President Kristina Johnson, then-Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

In the years since, we have very happily created digital resources and brokered and engaged in partnerships with a national entity called “Nonprofit Vote.”

As recent events have underscored, and with the anniversary of our nation’s founding tomorrow, this work remains vital. And not just to our civic health.

As the National Council of Nonprofits affirms, “Charitable nonprofits improve our lives, add vitality to our communities, contribute to our local and national economies, and enhance the health of our democracy.”

We very much agree. That’s why we’re thrilled that several of you are working with Nonprofit Vote as we speak, and why we’re thrilled to announce the addition of our Democracy Fellow, Lauren Sands! 

Lauren will activate and support our members in engaging in nonpartisan voter registration and voter turnout efforts. She will develop and implement resources and strategies to increase voter registration and participation in Franklin County. Accordingly, Lauren aims to engage with diverse communities and reach populations typically overlooked by our political processes

A recent graduate of Oberlin College with a BA in Sociology, a minor in Africana Studies, and a concentration in Education Studies, Lauren brings a rich community service and leadership background. During her college years, she played on Oberlin’s varsity volleyball team, assuming the role of team captain in her fourth year. As an Oberlin native, Lauren was deeply involved in community initiatives, particularly in youth outreach. She actively contributed to the Ninde Scholars Program, supporting underrepresented middle and high school students in accessing higher education. In April of 2024, she received the Student Excellence in Education Programs Award from Oberlin’s Bonner Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Research for her work with the program. Lauren also volunteered at the Lorain County Urban League, assisting with their Scholastic Read and Rise literacy initiative, and worked as a Peer Advising Leader, helping new Oberlin students transition into college. 

Having recently relocated to Columbus, Lauren continues her passion for community engagement and commitment to uplifting marginalized voices.

We could not be more excited to welcome Lauren to the team for this critical work, and we hope you’ll join us in this work!