July 5, 2012

HUTCHINSON “FINDING HER PASSION” BY SPENDING TIME AT OLD STOMPING GROUNDS

RICHMOND, Va. – Ordinary, boring, unmotivated. Those are words that have never been used to describe Lauryn Hutchinson, a rising senior on the VCU women's soccer team.

Anyone who has ever met Hutchinson has seen the passion and eccentricity that makes the Sterling, Va. native who she is today. Those are the reasons why her old high school, Dominion, called on her to be one of the speakers at their 2012 Senior Seminar back in May.

"Being asked to come back and speak at my old high school was astounding," Hutchinson said. "It wasn't until college that I realized how blessed I was to attend such a remarkable high school like Dominion. Dr. Brewer and his staff put everything they have into the school and attending Dominion enabled me to be where I am today. Any small way that I could give back and say thanks to them, I had to jump at."

Hutchinson, along with Joseph Williams, a football player at the University of Virginia who also went to Dominion, spoke to the seniors about anything and everything that might come at them right after high school. After the open forum, the seniors were split into smaller groups of males and females with different stations with Hutchinson's station being "three tips to follow to help be successful right out of high school."

"I knew I would get some questions about playing at VCU and with the Trinidad and Tobago national team, but I really wanted to focus my presentation on the part with the graduating senior females," Hutchinson said. "My goal was to make these female walk out of my session with something that they could run with wherever they choose to go in life. I wanted to come up with three things that weren't everyday tips."

In true "Hutch" style, her passion came out with the smaller groups. Here's the excerpt from her "three tips":

"The first tip was "Details". When details come in to play, things can either go in the right or wrong direction for you.  Things like going the extra mile each and every day can get you that job promotion, or that spot on a team. What's going to set you apart from the person next to you? Taking care of the details now, will enhance your life later down the road. The second tip was "don't just be another number."  In our day and age, females are oppressed and looked at as the weaker sex.  That's just how society is; men just have one leg up on us and by not being a statistic, females can break that social norm. Female statistics about drugs, alcohol, pregnancy and STDs comes out every year between the ages of 18 and 24. My goal was to inform these females to make it a priority to stay away from these things. Once you become a number, you will always be a number. The last tip I presented was "Spit in the wind." My step father told me once that he loved me so much because every day when I wake up and walk out the door I spit in the wind.  By this he meant that every day I presented myself in such a way that I don't let society dictate who I am. It shouldn't matter which way the wind blows, spit and stand for what you believe in.  I don't let society oppress me just because I am a female. I told these females to spit in the wind and take smart risks. I want these females to spit in the wind because I want them to realize what they are capable of doing on their own two strong feet."

With presentations like that, it's not a surprise that Hutchinson would love to be able to get her nonprofit organization "Find Your Passion" off the ground in the next 10 years.

"I would love to travel the country and interact with young children up to high school age on finding their passions," Hutchinson said. "Today's adolescents get involved with so many negative acts and if I can get them to understand that passion can save their life, they will be on track to do something special someday."

It sure looks like Hutchinson has already found her passion.

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