Austin Laufersweiler is a 21-year-old student starting his third year at the University of Georgia, majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. He is deeply involved with multiple organizations on campus, and is on the Youth Advisory Board for the Born This Way Foundation. Here are 5 things Austin shared with us about his recent trip to LA for a summit with his Board!
The people. Never in my life have I been so inspired and motivated by a group of young people. Their kindness, courage, and determination makes them the perfect ambassadors of the Born Brave Nation, and I could not be more honored to stand beside them.
The stories. Resilience is a powerful thing, and everyone at the Born This Way Foundation is here to prove it. The members of the Youth Advisory Board, the staff of the Born This Way Foundation, and even Lady Gaga and her mother have lived the experiences that the Born Brave Nation aims to address. Hearing the stories that formed the vision of the Foundation affirms my passion for a kinder, braver world.
Los Angeles. Having been to LA once before, I had high expectations for the summit. However, those expectations were shattered. We were treated to delicious food, a fantastic hotel, and free range of the city in our free time (not to mention, the weather was outstanding).
The mission. Upon my acceptance onto the Youth Advisory Board, I understood and felt strongly about the mission of the Foundation. Regardless, I was uncertain as to its feasibility. As I sat on the plan ride home, I realized how greatly my perception had changed. I have never been so excited and determined to make a vision into reality.
Cynthia Germanotta. Her daughter has been an inspiration to me for years, and I now understand where she gets it from. My first conversation with Cynthia occurred at the desert table, and we bonded over tarts. Initially starstruck, I was unsure as to how I should act around her. I quickly learned that she had every intention of being genuine, and that I should do the same. She personally invested in each of us, and demonstrated her ability as a leader, visionary, and businesswoman—far beyond just the mother of an international superstar. I can say, without a doubt, there is no better person to lead and guide the important work of this foundation.