Lauren Sherman Doberman started volunteering with Friendship Circle in 2001, when she was 12. Back then, she visited Dina Kaufman in her home in Montclair as part of the Friends@Home program. This week, Lauren buddied up with Dina once again at Allie’s Winter Camp. The two friends, who have not seen each other in nearly two decades, quickly reconnected and enjoyed their time together.
“It was really nice to see Dina again,” she said. “Volunteering with the Friendship Circle as a whole and with Dina in particular, left a mark on me. I learned that no matter how different we seem, we all share similar emotions and we all grow and develop in our own ways.”
Lauren volunteered with the Friendship Circle through high school, and said of the experience, “It ingrained in me the importance of giving back.”
Today, Lauren, 32, is completing a PhD in stem cell biology and immunology at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences in Newark, and serves as program director for a National Institute of Health-funded summer training program. Her work includes studying the biology of stem cells, which can ultimately improve treatment of diseases.
During her return to LifeTown, she found her name on the Wall of Honor in the Lefkovits Teen Lounge. The wall lists the names of 7,500 teens who volunteered for Friendship Circle from its inception in 2000 until the opening of LifeTown in 2019.