She was born in Texas, but make no mistake – Lauren is an Indiana girl.
"Both of my parents are from Indiana," she says. "I moved back to Carmel when I was about seven and have lived here since. Indy is pretty much my home."
She took up dance – not as early as some, but she found a way to make up for lost time.
Lauren's 2018 Colts Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Shoot in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
"I feel like most of my friends started when they were really young and I was actually really into playing soccer and things like that," she says. "Something about it just drew me in. I was starting late and it wasn't really my strong suit, but I loved it and I stuck with it, and I couldn't be happier with my decision."
Lauren danced through college at the University of Louisville. Trying out for the Colts Cheerleaders was always at the back of her mind. She figured if she ended up back in Indy, she'd give it a shot. And by her senior year, she knew what she wanted to do.
"I pretty much decided that was my plan. I was going to try to get a nursing job and was going to do whatever I could to become a Colts cheerleader."
She started by reconnecting with her former Ladybird teammate, Jessica G., who was in her second season with the Colts Cheerleaders.
"I didn't know her very well until I started reaching out to her about the Colts. She has been one of the best mentors and helped me along through the audition process and has turned out to be a really, really good friend."
While Lauren was auditioning for the Colts, she was also interviewing for nursing jobs.
"I remember talking to girls who were trying out and I brought up that I was applying at Riley Hospital for Children and Lori asked me which units I was applying for. She ended up being my mentor through the orientation process at Riley. She kind of eased me from the transition of being a nursing student to being an actual nurse."
Cheering and nursing may seem like very different jobs, but Lauren says they're more similar than you realize.
"Connecting with other people is a big part of our job. And that's the same way with nursing. You have to know how to handle individuals and meet new people and you have to be good in stressful situations, which I think is a big part of a cheerleader's job as well."
And spending time with kids is something she enjoys doing in both of her jobs.
"I go to work every day and the kids are putting smiles on my face," she says. "I knew when I was interested in becoming a nurse that pediatrics was always my calling. It's something about how resilient kids are. They do have bad days and that's understandable. But to be able to see them smiling and laughing is just amazing, knowing all the hard things they're having to go through."
Inspired by the kids she works with, Lauren encourages them to chase their passions – just like she did.
"And here I am now, living a dream that I never even imagined."