BY INDIANA NASH
NISKAYUNA- There are few other senior students who are as proud of their hometown as Lauren Wood.
“When I first started working at Play It Again Sports, I told my friends that my first pay check was going to be spent on Nisky merch!” laughed Wood.
The pride for her town comes with her deeply rooted involvement in it.
Wood has been to the town’s summer program every summer since she was in first grade.
“I’ve never missed a year,” Wood said. When she could not attend the camp herself, she became a counselor in training or a CIT.
Then she became a junior counselor for two years, which is a volunteer position.
Julie Lohre of the Parks and Recreation department said that there just wasn’t a spot for Wood.
“It was so sad because there just wasn’t an open position for her for a while. But she just came on to volunteer anyways!” Lohre said.
Wood has three siblings who are going through the program: Ben, Owen, and Emily.
“I’m pretty sure they’re all going to be camp counselors too,” Wood said, “The great thing about this camp is that it’s a neighborhood sort of camp. So you can see all of your friends and just walk or ride your bike home afterwards.”
As a camp counselor, Wood seems to be well-loved. During an interview with Wood, campers approached asking her to play with them or just to sit next to her for a minute.
While she loves working with kids, Wood said that her ultimate dream career is a spanish teacher.
“I love the language. It sounds beautiful,” Wood said. Two years ago, she took a trip with the Niskayuna Exchange Program to Spain where she stayed with a host family and went to school with the children.
She plans to go back in summer of 2017, shortly before she begins college, to visit the host family that she stayed with.
Wood has also picked up a few other languages throughout her high school career.
“I taught myself sign language and I go to these Silent Chats so I can practice,” Wood said.
Throughout the Albany region, Silent Chats are held for people who would like to practice sign language or to just meet others who are deaf.
In her junior year at Niskayuna High School, Wood also began taking German.
“It would be amazing to go to Spain to teach English in a spanish-speaking school . . . but at the same time, I’d love to come back to teach at Niskayuna. That would be the dream, honestly,” Wood said.
While she is sad to be leaving Niskayuna after her quickly approaching final year of high school, Wood said that she is also excited to live in a different place for a little while.
“I’m thinking of applying to SUNY Oswego to SUNY Buffalo because they both have great teaching programs and I know that SUNY Oswego has a great exchange program, which is really important to me,” Wood said.