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avatar for Lauren Potter

Lauren Potter

Best Buddies International
Global Ambassador

An inspiration to all, Lauren Potter has proven herself to be a young woman of strength and character.  When professionals told her she “couldn’t” or “wouldn’t,” she worked harder – sometimes to the point of exhaustion.  Barriers and limitations put before her became a personal challenge to let people know she is worthy of high ideals and capable of great expectations.

Lauren danced before she could walk.  She began classes at the age of three and has been doing ballet, tap, jazz and even hip-hop ever since.  She made her acting debut in the movie “Mr. Blue Sky,” playing a young ‘Andra Little.’ The producers of “Glee” were quite impressed and offered her a part on the hit FOX television series.  Her role as spunky cheerleader ‘Becky Jackson’ continues to open doors for Lauren, and she hopes these doors will open wider still!  “Glee” celebrated its 100th anniversary episode in March 2014 culminating with the graduation. The sixth and final season aired in 2015.

In 2012, Lauren was nominated for a SAG Award in the category of “Ensemble in a Comedy Series” for her work on “Glee.”  She was also honored with the SAG/AFTRA Harold Russell Award at the 2012 Media Access Awards.

She is thrilled to be using her public “voice” that “Glee” has given her to speak out for other people with disabilities who may not have the same opportunities.  Lauren most recently accepted an award on behalf of “Glee” from the National Down Syndrome Society at their annual gala in New York City where she talked about the enormous impact her casting in the ground-breaking show has had not only on herself, but for all people with special needs.

Lauren stars in and executive produced the short dramatic film “Guest Room,” written and directed by Joshua Tate (“Love Land”).  She plays ‘Amber,’ a young woman with Down syndrome who struggles with her identity, her relationship, and her potential as a mother following an unplanned pregnancy with her boyfriend. “Guest Room” made its World Premiere at the 2015 SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. It most recently screened at New Filmmakers Los Angeles. 

She was an Ambassador for Special Olympics 2015 World Games, and she has also been appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.  Lauren has served for three years on the International Board of Best Buddies and has worked with them in conjunction with Special Olympics’ “R Word: Spread the Word to End the Word” anti-bullying campaign.  Lauren has participated in the Abilitypath.org campaign against bullying which includes a PSA, and she lends her name and fame to numerous organizations including the Wylie Center, the Down Syndrome Congress, the AAPD where she accepted an award for her work on “Glee,” and many others.  She feels honored to have received awards for her inclusion and diversity from the Arc, the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, and the Full Life Festival, as well as acknowledgements from local and California State politicians.  She received the Sammy Award from Theatre Under the Stars’ The River Program in Houston for her work as an actress and as an anti-bullying advocate.

She does regular speaking engagements on college campuses around the country, as well as makes personal appearances, hosts Q&A’s and meet & greets, emcees events, etc.  Lauren brings her great attitude and fun personality to each event, as she shares her inspirational story of challenges and success and tells anecdotes from her work in Hollywood.

Lauren was raised in a large family in Riverside, CA, with three brothers, a step-brother and step-sister, and is an aunt to two nieces and a nephew, with another on the way.  She has a female Wheaten Terrier named Marley and a male orange tabby cat named Oliver.

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys watching movies and TV, dancing, and keeping up on social media.  She also loves listening to music and sings along throughout the day, particularly to anything performed on “Glee”!   She swims like a fish, was on the Victoria Club Swim Team and participates in Special Olympics sports as often as her busy schedule allows.

Lauren is both benefitting from and is committed to a simple ideal:  that she shares in the rights and privileges of all citizens and has much to offer.  By simple extension, she believes these rights extend to all people.

You can follow Lauren on Twitter @TheLaurenPotter, on Instagram at thelaurenpotter and at www.facebook.com/thelaurenpotter.