Potter_Lauren_photoAn 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 the part of a young ‘Andra Little.’ The producers of Glee were quite impressed and offered her a part on the hit FOX television series. Now in her fifth season on Glee, her role as ‘Becky Jackson’ continues to open doors for Lauren, and she hopes these doors will open wider still!  Glee celebrated its 100th anniversary episode on March 18, culminating with the graduation.

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.

Lauren 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. She does regular speaking engagements on college campuses around the country, as well as makes personal appearances, hosts Q&As 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 successes and tells anecdotes from her work in Hollywood.

She was recently appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. She 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” 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 National Down Syndrome Society in the U.S. and Canada, 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 most recently 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.

Lauren was raised in a large family in Riverside, CA, with 3 brothers and 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 and at www.facebook.com/lauren.potter.actress.activist.

The 2014 Strawberry Festival is May 23rd through the 26th

Friday (1pm to 10pm), Sat & Sun (10am to 10pm), Monday (10am to 9pm)

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