Lauren Jeffress, a senior at Eureka High, was named the city of Eureka’s first-ever Citizen of Distinction. The honor came after some inspiring things she has done in the community.

After she lost a close loved one, Jeffress’ high school community rallied around her. Now, she is paying it forward by helping others who have experienced similar losses.

“I tried to turn tragedy into inspiration and learned to take what happened and channel it into helping others,” Jeffress said.

Some examples of how Jeffress helps her community include raising money for The BackStoppers organization, starting a grief support group at a middle school, and collecting money and supplies for families experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Eureka Mayor Kevin Coffey said the new Citizen of Distinction award recognizes young adults for their enthusiastic leadership and dedicated support designed to improve the lives of others.

“It’s important that we appreciate and recognize young people who are building leadership in our community,” said Coffey.

In college, Jeffress hopes to start a nonprofit organization to help people who have lost a loved one.

Lauren Jeffress (1)

Lauren Jeffress, the city of Eureka’s first Citizen of Distinction