Lauren Stienstra is the senior manager for research and policy in Arlington’s Department of Public Safety, Communications and Emergency Management, and she is the founder and program manager for HERricane Arlington, a summer camp and continuing education program designed to give high school-aged girls the knowledge, skills, and abilities to survive disasters and consider careers in emergency management and allied fields.
“I was reflecting on my own experiences, and I thought about what really inspired me to start getting into emergency management and disaster response—and I found myself really motivated by the summer camp experiences that I had in my youth,” Stienstra said. “I really set out to create a similar experience for women in Arlington County.”
For her work with HERricane Arlington, Stienstra has been named one of three Women of Vision for 2018 by the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Women are selected from the government, business, and nonprofit communities for their commitment and leadership in Arlington. The honorees will be recognized during a ceremony on June 26.
The second year for HERricane Arlington kicks off next week, offering teenage girls hands-on, developmental training in incident management, natural hazards, public health, CPR certification, all-hazards preparedness, communications and public speaking, and leadership skills. It was recently named one of the top summer camps in Northern Virginia by Northern Virginia Magazine.
“We’ve also started to see this program catch in other areas,” Stienstra said. “I’ve been in consult with emergency managers across the nation to make sure that this program can reach communities from the east coast to the west coast to the south and really getting the message out about how to advance women, both in the profession, but also in their communities.”
Arlington County is publishing video interviews with all three Women of Vision honorees. Check the Newsroom for additional videos before the June 26 event.