Lauren Perez Pietruszka

Transformation Coach


Lauren Perez Pietruszka is a Transformation Coach with the UChicago Network for College Success (NCS) specializing in Freshman Success and continuous improvement. Her career in education is built on the belief that all students deserve an education full of authentic engagement, rigor, and opportunity. She began her career as an educator right after high school as a Golden Apple Scholar of Illinois, and later, followed in her mother’s footsteps in becoming a Chicago Public School teacher. As a Freshman AVID core teacher, literacy teacher, and 9th grade team lead, Lauren collaborated with school leaders on the Southwest side to reimagine the 9th grade transitional year into one that celebrates students' identities, builds connection, and amplifies equitable access to postsecondary pathways. 
Prior to joining NCS, she coached pre-service teachers, primarily first-generation college students, across Illinois in her role as the first Director of Academic and Social Emotional Supports at the Golden Apple Foundation. Over the last 5 years at NCS, Lauren has supported school leaders in transforming teams and their systems to improve Freshman On Track and increase students’ 3.0+ GPAs, particularly for Black and Latino students. 
With over 10 years of educational experience, students’ voices, academic, social, and emotional needs continue to be at the core of her work. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Illinois Wesleyan University with concentrations in education and psychology. She holds her Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English with a literacy endorsement from National Louis University. When she’s not reading a fiction series or testing a new recipe, she is at the park with her dog, Louie, or listening to live music with her partner.