California State University, San Bernardino alumna Laurena “Lala” Bolden ’11, psychology and criminal justice, has been recognized by the Time for Change Foundation with its 2024 Community Champion Award. The celebration took place as part of its 22nd annual Awards Gala on April 19.

The Time for Change Foundation (TFCF) said that Bolden embodies the spirit of community and service, deeply rooted in her upbringing and family values. Born in Highland and raised on the San Manuel Indian Reservation, she currently serves as a tribal councilmember and vice chair of the tribe’s education board. 

Her areas of personal interest include various youth sports’ leagues and collaboration with Loma Linda University Health. These reflect her commitment to promoting pediatric and behavioral health initiatives.

Bolden learned the importance of community involvement from her mother, Alaina, and her grandparents, James and Rowena. In the words of her grandmother, “Laurena understands the importance of paying forward the kindness and generosity she has received.”  

“Laurena’s heart for the community is evident in her life,” said Time for Change Foundation Executive director Vanessa Perez. “Her generosity and commitment to helping others throughout various efforts show a true community champion, and we are honored to be giving her this award.”

“I say over and over again that giving back to the community is in the DNA of CSUSB’s students and graduates,” said university President Tomás D. Morales. “I am proud to congratulate Laurena Bolden on this recognition.”

Crystal Wymer-Lucero, director of CSUSB’s Office of Alumni Relations, echoed Morales’ words. “Our alumni are such dynamic individuals. They are constantly staying involved in their communities and working for the betterment of those around them. We are truly proud of Laurena for her dedication to service and are delighted she is receiving this award.”

The Time for Change Foundation’s goal “has been assisting homeless women and children achieve self-sufficiency by providing housing and necessary supportive services,” according to the Time for Change Foundation website. “In response to the housing crisis and effects of mass incarceration and family separation, TFCF implemented an array of evidence-based programs, housing and trauma-informed approaches to address their needs. Equally important, is our leadership development and advocacy projects necessary to bring the voices of those most impacted by punitive policies into policy advocacy and civic engagement.”