Lawrence was fourteen and on a family vacation in New York City when she was spotted on the street by a talent scout who arranged for her to audition for talent agents. Karen was not keen on allowing her daughter to pursue an acting career, but she briefly moved her family to New York to let her read for roles. After Lawrence's first cold reading, the agents said that hers was the best they had heard from someone that young; Lawrence's mother convinced her that they were lying. Lawrence said her early experiences were difficult because she felt lonely and friendless. She signed with CESD Talent Agency, who convinced her parents to let her audition for roles in Los Angeles. While her mother encouraged her to go into modelling, Lawrence insisted on pursuing acting. At that time, she considered acting to be a natural fit for her abilities, and she turned down several offers for modeling assignments. Lawrence dropped out of school at age 14 without receiving a GED or a diploma. She has said that she was "self-educated" and that her career was her priority. Between her acting jobs in the city, she made regular visits to Louisville, where she served as an assistant nurse at her mother's camp.