Friday, April 15, 2016

To my dear WomenNC supporters:

Today marks my last official day as a WomenNC CSW Fellow. This has been a tumultuous learning experience, and I am so thankful to all those who have helped me grow through this process. This Fellowship program has reshaped my understanding of advocacy and my role within it by helping me identify my strengths, and showing me that I can lean on, and learn from, a network when I don't have all the answers. In such a short time period, I feel like I have grown immensely as a researcher, as a communicator, and as an advocate. Our April 7th Reflection event solidified so many things that have been brewing in my mind since the start of this Fellowship, but most importantly showed me how much progress I've made. This personal recognition of growth made it all the more meaningful to be the recipient of the Carolyn King Scholarship Award. I am so appreciative of the acknowledgement, and thankful for the opportunities I've had through this program that have helped me get to this point!

WomenNC opened the doors to my partnership with a fantastic organization, Lillian's List, where I was able to meet incredible female politicians from all over the state and witness firsthand all of the work that goes into running for elected office. The current national political climate can be disheartening at times, so it was really meaningful for me to meet strong women in politics doing everything in their power to be a voice for change at the local level.

WomenNC gave me the opportunity to attend (and present at!!) the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. It was a condensed version of what I hope the near future brings for me: opportunities to work with and learn alongside gender advocates from all over the world.

Most importantly, WomenNC gave me the chance to meet an amazing group of women. A huge part of this experience has been learning from the people in this organization and expanding my worldview through their eyes.

I mentioned at the April 7th event how I've been evolving this whole year...and I want to reiterate that as my closing notes for this blog post. My future holds a lot of uncertainty, but my evolution over these past few months has made it abundantly clear that that uncertainty does not extend to my role as a gender advocate. You cannot analyze or understand the world without applying a gender and human rights perspective. I hope to carry forward the mission of WomenNC, and make the organization proud for their investment and belief in me! So many thanks to WomenNC for a fantastic learning experience, and a special thanks to my mentor, Maureen, who dedicated so much time and energy to helping me reach my full potential.

Fond farewell (for now),

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