October 14, 2015

Please give us a little background information about yourself (where you were born, what brought you to UCF, hobbies, what you studied at UCF, etc)

I was born and raised in the Central Florida area and chose to go to UCF after completing my A.A. at community college. I came into UCF wanting to study Sociology but was led to focusing on Women’s Studies. I am appreciative of the learning experience the Interdisciplinary Studies – Women’s Studies Track provided me with, as I was able to take courses that focused on women and literature, women in society, mental health, social justice, feminism, and so much more.

Who or what inspires you?

People who fight for those who aren’t able to- for those who have no voice, whose voices have been silenced, and/or who society deems as unimportant. My mother, for letting me be whoever I wanted to be. My amazing friends, who believe in justice and love.

How did you learn about the YWLP Program and what caused you to join?

I learned about YWLP in my Intro to Women’s Studies course; it was too late for me to join my first semester at UCF, but I made it a priority to be involved in Spring.

Describe your experience with YWLP.

My experience in YWLP shaped me into the person I am today; I met amazing women, worked with powerful young folks, learned valuable things about both myself and others, and created some everlasting friendships.

What would you say is the most important thing you gained from YWLP?

That empowerment looks different for everyone, and that you should never be obligated to be around people who don’t make you feel great.

What is one of your favorite YWLP moments?

The Mud Walk! It was exciting and disgusting and full of laughs. Any time you have to duct tape your socks to your pants is going to be a memory you never forget. The Big Sister dinners at Dr. Santana’s house were always great, because all the big sisters got to unwind and get to know each other in a different light.

How did YWLP help you to get to where you are today?

While I am a much different person today than I was 3 years ago, I believe that YWLP helped me find my voice. I came to UCF as a passive individual, always muttering “I’m sorry”, and being afraid to speak my mind. But now I am assertive, unafraid to speak up, and I know what I want, expect, and deserve from people. I recently graduated with my master’s degree- something I never thought was possible- but the tools that YWLP equipped me with made me realize that I am strong, powerful and smart, and I can do anything.

What are you doing right now (career, school, etc.)?

I graduated with my MSW (Master’s in Social Work) from UCF in May and have been working at SafeHouse of Seminole, a domestic violence shelter in Seminole County, for about 3 years. I’ve found that while I am passionate about social justice on a macro scale, I enjoy doing work with individuals and families and want to continue that.

What are your plans for the future?

Maybe a Ph.D. one day. But for now I am focused on becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker so I can focus on doing therapy.