I knew that I wanted to study women and gender before applying to colleges. Even before I applied to Gettysburg, I had fallen in love with the WGS program. My first year, I took WGS 120 with Professor Lebon, who became my advisor. My first year seminar was Sex and the Supreme Court with Professor Douds, and the course gave me an opportunity to expand my understanding of how sex and sexuality are controlled and policed by the government and our laws. With both Professor Douds and Professor Lebon behind me, I declared as a WGS and Public Policy double major. I have taken at least one WGS course every semester during my time here, and every semester, I find ways to connect my knowledge from my WGS classes to almost everything else I’m learning, whether it is Spanish language, economics, theatre arts, or public policy. I have been offered opportunities to engage with the community and learn at a hands-on level through internships, conferences, and guest lectures. I love the courses offered and the material taught, and I’ve been so fortunate to be involved in such a wonderful program.
With my education, I want to engage in grass roots advocacy in my home state. I’ve worked with the statewide domestic violence coalition since high school, and I want to continue my work with them and their member programs to expand sex education in schools with a focus on healthy relationships. Domestic and sexual violence are prevalent issues that have always been at the forefront of my work, and I believe that by exposing children and teens to a holistic education not focused just on sexual health and safety, but on healthy expressions of love and how to form healthy relationships at every level. By destigmatizing sexual health, broadening understandings of all sexualities, and giving young people the opportunity to ask questions and get real answers, we can potentially form healthier relationships for the future.