I wasn’t sure if one person could make a change… I just had never seen it happen.
When I started graduate school Indiana State University didn’t do anything to acknowledge Sexual Violence Awareness month — there was a very large Take Back the Night in the fall but nothing in the spring. So… I took it upon myself to change that.
I had grand ideas for what I wanted to happen and I tried so hard to make them happen. I ran into several roadblocks that forced me to rethink what I wanted to get done. That’s when I was introduced to the No Woman Left Behind campaign. Once that happened it seemed like everything fell into place: speaker, location, refreshments, and advertisement. I put my heart and soul into the event and when the day finally came I was nervous as ever hoping that people actually showed up, learned something, and enjoyed the event. In the end we had 85 people! And to make that number even more impressive, there was a big event happening at the same time that was an established campus tradition. And we still had 85 people! I was through the moon.
The next year I wanted to try again as well as make a plan to keep the event going. One of the benefits of being in a 2-year graduate program is that there were always people around who could continue the program after I graduated! So I spoke to the 1st year students and had 3 people who wanted to help and learn so that they could plan it the next year. It was so surprising how easy it was to come together to plan this event… and I was able to let go of some control of the event and have the other people take on responsibility for parts of the event.
We worked, planned, raised money, and even had some fun along the way. We were able to work towards the same goal and in the end we had 120 people come to the event — some people who came the year before and new attendees as well!
And now… I am not at ISU, but No Woman Left Behind continues and will grow and change every year to make a much better and more beneficial program for the ISU community.
The College of New Jersey