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Blossom Brown: “I became more empowered to fight for trans women’s rights.”

My name is Blossom Brown. I’m the activist you may have seen on I Am Cait and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. I’m sharing my story so you know why your students can’t miss AAUW’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) this June, and because the scholarship deadline is coming up quickly!

During college, I was an avid member of the AAUW student organization at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi. There, my colleagues highly encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to attend NCCWSL. They saw the potential in me that I did not see in myself. I had worries about applying because I am transgender and often transgender students are overlooked when it comes to such opportunities. I also did not have the money to attend the conference on my own, but I decided to give it a shot. I was extremely surprised and excited when I learned I was selected to receive a scholarship.

 Activist Blossom Brown stands up during NCCWSL 2015’s “Finding Your Voice” session.

Activist Blossom Brown stands up during NCCWSL 2015’s “Finding Your Voice” session.

When I arrived at NCCWSL, I was greeted by some of the nicest and most encouraging people I’ve ever met. The fact that the conference was trans-inclusive made me feel comfortable and excited; I learned many lessons, heard from several inspiring speakers, and was also able to take resources back to help trans women in my community. Best of all, I became more empowered to fight for trans women’s rights. Since attending NCCWSL, I’ve been afforded opportunities to speak all over the country, and recently, I had the chance to speak at the White House about the health of trans women in my home state of Mississippi. I would never have had the courage to speak up if I had not applied for a NCCWSL scholarship.

Encourage the students you know to attend NCCWSL.

Please also take a moment to nominate students to register for NCCWSL. Don’t wait to nominate; I promise these students will make great strides in their communities as a result of attending this conference. I certainly did.

By:    February 26, 2016