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How to Build a Network at NCCWSL

The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) is a unique and transformative experience that you should seriously consider attending. How do I know? I’ve been there! But time is running out: Only two weeks are left to register for this one-of-a-kind event.

I received a NCCWSL scholarship through my local AAUW branch, but I didn’t grasp the magnitude of the conference right away. As an undergraduate student, I learned about womanism, a form of feminism created by black women that focuses on the inseparable oppression of race and gender. I was eager to attend NCCWSL to enrich my passion for gender equity and intersectionality. NCCWSL did that and so much more!

Gain the confidence and skills to feel empowered.

Gerti NCCWSL 1

Even before the conference began, I participated in a pre-conference activity on Capitol Hill that changed my perspective on where I could go professionally. After this activity, I was determined to make it on the Hill. Now I intern for Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) in Washington, D.C. NCCWSL empowered me to seek out and apply for this position, and the lessons I learned at the conference helped me achieve my goal.

Meet inspiring role models.

At NCCWSL, I was in awe of the ambitious and intelligent women I encountered. I remember Blossom Brown, who, since attending NCCWSL, has become a strong activist in the transgender community. I listened as one woman with a physical disability stood up and described how she was bullied in school. Another woman from Cameroon started her own nonprofit to end female genital mutilation in her country. Her story of survival and resilience drove me to action: I am currently writing my senior thesis on ending genital mutilation in Burkina Faso.

Make connections for life.

Gerti NCCWSL 4

At NCCWSL, I met Hannah from Minnesota, who remains a close friend. We struck up a conversation while walking back to our residence hall, and we ended up spending the majority of NCCWSL together. Hannah and I had so much in common; it was like I had known her my whole life. She is my soul sister, and we have stayed in contact throughout our senior year of college.

The women I met at NCCWSL and the conference itself ignited a womanist spark in me to pursue leadership positions and to make a difference in the lives of women throughout the world. Thanks to AAUW and NCCWSL, my future is brighter and full of potential.

The last day to register for NCCWSL is Tuesday, May 10. Register today, before it’s too late!


This post was written by NCCWSL alumna Gerti Wilson. 

By:    April 18, 2016