Year of Graduation: 2012
What years were you at SAPAC? In what capacity? (intern, volunteer, front desk staff, volunteer program Co-Coordinator, or other)
2008-present; volunteer from 2008-2010, Peer Education co-coordinator from 2010-present, front desk staff summer of 2011
What led you to volunteer/work at SAPAC?
Actually, my mother saw the SAPAC presentation at Parent Orientation and spoke with a former staff member of SAPAC. My mother got her card and some information about SAPAC because she knew I would be interested in becoming involved here, and that I was pretty passionate about the issues SAPAC deals with. So I definitely have my mother to thank for leading me to an amazing experience here at SAPAC!
Please share some of your memorable experiences/achievements you have with SAPAC.
After my first interview for the Peer Education co-coordinator position, the coordinators at the time called and told me I would need to come in for a second interview. I was super nervous as they led me into the conference room for the interview, but they revealed to me right away that I had actually been selected to co-coordinate the Peer Education volunteer program for the next year!
Some of my most memorable experiences include having intense discussions with the Peer Education volunteers. They are all so intelligent and passionate about these issues, and that really comes to surface when we have large group discussions. Each of them truly inspires me as a leader and a person involved in this work. I respect the volunteers at SAPAC to the utmost degree, as they really are the heart of SAPAC.
How did being a part of SAPAC influence/affect you?
Being a part of SAPAC led me to claim my repressed identity as a "feminist." I have learned more being involved with SAPAC the past three years about myself and my beliefs than I have my entire life. My participation in SAPAC has influenced my choice of major, and my career goals. I have realized that once you become involved in work concerning sexual violence, there is no way you can't be involved. My passion lies in working to end sexual violence because of my involvement with SAPAC.
Specifically because of being a part of the Peer Education volunteer program, my confidence has sky-rocketed. Not only in the public speaking realm, but also in simply standing up for what I believe. I am also confident in the knowledge I have gained through not only SAPAC trainings, but discussions with volunteers and other coordinators. Every person at SAPAC has pushed me in my thinking and actions surrounding the issues SAPAC addresses.
What are you up to/doing/working on or at now?
Currently, the Peer Education volunteer program is working to implement a brand new first-year workshop! We have collaborated with both University Health Service's Sexperteam and University Housing to create a workshop addressing healthy relationship skill building, consent, coercion, sexual assault, alcohol, and value-based decision making. Creating this workshop has been an ongoing process since 2010, including continuous evaluation and research. I believe we have created a product that will reach first-year students (and beyond) much more effectively with SAPAC's message.
This summer I am also interning at SafeHouse Center, Washtenaw County's sexual assault and domestic violence center. I work for the Volunteer and Intern Coordinator, so I am getting a lot of experience concerning management and coordination of volunteers and staff members!
Do you have any advice/wisdom/words of encouragement for current SAPAC volunteers or staff?
Your experience at SAPAC will likely be a roller coaster. Because of the issues that we deal with, there will be ups and downs in how we feel about the issues, current events, and the Center itself. But, we all have to remember that we are all here for each other, no matter what. We have an amazing group of compassionate individuals who may very likely be our life-long friends--take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the people who volunteer and work here.
Anything else you would like to share?
Shout out to many of the men of Beta Theta Pi at the University of Michigan for becoming SAPAC allies!