By: Natalie House
One of my favorite things about being a college student is my opportunity to get involved in all kinds of off-campus events. I’m always surprised by the many real-world doors that open for me and shape me both personally and academically each semester. GMC is a small community with large goals – many of us want to make lasting change, and being students here provides us with the community structures to do so. As a junior, I not only continue to learn a lot about the world from my peers, but I have been able to bring new ideas from around the nation back to my community.
This past weekend I was invited to join 120 high school and college aged youth for a 5 day conference in DC. An organization called Advocates for Youth hosted this event, and I received a full scholarship for attending as a campus organizer. Advocates for Youth is among a pool of organizations fighting for fair and comprehensive sex education programs at institutions both in the U.S. and globally. Not only did I have the opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill for the first time, but I was also able to learn a lot about how other institutions approach wellness and sexuality on campus. As a young person, I feel like there is a tendency to want to hold off on career plans until graduation – but there is so much power in the voices of all of us as college students. We all have different experiences when it comes to our own education (sex education and other subjects), and each individual’s voice is incredibly important for having community discussions about social issues.
I never cease to be amazed when I hear about GMC alumni and the great things students here go on to contribute to. I truly believe that much of this can be attributed to the fact that we have the unique opportunity to view social change on a spectrum greater than us. We are leaders, and the issues we care about here always translate to larger scale social issues. Having the chance to learn from others and bring ideas and solutions back to this place is an important way to ensure that GMC is always becoming better then we found it.