Update from our First NCCWSL Attendees By Gloria Yost

In 2019, the Sacramento Branch sponsored Billie Veerkamp and Alexis Jimenez to attend the prestigious National Conference for College Women Student Leaders — NCCCWSL.  Here, Billie and Alexis reflect on what NCCWSL meant to them and share their new plans.

Billie and Alexis fly for the first time as they travel to NCCWSL

My name is Billie Veerkamp, I’m currently a senior at Sacramento State, majoring in women and gender studies with a minor in anthropology. I’m graduating in May and plan to remain in the Sacramento area and work for a year or two before pursuing further education. I have been involved with the student chapter of AAUW for four years now, and have had many opportunities to learn and grow from my experience with the organization. In May 2019, I had the privilege of attending the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. One of the most important things I learned at NCCWSL was not to take myself out of the running. Out of the many workshops and panels I attended, this small piece of advice stuck out to me because it is the encouragement I need to push back against limiting beliefs of what I can accomplish. I’ll be keeping that piece of advice in mind over the next year or so while I apply for jobs and master’s programs.

Hello, I am Alexis Jimenez in my fourth year of college at Sacramento State. I’m double majoring in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology and biology, and women’s and gender studies. Currently, I’ve been working as the women’s and gender studies department student peer mentor, and my planned graduation is spring 2022.  My connection with AAUW started in 2019, where I’ve been able to develop personal and educational growth. I was luckily able to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and, through this honored experience, I got to meet amazing people and take away knowledge from each keynote speaker. NCCWSL exposed me to so many fresh and invigorating minds. My most prominent takeaway was being able to be in a room with so many young people, all aspiring for better change in their communities. I, too, am striving to create spaces for thoughtful and cooperative change in my communities. It’s special and liberating to be involved with others, and understand their efforts for equity in their work and bring that experience to my future academic endeavors.