April Says Goodbye to UMKC and the Women’s Center!

By April Brown

Welcome to the end of the semester everyone!! Congratulations! You (pretty much) made it through 2020. Despite all the challenges, the turmoil, and the overwhelming uncertainty, you have accomplished another semester and another year on this crazy journey! I can’t speak for everyone, but I know for me, this semester has been one of the hardest semesters of my entire college career. Online classes, zoom meetings, and very high security in the library really made things hard to navigate, and made school hard to enjoy. Which is why I had to spend a lot of this semester learning how to find joy in the things I did have, instead of sadness in the things I didn’t have. Working at the Women’s Center has been one of the bright spots for me. Interning as the blog editor for the Women’s Center was a last minute decision for me. One of my professors approached me with the opportunity and I took the chance that it might provide me some normalcy, or at least a distractions from all of the things that weren’t so great. What I got was so much more than a distraction.

The Women’s Center on UMKC’s campus has been a vital part of my last semester here at UMKC. It provided me not only with relationships that I would have missed out on, but also with valuable learning experiences that both expanded on who I was and, in some cases, changed who I was all together. The staff that worked along side me are some of the most passionate, intelligent, funny, and big hearted people I have every met. It was truly a pleasure to work so closely with them, even if we never got to see each other face to face! Our directors Arzie and Brenda were wonderful! It was never a dull moment in the office with Arzie, she kept us cheerful and optimistic even when things seemed to only be getting worse. Brenda was always there to make us laugh and to help us with whatever we needed and I couldn’t have appreciated that support any more!

Throughout the semester I mostly just edited the blogs and got them posted on here for everyone to read. And this would have been enough. I mean I was getting to edit, write, and learn how to be a leader doing this one job. All valuable and important skills I will need as I go out into the world to find a career. But that isn’t all I did. I also got to work on events that the Women’s Center hosted such as the I can, We can – Day of Action in October which we put on with the help of RISE. This event raised awareness of gender-based violence and encouraged and spread strength in unity in the community. In planning and executing this event I learned about the bleakest parts of reality, and then I saw some of the brightest lights emerge from it. Seeing people come together and protect and support one another through something as gruesome as domestic violence is the kind of thing that makes you believe in humanity again. I was very proud to be a part of the event. I also got to help my fellow staff members with events such as Walk A Mile, and Grow Your Resilience!

This internship has been one of the reasons I got through this year. My time here has come to an end, and I will be graduating in just a week’s time, but what a ride it has been! I don’t really know what my next step is from here but knowing that the choice is and always will be mine makes me hopeful for the future. I look forward to watching the Women’s Center grow and expand, and I will definitely be popping in and out to check on the other staff members and see what other great treats they have planned for the coming semester!