My Farewell to the Women’s Center

Jenna Gilio

As this summer draws to a close, my time at the Women’s Center must end. I cannot believe how quickly this time has passed! It seems like just yesterday I was publishing my very first blog introducing myself to you all. For my final post, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the things I’ve learned, the ways I’ve grown, and the experiences I’ve gained.

One of my biggest takeaways from this summer is the value of art and creativity. I have always enjoyed any opportunity to create but working at the Women’s Center has revealed how beneficial creativity can be. Many people experience art as a means of expressing their true selves. Others find connection through it. Some find it healing, both mentally and physically. The Women’s Center offers Healing Arts Workshops as an outlet for individuals to experience art in whatever way they find most empowering. My personal favorite activity was the Stepping Stones workshop. Not only are the stones beautiful, but they are also a tool to help you stay grounded in what is most important and meaningful to you. The phrase I chose to write on my stone was “You’re a goddamn cheetah.”

At the start of the summer, I decided to select a single blog topic to report on each week. One of my favorite authors and activists, Glennon Doyle, had recently released a new podcast and I thought it would be the perfect fit. Each week, I listened to a new episode and posted my thoughts and reactions to the Women’s Center blog. Sometimes Glennon spoke on topics I felt a bit afraid to write about, like religion and body image, as I didn’t want to trigger anyone or say the wrong thing. Through this experience, I learned it is better to dialogue about important issues and risk not always getting it perfectly “right” than to not say anything at all.

Finally, my favorite thing about working at the Women’s Center has been building relationships with other women and hearing their life experiences. I truly enjoyed getting to know my coworkers and speaking with new students at Roo Connection. I can honestly say these relationships have helped me grow as an individual, as a professional, and as an advocate. Though my time at the Women’s Center is up, I will always cherish the memories I made here. Farewell, Women’s Center!