Being a femtor in the It’s Great to Be a Girl (IGTBG) Program through OAMI has been immensely fulfilling and empowering. Carole Lapidos has been an amazing supervisor and is extremely passionate about the work that she does. I am so grateful to benefit from her mentorship both within and outside of IGTBG. I am deeply passionate about mentoring young women, and I hope to be the role model that I yearned for as a young girl. Representation is so important–speaking from personal experience, being able to see your own potential through the eyes of someone you admire and respect can be life-changing. Being a part of this program has completely altered my perspectives of what I had come to know about being a Black woman on the U of M campus. I had never realized that my voice could be heard and valued in a truthful, affirming manner.
IGTBAG led me to discover the OAMI office. It is here that I feel visible on-campus. It is here that I truly have a place at U of M–a place where people actually see my authentic self and care greatly about my academic success and personal wellbeing.
Honestly, the opportunity to be a femtor has always been and will continue to be a very grounding experience for me. I think that sometimes, especially as students, we can get caught up in the day-to-day, bogged down by papers, grades, and assignments–stressed out by the minute details. While these things are all important, it’s essential not to lose sight of the things that really matter to you. Personally, I care deeply about using my academic work to better the lives of women. I care deeply about women’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. IGTBG is only once a week for one hour, but in that time I am able to engage in all of the things I love! If the femtees could only take-away one “token of wisdom” from the program, I would hope that they would learn the power that lies within each and every one of their beings. They are brilliant young women. Their voices matter. IGTBG has encouraged and guided me to rediscovering this golden truth about myself, and I hope that the program will be able to do the same for others, as well as continue to thrive and flourish through OAMI.