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The past eight weeks have gone by in a blur. Every day has felt like a lifetime, packed full of activities, planning, and time spent with students, however the weeks have flown by. Today is bittersweet as camp is coming to close. I am proud of the way us Duke students have taken charge and really embraced our roles as facilitators, planning and leading an amazing four weeks of STEM curricula as well as stepping up to help with classes in a variety of subjects such as leadership and college preparedness.

This program was significantly more challenging than I expected it to be, and I think it really embodied Duke Engage’s motto of challenging yourself to change your world. I went out of my comfort zone and had to take on a leadership role quickly and without much preparation. I learned that it is okay to wing it sometimes and I learned to trust myself and my ideas. I learned that I was capable of making decisions without asking for opinions every step along the way.

This program helped me grow as a person and it was all thanks to the Girls Inc. staff and students. They were patient with me, opened up to me, and taught me what it means to be strong, smart, and bold. Each staff member and student had something to show me whether it be how to manage a classroom with grace or how to be super confident with myself. Everyone was on a journey to be a more empowered woman and we were in it together.

The goodbyes were heartbreaking but I know that every woman I met whether older or younger than me is bound to do big things. I am glad to have been there for even a moment of their lives and I will not forget them. The campers and my experiences with them will forever be a part of who I am