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Student Spotlight: Nicole Baker

Get to know YWLP Big, Nicole Baker!

Year: First Year 
Major: I plan to major in Communications Disorders 
Hometown: Woodstock, Va 

1. Why are you passionate about your program at the Women's Center?
I am involved in the YWLP program at UVA where I am a Big sister to a middle school girl. This program is important to me because it helps to begin empowering young girls, teaching them leadership skills, respect, and self development at a crucial point in adolescent development. I love helping and watching the girls grow in their confidence!

2. What made you choose UVA over other schools you applied to?
I chose UVA because it has a welcoming and diverse community, endless opportunities to get involved in clubs and service, strong academic programs, and absolutely beautiful grounds. I loved the history and tradition behind the school, and saw myself building a new community of my own in Charlottesville by filling my life with all the amazing opportunities available to me.

3. What has surprised you about UVA?
UVA is such an accepting place that seems to care about every member of its community. I was greatly surprised at how quickly I was able to adjust to such a large University in such a short amount of time. I knew very quickly after arriving that I would find a home at UVA due to the amazing people I have met here thus far.

4. What's something you know you do differently than most people?
I have been told that I constantly smile, even when in a bad mood or situation. Though I do not consciously smile "constantly", I think I do it because I strive to keep a positive attitude; the more I smile, the better I feel. I think a simple smile can go a long way; from improving my own mood to possibly brightening someone else's day. You never know what someone else may be going through or when they may need the simple gesture of a smile to pick them up. Even if circumstances are bad, frowning will not fix anything so we may as well smile to generate positivity.

5. If you could have coffee with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
If I could have coffee with anyone, it would be Jennifer Aniston. Not only is she a star in my favorite show FRIENDS, she is also an amazing role model for women everywhere. She helps countless organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Habitat for Humanity. Jennifer Aniston says that beauty "is learning to love every single thing about yourself" which I find to be an incredible and important message for women everywhere. I would love to ask her about how she remains such a constant positive light in a world where society and media are constantly striving to tear us down and ask her what advice she would give to an aspiring young women upon entering the real world.

Interested in working with a student like Nicole next year? Join the Women's Center team! Learn more about the internship and mentorship opportunities available for you.

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