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Student Spotlight: Nicole Baker

Get to know YWLP intern, Nicole Baker!

Year: 3rd Year
Major: Speech Pathology
Hometown: Woodstock

1. What brought you to the Women's Center?
 My love and passion for supporting young girls and women and helping them to develop strong female leaders led me to my internship as a Young Women Leaders Program Women's Center intern. I served as a Big Sister mentor in the Young Women Leaders Program during my first and second years at UVA and became profoundly invested in the impact this mentorship had in the development of leadership and confidence in young women and girls. I think showing compassion and genuine care through our actions and presence instead of words and gestures are among the greatest gifts we can give in life; YWLP allows Big Sisters to do just that. I could not imagine my time at UVA without YWLP nor could I imagine not being apart of this incredible organization. 

2. What other organizations are you involved with at UVA?
At UVA I am also a Curry School of Education Student Ambassador, a ULink Peer Advisor for first year students, a member of the Nicaraguan Orphan Fund Club, a member of the National Student Speech and Language Hearing Association, and a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. Additionally, I had the privilege of working on a Jefferson Public Citizens research team to help in establishing a YWLP program in Imo State, Nigeria.

3. If you could describe the YWLP team in 3 words, what would they be?
Empathetic, Selfless, and Patient

4. What is your favorite memory of UVA thus far?
To pick one favorite memory at UVA is so challenging! I think my favorite memory at UVA are my daily walks to class. I always try to unplug from my phone and enjoy the scenery, architecture, and exchanging smiles with people I pass on the way. UVA was the only school I could imagine myself attending and sometimes, when I walk through Grounds to class, it still feels surreal that I am able to call this place home. 

5. What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership is about listening with intention. If we are not able to hear the ideas and opinions of our coworkers and team members, we will quickly lose a sense of direction. Being a leader is not about taking sole responsibility and ownership over a situation; rather it is a dynamic approach of bringing diverse backgrounds and ideas together to promote positive outcome. When we listen before we speak, we become better leaders through our understanding and empathy for others allowing us not to lead in a position of power, but to lead in areas where we are strong and find guidance in areas of weakness. 

6. What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure if definitely Ben and Jerry's ice cream; it is so expensive but can cure any stressful day. 

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