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Student Spotlight: Brynna Gaffney

Name: Brynna Gaffney
Year: Third (Rising fourth year? Terrifying!)
Major: Public Policy & Leadership (Batten School), Global Studies in Education Minor
Hometown: Wilmington, Delaware

1.    What brought you to the Women's Center?

My first year I struggled to truly know and care for Charlottesville. Looking for ways to immerse myself in this new home of mine and challenge myself to do something I never would have otherwise, I stumbled upon YWLP. I initially was interested in the program because a friend of mine (who I wholeheartedly admired) loved participating in it so much. I looked up to my friend in so many ways - she managed to make me feel seen and heard in ways that few people can. Her capacity for empathy and simultaneous action are unparalleled, and if she thought YWLP was a worthwhile use of her time and credit hours it must be worth checking out. I realized that this was a great way to try a new class in a new academic department, meet new people, and give Charlottesville and its residents the love I wanted so badly to give. And that's all she wrote!

2.    If you could describe YWLP in 3 words, how would you describe it?

Community-oriented, rewarding, lots of Cheez-its (this is 3 words in and of itself, but they are all very important)

3.    What other organizations are you involved with at UVA?

The University Guide Service, my ISC sorority, Batten Undergraduate Council, One Love, ULink Peer Advising

4.    How has a mentor impacted you?

SO many mentors have impacted me in different ways. However, I think the most profound lessons mentors have taught me are to be comfortable with who I am, but not too comfortable. Learn to love yourself and be confident in your abilities, but continue to push yourself out of the realm of what you thought was possible for yourself. You never know what you'll learn about yourself or the wonderful world you live in!

5.    If you could choose anyone, who would you choose to be your mentor?

If I could have any mentor in the whole world, defying time and space restrictions, I would want it to be the women of my future -- myself in five years, myself in 10 years, 20 years! I want to learn from my potential daughters, nieces, and friends. They will manage to make this world so much bigger than I ever could, and I'd love to learn about all the ways they'll do so

6.    What would you most like to tell your 13 year old self?

1.) Don't overpluck your eyebrows 2.) Telling yourself that you're not good enough is the first step to ensuring that you never will be anything more than you currently are. Be kind to yourself, be kind to others - you've got this :)

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