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Student Spotlight: Emma Murphy

Name: Emma Murphy
Year: Second Year (Class of 2022)
Major: English & Computer Science
Hometown: Red Bank, New Jersey

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

During my first year at UVA, I interacted with numerous women on Grounds whom I admired. Those I found the most inspiring and thoughtful were, in some way or another, affiliated with the Women’s Center. They all seemed comfortable in their own skin and impressed upon me that the Women’s Center is an all-inclusive family, supporting each woman as one of their own. Once I had connected the dots on the wonder that is the Women’s Center, I had to get involved!

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

Challenging, life-changing, accepting

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

Delta Delta Delta Sorority (I am Philanthropy chair as well), the Miller Center, Madison House, German Tutors, Library Council, Alternative Spring Break

4.    How has a mentor impacted you?

My English teacher sophomore year of high school noticed that I was struggling to write a personal narrative of which I was proud. We spent countless hours in her office and local coffee shops discussing my life and my writing style, trying to find a way to marry the two in a piece of writing. Not only did I exceed expectations in that class, but I found a new mentor and friend in my English teacher. To top it all off, she was an English major here at UVA, so I follow in her footsteps with hope.

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

I would choose my grandmother. I think it is easy to strive to be someone who makes overtly visible change at a statewide or nationwide level, but it takes self-assurance and commitment to spend a lifetime working under the radar to effect real, difficult change in a community. My grandmother had a notion of the world as limitless - anything you can do can make a difference in the world, no matter how small. She passed this on to my mother, who has passed it on to me. I strive to meet the great expectations she had for herself daily, as my mom has done her entire life as well!

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

I would tell myself that being smart was cool and not something to be shove under the table. I would remind myself also, however, to take a break from school every once in a while and go on an adventure!

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