Marisa Angelita Aquino Guillet '21, Women’s and Gender Studies
When I first received an application for the WLI, I immediately knew that it was a program I would like to be part of. I was passionate about women in leadership, and wanted to surround myself with other people passionate about gender equality and social justice. Throughout the four years that I spent at Pace, I remained an active member of the WLI and became Peer Leader, overseeing the mentorship program and advisory council that I co-created with Bailey Hernandez.
The Dyson Women’s Leadership Initiative helped me become more confident, assertive, and empowered as a student, leader, and social justice change agent. Being a part of the WLI helped me build friendships and network with other women leaders. I learned that one of the most important aspects of leadership is collaboration, learning how to work with other people, and how to create platforms for other people to take over.
I graduated this May having accomplished more than I ever thought I could, and I can honestly say I have attributed the majority of my successes to my time in the WLI. I am so proud of being a WLI alum, and will carry the relationships that I have built with fellow WLI members with me through my professional career and into my adult life.
Emily Oberlender '21, Political Science
Joining WLI as a first year student shaped my entire college career. The program empowered me to seek help when I desperately needed it, enabled me to chase ambitious internship programs and career goals, and united me with an incredible cohort of phenomenal women who supported and inspired me. Pace would not have been the transformative experience it was without this organization, and I truly have WLI to thank for making me a successful alumni of the university. From community gatherings to eye opening workshops, WLI crafted who I am - as a person, a leader, and now, a teacher in the South Bronx! Everyday, I use what WLI taught me with the kids I work with, making WLI’s impact extremely far reaching!
Nikki Noorian '20, Psychology
"WLI has been a great experience for me! With having all of the different events like the advocacy skills workshop and the sewing patches for a quilt to donate, I think that WLI has helped me to learn new skills and get more involved on campus and within our community, as well as giving me a great group of people to socialize and become friends with that I maybe wouldn't have gotten the chance to meet otherwise. The workshops are events that I always try to attend because I think the skills and conversations that take place are really beneficial in learning how to use our voice and be effective leaders. While I have experience with many other leadership positions in the past, I still think that learning new skills and working on skills I already have is really important. Another impact WLI has had for me is introducing me to people who have similar values and goals as myself, which is really great because, for me, I want to surround myself with people who will push me to do better and will teach me things, and I think that I definitely get that feeling when we meet together as a group or hang out outside of class."
Sydney Korman '20, Political Science
"I have become very involved in the WLI and am very enthusiastic about it. I think that it has definitely given me a sense of community. It has given me a chance to network and meet people within my program but also it has given me the opportunity to meet students from all different programs within Dyson. The different panels, and various programs we have, have taught me a lot about leadership skills and how they can present themselves in different ways. I have also learned a lot about myself and the way that I think. Also, I just like it because I find the activities to be very fun and interesting."
Breonna Taylor '22, Communication Studies
"I believe that WLI is so empowering because it's a safe space...and, from my knowledge, no one feels as if they would be crucially ridiculed for anything that they might say. I also love the sense of community when we have discussions and WLI meetups."