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Testimonials (Executive Board)

Lauren Preski, Co-President, Class of 2020

"My position empowers me to be a leader by providing me with an outlet to help as many young women as possible learn and grow into confident and capable future leaders. My favorite part about WLI is the safety of the space it provides for its members and the community. WLI is an empowering and encouraging organization with good people, good conversation, and good pizza." 

Gina Maria Vreeland, Director of Communications, Class of 2020

"My favorite part about WLI is my ability to organize and mobilize fellow feminists to identify and address gender issues on campus. For example, when we noticed the lack of trash receptacles for the disposal of feminine hygiene products in individual restroom stalls on campus, we formed a Women’s Health Subcommittee to rectify this issue. As the Chair of the Women's Health Subcommittee, I was responsible for recruiting, training, and leading members of the Subcommittee with the goal of ensuring the installation of these trash receptacles. Our endeavors were ultimately successful as the installation of individual receptacles has already begun. To learn more about the Women's Health Subcommittee and this project, please read my “More Than Just A Meeting” post on the WLI blog.

Liz Sweeney, Assistant Director of Communications, Class of 2021

“I joined WLI because I wanted to further develop my academic and professional skills outside of the classroom as well as meet other women on campus who shared the same values and goals as me. So far, I am most proud of the Women’s Health Subcommittee we created that successfully addressed the issue of the lack of trash receptacles throughout campus. It was really empowering to see how we can actually use our voices and skills to make real change. I look forward to future events including our Distributing Dignity Drive this March which is a fundraiser where we collect donations of feminine products and new bras to give to women in need. Additionally, I am eager about consistently working to include more diverse perspectives in our organization.”

Maddie DeMarco, Co-President, Class of 2022

I joined WLI to further develop my professional skills as well as to be part of a group that shares common values and interests as me. My favorite part about WLI is the safe space we have created not only among our general members but with our Executive Board as well. I feel that having such strong and professional leaders in our organization makes it more successful. My position as Co-President allows me to further grow as a professional woman.

Sophie Page, Secretary, Class of 2021

"Women's Leadership Initiative is an incredibly empowering organization to be a part of. Through my position on the Executive Board, I have gained many professional skills along with feeling supported in my endeavors. I love being able to give other women at SJU the same opportunity to grow and feel surrounded by a group of women who are dedicated to the same mission."

Testimonials (General Members)

Tommy Orr '20, IHS Major (minors in Health Care Ethics and Faith-Justice):

"I was always aware of WLI's presence on campus because I knew others who were dedicated members and leaders within the organization. However, it was not until my sophomore year that I became involved. I have enjoyed all the WLI events that I have attended so it is difficult for me to pick a favorite. I would have to say that the Mental Health meeting in November of 2017 was my favorite. It really had an impact on me. I think that was when I realized that through WLI I could gain a better understanding of the struggles that others face because of their race, gender identity, class, or sexual orientation. If anyone at SJU is seeking a welcoming environment or network, I cannot think of a more valuable organization than WLI."

Testimonials (Alumni)

Taylor Wallburg '18, Former Co-President, Political Science Major (minor in Communications):

"When I saw the Women's Leadership Initiative booth at the Activities Fair freshman year it was like I was staring at a beacon. I remember the booth so clearly. I was at the end of one of the seemingly endless and crowded rows of booths. The first time passed through that row I notice the booth, but I did not stop at it just yet. Admittedly, I was a little nervous to strike up a conversation. Later my friend and I went to the WLI booth together because I could not get it out of my mind. I knew I needed to be a part of WLI. Looking back it was the best decision I ever made. WLI is an organization full of strong powerful women that I was so lucky to be a part of for 4 years. I was even fortunate enough to be a co-president of WLI during my final year at SJU. Each meeting and event had valuable takeaways and left me feeling powerful enough to change the world someday. I thank WLI for instilling me with knowledge and confidence to navigate the real world after graduation.

Zoe Malone, Former Co-President, Class of 2018
“What I like about WLI is our monthly meetings, because every meeting tends to be so educational for me. There is so much research put in prior to each meeting so not only are there great breakout discussions, but I’m also learning! Whether its about the history of feminist movements or how to manage my finances I know to bring a pen and paper and write this stuff down!”

Rodesha Washington, Former Director of Marketing, Class of 2018

“When I joined WLI I was so excited because it is a group that actively facilitates women learning. My role in the organization as Director of Marketing is to create promotional materials like flyers and brochures. Also, I manage outreach efforts to help the organization grow. Taking on this role has encouraged me to build my confidence and be more innovative not only on campus but also in life.”