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BLOG | Kirie’s New York Adventures: Reflection

Kirstyne “Kirie” Lange has been selected as an intern for the Sadie Nash Leadership Project (SNLP) in New York this summer. For the last nine weeks, she has blogged for The Campanil about her experience.

Read the rest of her related posts here.

Photo of the Sadie Nash Newark staff. (Courtesy of Kirstyne Lange)

Waking up during the last week of Sadie Nash was bittersweet. The long train rides, dean groups and workshops were all coming to an end.

Last Monday was great; the young women displayed the great progress they’ve made in the last six weeks. I led a workshop called “Pimples, Periods and Personal Care” with a full-on discussion and Q&A session. We scaled from learning which tampon to use to breaking down period myths like not being able to touch a baby, swim or wear white.

I had a ball answering questions and giving feedback; I felt as though I got to “school” thirteen little sisters on personal care and body awareness. I really appreciated how honest the young women were with themselves and each other in the room. It was beautiful that our safe space worked out so successfully.

Our “Leader Tuesday” was facilitated by the Program Coordinators who shared their experiences with Sadie Nash. They also opened the floor for the young women to share what they would like the future of Sadie Nash Newark, New Jersey chapter to look like and what programs and resources they feel they would need. There is currently an office in the works that is pivotal to continuing the year-around programming for Newark. So, please keep your fingers crossed!

We had a celebration on Friday where all of the courses presented their final projects. There was a skit from the Public Health class sharing two ways that families may react when “coming out,” or “inviting in” in the words of Sadie Nash. The Play-Writing class shared a few monologues the young women wrote and shared in this video. For the poetry course we recorded the young women reading their poems I compiled in this video.

After the presentations, the Nashers did a gift exchange. I got nine journals they’ve written about their goals and dreams, while everyone else received a Sadie Nash T-shirt with the logo “This is what a Leader looks like.”

Kirstyne wearing a Sadie Nash T-shirt with the logo: "This is what a Leader looks like." (Courtesy of Kirstyne Lange)

After cleaning up the third floor of the Paul Robeson Center, it hit me that Sadie Nash Summer Institute was officially over. Nine weeks had passed right before my eyes. Once we tidied everything up, we headed to Brooklyn for the all-staff dinner party. It was a great feeling to reunite with all the deans, have great food and recap on our summer!

I left New York first thing Saturday morning and realized I developed a new sense of self. Up until my grandmother passing last summer, I allowed others to drive my motivation or even influence me to participate in certain activities. This summer, I have exercised my right to say “NO” and only do things that make me happy.

This summer was amazing and I cannot wait to use all of my new discoveries and practices for the new school year and throughout my adult life.

To keep up with Kirstyne, you can follow her on Twitter @QweenKirie.

Read more of her related posts here.