Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Leadership lived: Student finds her voice working for the UIS Women’s Center

Ivy Jimenez says she’s always had a lot to say, but attending the University of Illinois Springfield has given her the confidence to share her thoughts and ideas on important issues.

“UIS has taught me to stand out and be outspoken,” she said. “If I have something to say, I should say it, not just keep it to myself.”

The sophomore pre-nursing major is a student worker at the UIS Women’s Center, a member of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), the Student Nurses’ Association and the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program.

At the Women’s Center, she helps to plan special events, such as the Take Back the Night march and the launch of the “It’s On Us” campaign. She also helps to educate women about sexual assaults, domestic violence and relationships.

“I’m really glad that I’m working here because I would have never seen myself working in a place like this,” she said. “I feel like I’ve come a long way.”

Jimenez says her favorite part about working at the Women’s Center is the relationships she’s formed with other women on campus.

“The relationships that I’ve built here are really rewarding because the people I’ve met here are my family in a way,” she said. “They are there for me and I know that I can count on them. We kind of try and help each other in every way that we can and we’re very understanding.”

Following her sophomore year, Jimenez plans to continue her education as part of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) nursing program, which is based on the UIS campus. After she graduates, she plans to return to her hometown of Chicago and work in the medical field.

Jimenez feels that she’ll be well prepared for her future thanks to her UIS education.

“I definitely think I’ve grown as a person at UIS,” she said.

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