Empowering Women, Developing Leaders
Posted on July 18, 2016 by Joy Washington
For a young college student, there’s nothing like a life-changing experience that can prepare one for a successful future. That opportunity came to Kinsley Knapp, 20, a nursing major from the University of South Alabama.
Knapp, a native of Tallassee, Ala., received two scholarships to attend what’s considered one of America’s premier conferences for college women, the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, or NCCWSL. She was selected to represent the Alabama Chapter of the American Association of University Women, or AAUW.
Knapp was the first student from South Alabama to attend the one-week conference held in Washington, D.C. She said the conference focused on empowering women and developing women as leaders.
“I was able to network and develop friendships with women from all over the country who share common passions.” Knapp said. “I also learned how to be competitive once I start my career, and how to affect public policy and social change.”
Knapp said being awarded the scholarships has been a great honor.
“I could not have attended this conference without the scholarships,” she said. “I am humbled to have been chosen as a recipient, and I plan to implement some of the new ideas I have learned as a volunteer and student leader on South’s campus.”
Dr. Krista Harrell, associate dean of students and Title IX coordinator in the Division of Student Affairs, was instrumental in making sure qualified and interested students applied for the scholarships.
“Kinsley is a dynamic young woman who is excited to succeed in and out of the classroom,” Harrell said. “Her involvement in campus organizations exemplifies drive and passion for her work. I am fortunate to work with Kinsley as a student volunteer and watch her develop as a leader - a strong woman leader.”
While Knapp was in D.C., she was able to shadow and lobby on Capitol Hill in support of a bill that addresses student loans and student debt. She learned about the process of developing, supporting and passing a bill. And she met numerous professional women who shared stories about challenges and success.
“I have grown as a student leader because of this experience,” she said. “One of my goals is to help empower other young women and girls.”
South is currently seeking to organize a core group to start an AAUW chapter.
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