The World of Social Change: How I Fell in Love With Activism

When you think of activism, most people think of a huge crowd of angry people flooding the streets with signs demanding immediate change for some sort of social issue. Of course, this was my first thought of it. I never really thought much about activism until the end of my junior year. I received an email from my Broward Advisors for Continuing Education (BRACE) advisor about a dual enrollment course at Florida Atlantic University called the Barb Schmidt Fellowship. This fellowship’s purpose was to bring students together to teach them the fundamentals of social change and put them into action. At first, I skimmed through the email and closed it. But, as I let it sit in my mind, I was intrigued to apply and see what happens. I filled out my application within minutes and didn’t really take the time to proofread my responses. And in that moment, my entire life completely changed.

When I got the news that I was accepted into the fellowship, I was so excited to learn the true meaning of social change was. How do human beings bring about change in nations with such powerful governments? How effective is it? My mind was filled with questions. I was eager to meet the new people I would encounter who also got accepted into the fellowship. It was all such a new experience. The class was two semesters long and I was honestly nervous because I had never taken an actual college class. But despite my worries, I learned about how people gather together to actively make a change within a community. Not only that, I was able to connect with my peers on a different but shared level: changing the world one day at a time.

We've learned about art and activism, occupying space, analyzing different acts of social change, and even had guest speakers come in to speak with us. It was all interactive!

My most favorite part about being apart of the fellowship is founding The Safe Sex Project. In our curriculum, we had to form our group based on a shared social issue. My group's mission os to provide inclusive and comprehensive sexual education to teens and young adults regardless of sexual orientation or gender. We're able to provide this information by holding summits based on different topics for teens at Florida Atlantic University. So far, we've held two summits and they've been amazing!

With a new member on our team, my life after the Barb Schmidt Fellowship has been improved for the better. I've found my new passion for advocating for inclusive sexual health and I couldn't have asked for anything more!

P.S. If you asked me if I would change anything about my experience, I would say absolutely nothing!

All images provided by the author.