Rebecca Fenderson Reflection

Dear UMBrella Group,

Being able to attend NCCWSL was such a fantastic opportunity. Between the inspirational keynote speakers, the numerous workshops to choose from, and the tremendous amount of energy from the 700-plus attendees, there wasn't a moment where I didn't feel empowered and supported. I learned more about how to listen to people's opinions, how to confidently and respectfully speak about mine, and the real issues inside and outside of politics that affect women on a national and global scale. It was beautiful to see the diversity of the attendees — so many colleges and graduate institutions represented from all around the country, and many attendees traveled from multiple countries as far away as Brazil to the Middle East. The entire conference was centered on leadership, and it forced us to stop and think about how we view ourselves as leaders and what we can do to continue growing as such. AAUWL emphasizes how leaders need motivation, authenticity, compassion, and confidence — and women tend to lack the latter characteristic. Organizations like AAUWL are so important for young women because they strive to unite people from different backgrounds to learn from one another. I had a great experience and am so glad I got to be a part of such a powerful conference!

Rebecca Fenderson
University of Maryland School of Medicine
MD Candidate 2021