Learn More About Maya’s Experience with Becky’s FundAugust 8, 2016
The work I have done this summer has been unlike any I’ve done in the past. I’ve been frustrated, sad, and discouraged. But I’ve also been uplifted, happy and hopeful. I am very thankful for my time here and the ways it has strengthened me.
I realized that sexual education is absolutely my passion and that I want to continue with it whether through advocacy or teaching. Working with the football team every week through Men of Code opened my eyes to the lack of knowledge students have about consent and healthy relationships. Though the things they would sometimes say upset me, I was determined to change their minds. Through the surveys we gave during each lesson, I was humbled to see their attitudes shift on these topics. In addition, I rewrote the curriculum for Men of Code to be comprehensive for anyone, regardless of their teaching experience or knowledge of the topic. I am really proud of this project, as it took me the entire summer to complete, and I believe it will really help the program facilitators in the future.
As for the research I conducted through my university, I have learned a lot about the impacts of rape culture on college campuses and the ways it silences victims of dating violence. If our society continues to place blame on survivors and those trapped in cycles of abuse, our ability to help them through the experience and recovery is limited. In particular, the lack of education about consent, relationships, and bystander intervention continue to perpetuate negative attitudes and violence. When I return to campus, I am determined to continue looking at these obstacles in prevention and response as well as work with my university and community to better respond to these situations.
In my time at Becky’s Fund, I have grown as a friend, a mentor and an advocate. I’ve learned I am more than any violence I once faced and I am better than the societal expectations that attempt to silence me and others. I’ve worked with and learned from an incredible team of individuals, all very different from one another, who came together for a greater purpose- to end domestic violence. This team has shown me more encouragement, support and love than I ever expected and it makes me sad that I won’t see them all everyday. Yet they have inspired me to change the world, and I’m forever grateful for that.