- By Shari Halik
"I have always been a very passionate outdoors woman, growing up each summer with my family at an outdoor summer camp, hiking, biking, and kayaking often, ski racing all my life, and becoming a sea kayaking guide and a leader for the UVM Outing Club. During college, I began to mesh this love with a passion for gender equality and empowerment of women through outdoor education."
With a Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation Scholarship through the Rubenstein School, Emily, an environmental studies major, received funding to join forces with Vermont Works for Women (VWW) and had an incredible experience in both the fields of experiential education and women’s and girls’ empowerment.
"Some of the highlights of my internship included working with six girls from Burlington throughout their vacation week inthe Rock and Adventure Program and seeing those girls, who at the beginning of the week would not talk, by the end of the week burst with excitement when they rang the bell at the top of a challenging climbing wall. Helping out with the Women’s Backcountry Ski Clinic was also wonderful, seeing women who had never really been on skis shred through the backwoods."
"I am most grateful for the relationships which I have formed and the powerful women I have met. Through this internship I have now secured a summer job as a mountain bike instructor for VWW’s Dirt Divas girls’ program and have met countless women also striving for gender equality and women’s empowerment through experiential education in Vermont."