As we near the end of the school year, we would like to take a moment to celebrate some of the seniors we have graduating and to thank them for their hard work for NeW. Today’s Spotlight is on Shannon McGuire, NeW President at Florida State University.How did you get involved with NeW?
I met Kala Kelly, our founding President of NeW at FSU, at a political conference the summer before beginning at Florida State. She introduced me to Network of enlightened Women, and she has remained a wonderful friend and mentor.
What is one thing you gained from NeW?
Condensing all that I have gained from NeW is impossible to describe with just one thing. I have learned to think critically about mainstream culture; to challenge the status quo. NeW has developed my leadership skills and given me confidence as a woman — not as a victim of society, but an empowered leader capable of positively impacting our culture.
How did NeW shape your college experience?
As a freshman entering a large university, the FSU chapter of NeW offered an escape from the biased views of my professors. I was able to develop my opinions with insights from all sides of the feminist spectrum.
What is your favorite part of NeW? A favorite memory?
The volunteer events we hosted with the local Girl Scout troops were definitely a highlight to my NeW experience. We were able to build confidence in a younger age group that is easily influenced by popular culture. Coordinating the event was difficult, but laughing and having meaningful discussions with those girls remains one of my favorite memories.
What will you miss most about NeW?
I will definitely miss the opportunity I had of meeting wonderful role models at each National Conference, as well as the great friends I made in our Florida State Chapter.
What is one piece of advice you would pass on to NeW ladies following you?
In a classroom setting, don’t be afraid to challenge “groupthink.” You will be surprised how many others will agree with your viewpoints. Challenging feminists can be intimidating until you realize just how many others respect your opinions and are thankful for a fresh perspective.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to return to South America where I had the opportunity of interning as a teacher last semester. After gaining experience working with a non-profit organization and perfect my Spanish skills, I plan to attend law school and work in the public policy sector with a focus on economic development and children’s rights.