Sadie LoGerfo-Olsen’19

On November 8th, 2016, the world shifted on its axis. On a much smaller scale, my own life shifted as well. Following the presidential election, I changed my major from Neuroscience to Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies and, in doing so, altered both my academic trajectory at Bowdoin and overall life path. Yet, this choice was beyond politics, because regardless of who lives in the White House, women lack equality in every realm. Pursuing a Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies major pushed me to confront the painful realities of our patriarchal systems of power that thrive on the oppression and objectification of women. This knowledge encourages me constantly to address, remedy and protect the status of women.

Following Bowdoin, I aspire to work in the legal sector, where I can focus on opportunities for change within law and collaborate with politicians to advance women’s rights in a tangible way. My academic and extracurricular involvements at Bowdoin have bolstered these career interests. Since my sophomore fall, my passion for gender issues have extended beyond the classroom to a variety of groups on campus. From the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention to mentoring middle school girls to social captaining the women’s rowing team to being a member of Bowdoin’s first Gender Violence Prevention Institute, I have integrated myself across a multitude of disciplines that provide me the opportunity to learn about the complex spectrum of challenges for women and girls in Brunswick.

While these groups allow me to implement changes at my local level, I desire to affect change on a larger scale and learn from professionals fighting for gender equality. For these reasons, I am pursuing a summer internship at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. The MCSW, founded in 1998, is a Massachusetts state government agency dedicated to evaluating, promoting and protecting women’s rights in the Commonwealth. Their main focus is proposing and supporting bills through the State House and they most recently helped pass the Equal Pay Act. As their legislative intern, most of my responsibilities will consist of legal research and writing, as well as collaboration with elected officials on policy matters. Throughout the summer, regardless of the specific task, my work will be governed by the Commission’s mission: advancing all women to full equity in all areas of their lives.

I am drawn to this internship because of the unique legislative focus on women’s rights, but also by how it will prepare me for my post-graduation endeavors. While working with the Commission, I will expand my understanding of our legal system and what is currently being done to improve women’s rights. In gaining these insights, I hope to create a foundation of familiarity with our legal system that will equip me with the ability to improve it. I am beyond excited by this opportunity and am confident that my time with the Commission will grant me invaluable experiences as I pursue my professional goals of working on women’s rights law.