For the past four years my professor has been encouraging me to attend a PLEN seminar. So many Wesleyannes go to the seminars offered throughout the year, but I simply couldn’t afford it. Finally, my senior year, I received the PLEN scholarship and it made all the difference.
Through blog posts and other students, I heard that not only I should attend, but that “everyone needs to go to PLEN,” but I couldn’t help feeling a little hesitant. Even with the encouragement — literally from everyone I spoke to — I thought that “everyone” did not include me.
I doubted my knowledge in the nonprofit sector was adequate enough to engage with professionals and other impressive PLEN attendees. Fortunately, I had been mistaken. PLEN was a life changing experience from the first three hours on the first day. Immediately, I was empowered and learned fundamental skills I wish every woman could have access to. I was surrounded by intelligent, successful, and driven women from all sorts of backgrounds and, suddenly, it hit me that I am one of them. Intelligent, successful, and driven. PLEN gave me the tools via workshops and real life interactions with panelists and alumni to put my drive into a direction that I had been right about all along — and now I know it’s the right path.
If a day comes where I have an unexpected experience which turns my course, I’m prepared for that too. Just as one of the panelists said, “You have to look back at your life to connect the dots of how got you where you are.” I’ve placed a dot with PLEN and I’m ready to lay all of the other dots throughout my career. Now, I’ve joined the network of women saying that everyone should go to PLEN.
Jake Kryjak attended the 2017 Women Unlocking Nonprofits seminar during his senior year at Wesleyan College.