Words by Allison Knapp, a CAPA London alumna and Human Services Major from the University of Delaware.
In celebration of International Women's Day today, Allison takes a few moments to sit down and reflect on five of the women who have had an impact on her life over the years.
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I am fortunate enough to have many women in my life who have impacted me and have helped me become the person I am today.
Here are a few:
1. MY GRANDMA. She passed a few years ago, but I always think of her when making decisions. She had a love for traveling and was able to take her children on several trips throughout Europe during their childhood/young adulthood. My grandma’s sister moved to England after college, and she took my mom to visit often. Hearing my grandma speak of England and Europe as a little girl inspired me to want to study abroad, and her spirit and love of life went with me wherever I went and will continue to go for the rest of my life.
2. MY MOM. I do not thank this woman enough for everything she has done for me. She raised my brother and I as a single parent our whole lives, and has been able to support us in anything and everything we do, including my semester abroad in London during the fall of 2014. Not only financially, but my mom gave me travel tips while I was there, supported me, helped me find my passport after I thought I lost it on a biking trip in Paris, and she even sent me a birthday package while I was abroad. I could not have studied abroad without her, and I am so lucky to have had that opportunity because of her.
3 AND 4: MY ROOMMATES, MAGGIE AND MCKENZIE. While I was abroad, we had to figure out housing for our senior year at the University of Delaware. They went out and found a perfect apartment right on Main Street, and were able to find one that worked for the three of us. I wasn’t there to help them find anything or discuss details, but I was able to sign the lease and just scan everything back. I am so grateful for them for being able to include me and make it all work, while I was across the pond.
5. MY FRIEND FROM HOME, BROOKE. Brooke and I have been best friends since high school, and she goes to Bentley University in Boston. She was abroad in Florence while I was in London, and was the only friend (not from my trip) who truly understood the experience of being abroad, what it’s like being away from family, how much fun Europe is, and how it is so rewarding / difficult to step outside of your comfort zone. I was able to visit Brooke for a day during my fall break trip to Italy, which made me so happy. Us, together in Europe, was an amazing experience I will never forget.
This year on International Women’s Day, I am so lucky to have such amazing women in my life who help me want to be a better person, who inspire me to succeed, who helped me live my dream in London, and who will be in my heart forever.