I joined UniCamp my freshman year when I was looking for a fun extracurricular to do at UCLA. I never would have imagined that in a short time it would grow to influence almost every facet of my life. Through UniCamp, I’ve found a family within UCLA, people who I call my best friends and who have shaped me to be the person that I am today. Even outside of UCLA I’ve met people who have done UniCamp and we instantly bond because camp is such a fiercely special experience. I think most notable of all, UniCamp’s the reason I chose to pursue a career in education. Every summer I meet the most amazing campers, and even though we’re here to teach them something, it is me who ends up learning the most from them.
I chose to do LSHIP after talking to a lot of amazing people who encouraged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I have a distinct memory of someone suggesting to me that I should join LSHIP my freshman year and my automatic response was that there was no way! Five years later, I feel so grateful to be surrounded by people who believed in me before I did because it has given me the opportunity to pursue my passions and make a real difference in the world.
AcademiCamp is an initiative close to my heart because of its tie in with education. I was so inspired to learn about all of the initiatives of UniCamp this year. To me, a lot of the needs we are addressing could be traced back to how the education system is failing our students. There is no simple solution, but the mission of our initiative is simple: we want to reignite a genuine love of learning and curiosity in our students. Using the principles of social justice education, we can empower our students by honoring social diversity and advocating for social justice in the educational system and environment.
Bones is a UCLA alumna (’15) and Head Counselor of UniCamp’s Session 4: AcademiCamp (2016).
Compiled by Viridiana “Chancla” Flores UCLA ’16