When Alexandra (Alex) Olkowski graduated in April 2013 with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Writing, that was just the beginning.
She also graduated with four years of experience at Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Center (SAPAC) that led to a full scholarship at the College of Law at University of Illinois.
Most of what I want to do with my life is helping people, and University of Illinois College of Law had a scholarship for students who are interested in public interest law, for helping people. I got this scholarship because I talked one of their alumni’s ears off about SAPAC. I told him about all the things we do there, and how those things affected what I wanted to do with my life, and a couple months later, they let me into their law school for free!
Alex began volunteering at SAPAC after attending a workshop. She realized that sexual violence is a huge problem worldwide, and that she wanted to make a difference. She volunteered during her freshman and sophomore years, leading workshops and awareness campaigns.
I met people with stories of how violence affected their lives and fueled their activism. It was sad but inspiring. And it made me want to work at SAPAC and make the world a safer place, for U-M and everyone.
In her junior and senior years, she served as co-coordinator of the Men’s Activism Volunteer Program, where she helped lead a group of up to 25 students to communicate to U-M men about sexual violence. She learned about best practices and recruiting. She helped expand the program, adding new initiatives such as No Shave November, which grew considerably this year.
At Michigan, my favorite thing was SAPAC. It had a huge influence in my four years. Michigan has a great culture on campus of people wanting to affect positive change as a community, and I met with leaders who cared about making Michigan safe and the best it could be.
Law school is challenging in ways that her undergraduate experience wasn’t.
One of the best ways to affect change is through law and policy. I want to make things easier for survivors in court, so I am interested in the criminal law field.
Alex’s advice? Send your kids to Michigan, and have them sign up to volunteer with SAPAC.
Tell everyone who joins SAPAC that if you do what you love, and talk about it all the time, amazing, amazing things can happen!
In addition to SAPAC, Student Life offers many other opportunities to Get Involved.
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