Category Archives: George Mason University

Victims’ Rights Run & Walk

George Mason University hosted it’s 16th Annual Victims’ Rights Run & Walk this afternoon.  The event raises awareness and support for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and other crimes.  It is part of a series of events during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
I have been an employee here at Mason (Go Patriots!) for going on 4 years now, and I have signed up to participate in this walk every year.  As is often the case with having small children at home, I have gotten pulled away to tend to the needs of my family each year, and I have not been able to actually walk/run with my department.  
Not this year, baby!  This year, despite having been on my death bed all week, hacking up lungs and all, I walked with a group of co-workers (“Team U-Hall”).  
 It was a perfect day… sunny, 60 degrees, with a chilly wind.  It was so nice to get out of the office for almost 2 hours mid-day and support a cause that deserves as much attention as it can possibly get: Victims’ Rights.
I know several people who have been personally affected by physical and/or some form of sexual abuse.  This is a cause very near and dear to me, and it has been a central theme over the last 4-5 months.  Not on purpose, actually.  Just random pieces that are forming a bigger puzzle for me.  I have written papers about this topic, I will be giving a presentation on teen dating violence next week, and today, I walked for victims.  While all of these things were not planned around or because of each other, I think I have found a calling; a cause that I want to throw myself behind.
What are some causes you hold dear?
Happy Friday, friends!!!



What is the one thing in your life that your will stop at nothing to get/be/do?  
That one thing that you will never stop striving to have.  
That one thing that would fulfill a part of your soul that nothing else could.  
That one thing you stay up and think about at night.
 That one thing that you talk to yourself about.
That one thing for me is my degree.
It may sounds silly, but it is totally true and I’ll tell you why:
I graduated from high school in 2000 (yep, I’m almost the big three zero).  
And what year is it again… 2012?  
I went straight to college and lasted (not even) a full semester.  It was a confusing experience, and one I am not extremely proud of.  Sure, I didn’t do what I set out to do, and blah blah blah.  But what mattered to me in the years to follow was that I let down some of the people that supported me.  It was a horrible feeling, and one that I was not equipped to handle on an emotionally mature level at that point in my life.

So what did I do?
I rebelled.  I partied, and I partied hard. (something I did almost none of in grade school).
I came out of the proverbial cage like a bat out of hell, and I avoided responsibility like the plague.

For almost four years I worked in and out of ordinary restaurants, had a few near death experiences, drank WAY too much, and gave my parents a few extra (thousand) gray hairs.

Finally, in 2004, tired of running myself ragged and having nothing to show for it, I made a serious decision to go back to school.  With the help of my family, I stared at a community college where I would spend the next two years busting my ass before transferring to a university with a 3.8 GPA.  Yeah… I was serious about  it this time.

After 3 successful semesters at George Mason University, Bren and I found out we were expecting a baby.   Needless to say, this put an immediate halt on the ol’ education.  I took two full semesters off of school.  I cannot tell you how upset I was about having to stop taking classes.  I was thrilled about having a baby, but depressed about the changes it was going to force me to make.  (I have to laugh at that now… “changes.”  Yeah… a baby changes EVERYTHING). I swore that I would go back as soon as I could.  Bren promised to do everything in his power to help me do so.
About 3 months after I had Liam, I landed a full time gig at George Mason University (how convenient you say!), and began taking classes again soon after.  Luckily for me, GMU offers its employees tuition benefits.  This allowed me to take 2 courses per semester (which was all I could handle anyway having a newborn at home and all…). 
 Four years and two kids later (Liam and Collin), here I am: On the cusp of my last semester.  About to graduate in about 7 months.  Working full time.  Planning crazy birthday parties last minute.  Trying to do this blogging thing (which I love and wish I had more time and energy for).  
I cannot begin to tell you what getting my degree signifies for me.  
Strength.  Support.  Faith.  Determination.  Focus.  Creativity.  Passion.  Hope.  Drive.  Comfort.  Relief.  Relentlessness.    
Most of all, I know, that if I can do THIS… I can do anything.
Never give up on that one thing.  It will be yours sooner than you expect!