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Student Profile: Sarah Powell

Sarah standing with her back against a brick wall in a pink shirt
Photo courtesy of Sarah Powell

Sarah Powell, ‘22, says she was “drawn to Meredith College because of the small, unique learning environment that encourages and empowers students.” During her visit on campus as a high schooler, Powell “immediately got the gut feeling that [Meredith] was the right place for [her].”

Powell was originally planning to major in studio art and was an Art Scholarship recipient, but she is now double majoring in business and economics. She continues to incorporate artistry in her life by figure skating, sewing and working on DIY projects. Once she attains her bachelor’s degree, she hopes “to attend law school and pursue economics through international law.” Powell has served on the SGA Executive Board, and she shares that she “will assume the role of SGA President [in the fall].” In this role, she hopes “to continue to spread awareness about the many issues facing our campus and students right now.” She is also the Service Chair for Alpha Lambda Delta. As her junior year comes to a close and her senior year quickly approaches, Powell plans to begin studying for the LSAT, but also says, “I hope to spend my senior year with the amazing friends I have made at Meredith and trying to live every day to the fullest.”

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, The Herald asked Powell about her involvement in sexual assault awareness and prevention. Powell says, “My freshman year, I came across a consent loophole in the law in North Carolina. ‘No means no’ did not apply here. I was outraged as this affected everyone.” Powell also says that a previously proposed bill to improve the law was not passed and that she tried to bring more attention to the consent loophole by writing an opinion piece for The Herald. “Through the help and support of my professors at Meredith and the North Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA), we were able to hold a bi-partisan panel discussion and talk to some of our NC legislatures about the loophole,” she explains. One year later, a new bill passed, and Powell had the opportunity to “[speak] at the bill signing and [thank] our legislators for doing the right thing.”

When asked to share other experiences that she cherishes, Powell says, “One unique experience I had was meeting with leaders from all around the world about starting youth-led projects in their countries.” She fondly recalls meeting “an abundance of leaders from all over such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.” Powell explains, “I really cherished sharing my experience, strength and hope in youth-led projects and the power our younger generation holds today.”

Reflecting on her growth as an individual from freshman to junior year, Powell has noticed a major change in [her] confidence and [her] voice.” Powell elaborates, “I’ve grown more confident in speaking up and [have] learned to be confident in what I say—in every aspect of my life, not just in school. I think a lot of that is a result of feeling more confident in who I am and who I intend to be, which I could not have done without Meredith.” Throughout her college journey, Powell has observed she “[has become] more of an extrovert and [has been] stepping outside of [her] comfort zone.” Because of her experiences, her advice to the incoming junior class is to “be outgoing...and get involved” as change is a sign of growth. Powell also notes the importance of asking for help. She reassures her classmates that other students often “will have the same questions. You are not any less capable or intelligent if you ask for help.”

On the subject of taking precautions to better ensure safety in a college community, Powell advises students to “speak up for themselves” and to “take care of each other and look out for others who might be in need of your help.” She says, “Sexual assault is something that affects everyone, especially women, so it is important to advocate for ourselves.” Powell mentions various ways to spread awareness: “getting involved in advocacy groups or clubs around campus” like Sisters United or writing to your representative and using social media. “The best way to [advocate] is to make your voice heard,” she says. “Do not wait for someone else to fix an issue, if you want something done, take action now.”

By Caroline Garland, Contributing Writer


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