“Gatorship helped me to truly understand that life is most certainly not black and white, but a magnificent rainbow with infinite hues; every story I heard, lesson learned, and bond created during my retreat has added a new lens through which I am able to view this world and all of its complexities. Gatorship has provided a space for me to grow and embrace my true colors, while simultaneously leaving me empowered to build a more inclusive community where every person’s unique identities and experiences are understood and celebrated. Together, we can make this vision a reality”
– Billy Hackett, 2017-2018 Gatorship Assistant Director
“Gatorship gave me the space to transform from passive to active, dull to vibrant, timid to empowered. It provided me the opportunity to see that our differences are to be celebrated, and our voices deserve to be heard. From participating on the first day of retreat to becoming a staff member, I’ve never been so welcomed and encouraged to embrace my most genuine self.”
-Zoe Pointer, 2017-2018 Gatorship Assistant Director
“I always knew what motivated me, what made my heart beat faster, and that I was a follower of Ghandi’s words: “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Though I still questioned if my passion, values, and actions were enough to make a difference in society. After Gatorship, from the stories I heard & people I met, I realized my story is a part of their experience, and their story is a part of me. Together, we can make the change our communities need. Gatorship allowed me to accept that my background is my strength and my voice is my power.”
-Shakila Ali, 2017-2018 Gatorship Assistant Director
“Before Gatorship, I stayed in my own little shell. My view towards a lot of things were “thats just the way it is”. After the retreat, after hearing stories of others and sharing my own, I am no longer accepting the things I can not change, but am changing the things I cannot accept. From embracing transparency to forming new connections, Gatorship has given me the space to show my true colors.
-Dhapny Mazille, 2017-2018 Gatorship Assistant Director
“Gatorship moved me, from an observer to someone who authentically engages with my surroundings. It moved me emotionally, and grew me intellectually. It’s allowed me to show my true colors by encouraging my vulnerability, and by empowering, and welcoming me. Because of Gatorship I speak up. I’m an active member of my community and I’m here to make a change.”
-Chase Werther, 2017-2018 Gatorship Assistant Director
“A brush stroke is a silent poem, and Gatorship taught me how to appreciate every hue. Before my retreat, nothing seemed harder to me than navigating life as a Black queer woman. Then through the stories of others, I realized that it wasn’t about who had it worse, it’s about understanding how we became the people we are. Recognizing the larger forces, we have a duty to change this campus with all of our needs in mind. Gatorship gave me myself, in my brightest form.”
-Brooke Henderson, 2017-2018 Gatorship Director
Has Gatorship transformed your college experience? We’d love to hear from you! Email your story to Diana Moreno (Subject Line: “Gatorship Testimonies”) at DianaM@multicultural.ufl.edu.