Aponi Geletko

International Experience Country:
Dominican Republic
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Greensburg

Heinz Programming Area:
Children, Youth, and Families
Study Abroad Country: Cohort Year:  Home Institution:  Programming Area: 
International Experience Summary:

When talking about life, one thing to believe in is that life is about taking risks and what you do with those risks is what makes life great. The growth that I’ve seen inside of her over these past few months is remarkable. The journey that she encountered allowed her to develop a better perception of the Dominican culture. The drive and dedication she seen amongst the common people wanting to see a change in the society. Aponi tried to live like an Ally by bringing people together and making everyone feel like a community and equal. She never lost sight of learning and growing as a person. By having trust and positive relationships, it creates respect, a community, and growth as a whole. This has allowed her to know the difference between being a server and have served. She is a server and will keep being a server in the future. She put herself in the shoes of the people within the organization and accepted and shared responsibilities as a community. It has allowed her to work as a community and be a partner that understands the importance of the true meaning her host-organization. She didn’t know what she wanted to do for her career but this trip abroad has helped her narrow her vision. A vision that has inspired to help people and allow her to learn from others. Being abroad was never about what she could do for the children, adults or who she encountered with on the job. More or so it was about what they could do for her and the growth she has had as an individual since she first left. She trusted and believed in herself and allowed herself to grow because she was open to it. Being closed-minded is never the right thing to do when being placed in opportunities such as this. She took this as a lesson and will apply it to the rest of her life.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: I’m not a B!TCH. I’m a WOMAN. Global Perceptions of Women and Feminism.

Our CEE started with us going through our countries and what it was was like being a foreign woman in that country and how people portray women in those countries. We incorporate/ supported our argument on how women in countries abroad are similar to the woman here in the United States through social norms, feminism, and the double bind women face on a daily basis. The social norms that women tend to suffer from are when people accept behavior or assume that women are expected to conform too. Some social norms that people hold over women are, women are not likely to be in leadership roles, stay at home moms or having it all, and to be feminine (long hair, wear makeup, dress feminine, slim figure, etc.). These social norms and perceptions can portray women to be a certain way that’ll categorize them to be b!tches.

Feminism can also play a significant role in the understanding of women because stereotypes that people hold when it deals with feminism is that feminists hate men, feminists want to be like men, and only women can be feminist; there is a difference between feminism and sexism. Women don’t want women to better than the other sex; they want to be equal; for all people to be equal. Women face the double bind majority of their life. The double bind is when a person receives two or more conflicting messages, such as a woman in a workplace one side they would say “think like a man, act like a boss” and on the other hand “you’re so bossy."

Furthermore “be professional” while on the other side “sleep your way to the top.” The double bind can be hard for women to be in a more professional manner as well as in other aspects of their lives. Talking about these various topics allowed us to open the floor up to a discussion where we had four women panelist with firm opinions about our topic on women’s social norms, feminism, and double bind. We concluded that the only way to see change is not to label women as b!tches but notice how people identify us as well as put labels on us and identify the problem and how we can change it. We need to advocate for everyone and push people to embrace one’s true self and not just confront more apparent issues.