06 Oct Meet Frieda!
Hi, I’m Frieda! I like sunshine, fresh fruit, and long walks on the beach (weather and shoes permitting, of course — bare feet on gravel is no fun).
I grew up pro-life, though not in an active way. That changed when I went to college.
I’ve been involved in the pro-life group on campus, Loyola Students for Life, since going on the March for Life in DC during my freshman year, having never been involved in any sort of pro-life group before. When I signed up for my inaugural March for Life, I was concerned that I had just committed myself to a weekend of negativity and discomfort.
Instead, I found a group of people who were not only passionate about being pro-life but also incredibly positive and committed to pursuing social change by being their authentic selves. I met people from a range of backgrounds, all united by one view: the idea that abortion doesn’t build our society up.
During my sophomore year, I worked extensively on LSFL’s service committee developing resources for both pregnant and post-abortive students. This is an approach to the pro-life movement that really excites me: meeting people where they are and with what they need at that moment. It was during this year, and specifically this committee, that I began to interact with the SFLI model through Loyola’s Campus Mentor, Pam.
When I think about my junior year studying abroad in Rome and Beijing, one of the things that stuck out to me is the incredible kindness I experienced from so many people, especially when they had no reason to go out of their way for me.
Beyond figuring out how to bluff my way through a wine tasting and developing an appreciation for tofu, I returned to the US with an even more deeply rooted belief that a) people are basically good at their core and b) everyone, regardless of whatever categories we might sort ourselves into, wants to be treated with respect and consideration.
I also spent quite a bit of time contemplating just how to put this belief into action. I kept coming back to the approach I found with SFLI, an approach which focuses on positivity, respecting everyone regardless of their beliefs (as shown by the dialogue with dignity model), and considering pro-life issues from several perspectives, including scientific, philosophical, sociological, and interpersonal angles.
I applied for the SFLI internship for two reasons.
The first is that I realized that SFLI’s values and approach are in line with who I would like to be, both within the pro-life movement and as a person in general.
The second is that I knew that I would be challenged in a really compelling way. While I’ve never felt pressured to become someone that I’m not, I have felt invited to stretch myself beyond my snuggly comfort zone.
I knew that an internship with SFLI would push me to really consider what it means to be pro-life today, learn how to build up others, and put myself into the areas of being actively pro-life that I haven’t fully engaged.
Right now this internship feels like the beginning of many of life’s best experiences; there’s an element of trepidation rooted in the feeling of leaving behind the safe and known, but there’s also a certain exhilaration at the idea of what could be.
Frieda is a fall intern with Students for Life of Illinois. She is a senior majoring in history at Loyola University Chicago.