I was given a rare opportunity

By Torie DeFazio ‘21

It was around February of last year, when I was in the middle of my junior year. I received a pass in the morning to go down to guidance later that day. Of course, with my personality, I instantly assumed I did something wrong. However, that was not the case. It turned out that I was chosen for a rare opportunity. The West Deptford branch of the New Jersey Woman’s Club elects an average of five or six girls from the junior class each year. They are chosen by their guidance counselor based on the counselors’ opinions of those students who may show potential. My guidance counselor, the one who chose me, is Mrs. Quindlen. She is a very kind individual who has helped me through worries and concerns in life and has proven herself to be the best.
That afternoon, I was summoned to the counselor’s office. She told me about the Women’s Club and what they do, accomplish, and the opportunity I was being presented with. The representatives for the Women’s Club came to visit. They were sitting in the meeting room waiting for us to arrive. They had been waiting for six of us to arrive and join them. Before I had any idea who else had been selected, I realized that all of the counselors made excellent choices in the other students I found in the room. It was very nerve wracking at first communicating with the others and the women from the club. We had a long conversation about what we were going to do and how the experiences change all who go.
Before this meeting, I had not heard of the Rutgers New Brunswick campus up in northern Jersey. From the pictures presented to us and the offer we were presented with, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to do something new. It was also a rare opportunity as only 185 junior girls are chosen in the entire state. I was overjoyed when the paperwork arrived in the mail in early March. I was looking forward to being a part of something larger than myself.
Of course, plans made can crumble at any time. March was a rough month in terms of the breakout of COVID-19 in the United States. Malls, movie theaters, restaurants, everything that we did for fun was shut down. Eventually, even schools had to shut their doors. Unfortunately, that included the college where we were supposed to spend three days. Instead of packing my bags for the first of June, I received a certificate in the mail of my selection and participation in this event. A piece of paper was all I had to show for this rare opportunity I was given. So I have it hanging on my wall. Although I never got to see what being a Women’s Club delegate is all about, it was a whole different experience for me in which I never thought I would ever be a part of.
What I take away from this opportunity is even though some things might not go my way all the time, I still have a feeling of accomplishment that I was accepted into this opportunity to be a part of the West Deptford Women’s Club.