Lizzie Berry: Reflections on Feminist Camp NYC

It is hard to choose just one critical experience I had at Feminist Camp. One that affected me the deeply was when our group had the opportunity to visit Choices in Queens, NY. This was one of our first visits of the trip. Choices is a comprehensive women’s health clinic founded by Merle Hoffman, who we had the pleasure to meet and have a round-table discussion with. The building houses areas of specialty for pre-natal care, gynecology, abortion, nutrition, behavioral health, and education all under the same organization. While at Choices, we initially had a talk about our expectations and then were given a tour of the building. Our main ‘tour guide’ was the Lead Social Worker for Choices. After showing us the reception room that takes calls in over seven different languages, we went to see her office. In her office, she spoke about all of the services she offered from basic birth control to accumulating the resources for women in abusive relationships and sex trafficking. As psychology major, I have always been interested in helping others. The extent to which the Lead Social Worker safeguarded these women by finding resources in their area, making sure resources would not be too far away so that the abuser wouldn’t know they were seeking help, and even getting escorts to ensure the safety of these women amazed me. After this experience, I found that I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. I plan on pursuing a social work degree and going into traditional practice or even to court to defend clients. This experience exposed me to the versatility of a social work degree. Overall, my experience at Feminist Camp has fortified my confidence and passion for what I’m studying.

Starting our tour at Choices

Discussing our thoughts and experiences at Choices with Merle Hoffmann, over lunch.

Merle (second from left) and vital staff members, including the Lead Social Worker (second from right). I’m in the middle.

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