When interviewing for GRIT in my sophomore year, I told the team that I didn’t know what it meant to be an empowered woman or what I could do to empower other women. That was the beginning of my journey with a self I never really knew was there, as well as the amazing women who helped me find her.

This blog is a dedication to those women. Lisa, Katie, Lexi, Dani, Jasmyne, Rae, and Logan. [Huge shoutout to Zoe, Brooklyn, and Sophia as well!!]

Imitative learning is one of the most widely used styles of learning where an individual observes and recreates another’s actions. It is often observed in young children as they figure out how to navigate the world around them. Boiled down, my experience with GRIT can be described by this learning tool.

Stepping into this group of seasoned women empowerers, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and so I watched. I watched Dani Brimmage’s execution of honesty mixed with love as she targeted the growth of each girl she encountered, allowing them to find the best version of themselves. I watched Jasmyne Bell’s fortitude as confidence exudes from her, covering women nearby with security and courage as they went on to conquer their day. I watched Rae McCready’s silent strength and she rejoiced, empathized, advocated, celebrating each woman’s unique identity with love and God-fearing prayer. I watched Logan Lusk as she stood steadfast in her intellect, modeling leadership, and a covetable “can-do” spirit.

I, Thecla, as a women empowerer and as an empowered woman is a mosaic. An amalgamation of women that inspired me on my journey to becoming the woman I am today.

My journey of growth is far from over but I could not be more thankful that I am stepping into the next chapter of my life, taking a bit of each of them with me. The same can be said for each of you. GRIT is here to serve you, the women of Biola, and yet I have been so greatly served by you. Without each of you, Biola wouldn’t be Biola and GRIT wouldn’t be GRIT. Your presence matters, you bring something priceless to the table. Thank you for blessing me and investing in my journey of discovery, it has truly been an honour to learn from you.

With Love, Hope and GRIT.

Thecla Li

[Huge shoutout to the best editorial coord, Rae, I procrastinated too much and this last word is way overdue. Thank you for bearing with me.]