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  • Stanford Rowing

Valeria Talks Brothers and Sisters

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

I had no idea what to expect when walking onto Stanford Men’s Rowing. Although the idea of being just one of two girls on an otherwise all male team sounded like an exciting challenge, it was certainly intimidating. The perception I had garnered of most male spaces, including male sports teams, was, up to this point, not necessarily positive. They often seemed an especially unwelcoming space for women. Stanford Men’s Crew proved me wrong. Within the first few weeks of being on the team, I quickly realized that I now had almost 30 brothers who would encourage and support me every day to be the best person I can be, both on and off the water. The dedication and hard work, athletically and academically, as well as the commitment to interpersonal accountability that these men demonstrate is something I truly admire. Being both a team member and leader in a predominantly male space has proved to be an empowering experience every day. In the future I hope to work in politics, and I know that the collaboration and communication skills I have developed in this, traditionally, unfamiliar space are incredibly beneficial. Furthermore, despite differences in my background and journey getting there, Stanford Men’s Rowing has become a community that will remain part of me throughout my life. It has already granted me lifelong friendships and I know the world will have stronger leaders and be a better place with years of SMC alums to come.

- Valeria Gonzalez, Coxswain, ‘23

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