Student Spotlight - Veronica Bido DRC'21
“We have been taught and empowered since we walked through the doors of Voorhees Chapel. We are not only leaving with our memories today, but also with the knowledge that we were a part of something greater than ourselves.” – Veronica Bido, DRC’21, Douglass Spring Convocation
At the Douglass Spring Convocation Ceremony, student speaker Veronica Bido left the Class of 2021 with a message full of Douglass spirit and hope, pointing her fellow classmates towards the limitless possibilities that lay ahead.
Winner of the Edele Neilsen Prize in Speech, Bido was selected to address the Class of 2021. Her speech foregrounded not only positivity for the future, but also a nuanced and compassionate take on the unprecedented college experience that has defined their class. Bido’s wisdom reverberated around the Douglass community as students, staff, alumnae, and friends celebrated this important milestone.
“It was a privilege and a great responsibility to get the opportunity to speak to my peers as well as our Douglass community,” said Bido. “This year has been hard for everyone in more ways than one. So I wanted to take this opportunity to share my love and appreciation for Douglass. I also wanted to let me peers know that to survive this year was an achievement, and that it’s okay to not be okay.”
For Bido, the experience was a dream come true.
“I felt mixed emotions giving the convocation speech for Douglass,” she said. “When I was a first year, I wrote in my journal that I hoped to give a speech at graduation. Little did I know—it would actually come true!”
During her time at Douglass, Bido was a Red Pine Ambassador. In this role, she served as a recruiter and mentor to prospective Douglass students. Her experience in the group fostered a passion for sharing her insights with peers and spreading her love of Douglass traditions.
“I am a proud Douglass Red Pine Ambassador—it’s truly one of my favorite organizations to be a part of,” she said. “Douglass traditions have a unique impact. To learn about the College's history gives you a new appreciation—you can see how far we have come and how far we have left to go. Our Douglass traditions not only teach us where we are from, but they are done in such an inclusive way.”
After graduation, Bido will begin work as a fellow at the Work First Fellowship, a service program based in Maryland. The initiative aims to engage young professionals and recent graduates in making a direct impact on ending poverty. As a fellow, she will be working in the areas of unemployment and curriculum development. In the future, she plans to obtain a J.D.
“What I want to do is use the rule of law in order to serve the public,” she said. “To put it simply, I want to empower others in marginalized communities.”
Bido prepared for her new role by interning at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. There, she shadowed a variety of positions in the courtroom.
“The experience I received at the District Attorney’s Office was amazing. I was exposed to so much and got to learn from so many different people—the attorneys in the courtroom, the trial assistants preparing the documents, the security guards letting me in—I learned that everyone plays a part,” she said. “I also witnessed how some communities are directly impacted by our judicial system. This is a system that is not meant for everyone, and I hope one day, in one way or another, to help change that.”
As she takes her next steps, Bido will remember the impact the foundational experiences at Douglass had on her path.
“Douglass has done so much for me that I will not be able to say it all,” said Bido. “Most importantly, it gave me a community that not only supports me, but empowers me to realize the strength in my vulnerability. Through Douglass I have learned the only limits that exist are the ones you create for yourself. It is never wrong to advocate for yourself and it is okay to make mistakes. As Douglass women, we are in spaces and institutions that were not made for us in mind, not built for us to thrive. However, we are here because of those before us who have paved the way. We can make change, and we can do it together.”
You can watch Bido’s convocation speech here!