My name is Olwyn Bartis, and I am honored and elated to be a part of the Baldwin Class of 2023.
Although I was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, I have lived in Charlotte for most of my life- an opportunity that has provided me the insight to observe the individualized experiences of the plethora of people living here. While I didn’t necessarily grow up in the heart of nature, amongst forests of pine trees or along the coast of the ocean, living in an expanding city has allowed for me to notice and understand the variety of people that function here, without discounting their unique perspectives. In a way, growing up in Charlotte has enabled me to see people’s nature, given the circumstances and the way that society pressures them- both at their best and worst. My hometown has inspired me to attempt to understand others’ experiences, and I subconsciously believe it was part of what prompted my to gravitate toward the Baldwin Scholars.
My entire life, I have been passionate about connecting with others. I truly believe that understanding oneself begins with understanding others; and as I struggle to define myself within the context of ever-changing passions, pressures, and expectations, I realize that I tend to drift out toward others. Much of my life has been inspired by strong individuals; and as I reminisce about my childhood in a futile attempt to convey who I am through this bio, I realize that almost all of them are female. Society has imposed so many guidelines for young women, that it often becomes difficult for us to have confidence in who we are as leaders and humans. Having struggled with this immensely, I have noticed that I find comfort in reaching out to women who inspire me to learn more about myself and others, whether they be older teammates or simply someone I’ve connected with via social media.
As I said, I am genuinely humbled to be a part of Baldwin. Much of my individual experience has been shaped by the discrepancies in my surroundings, and the perceptions of those I look up to. In this way, I am acutely aware of what I want to change around me, and how I want to grow as a person- even if I am still unsure of who I am, now. By participating in Baldwin, I hope to share my experiences and become a leader in the same way that I have looked up to those before me. Here’s to embracing this version of myself, and I cannot wait to see how Baldwin influences me. Hopefully, I will be able to motivate someone to do the same.