Victoria Siu, a senior at The Episcopal School of Dallas, led a self-defense class for women at the Genesis Women’s Shelter as part of her service-learning project. Siu not only taught the class, but also worked with the organization to coordinate a date, time, and location for the class, and learn what kind of course would be most beneficial to the women.
“I wanted to do something that would positively impact the women and make them more confident,” Siu said. “It was inspiring to give these women the ability to fight, and it’s definitely something I want to continue doing in college and beyond.”
Several of the women who attended Siu’s class told her afterwards they feel safer walking to and from the bus stop. Others said it was very helpful to receive the training from another female, rather than a male Dallas Police Officer.
"I will never be able to explain what a difference Victoria made in the lives of the women who have known danger and fear for so long,” Elizabeth Wheller, a case manager at Genesis Women’s Shelter said. “Her class gave them a priceless gift of freedom, safety, and knowledge."
Siu, who started taking karate classes at age 8 and earned a black belt last year, says she became involved in the sport to learn self-defense.
“I felt that my experience in karate and being a young woman made me more relatable,” Siu explained. “I just want these women to be educated and feel that they could defend themselves if they ever needed to.”