Student Life & Leadership Example

October 2018

Section 1

November 2018 - Zenith Farin

An image of Zenith Farin, November 2018 Spotlight winner.

Name: Zenith Farin
Year: 4th
Major: Public Health Policy Major, English Minor
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Involvements at UCI:

DubHub Intern at Womxn’s Hub (Sep 2018 - Present); COACH, Counseling Center (Sep 2018 - Present); President of South Asian Student Union (Apr 2017 - Present); Chapter Ambassador of HEART Women and Girls (Feb 2018 - Present); Cross Cultural Center Community Programs Volunteer (2015 - 2016) and Personal Development Intern (2017 - 2018); Antleader Mentorship Program Mentee (2015 - 2016), Mentor (2016 - 2018), Workshops Coordinator (2016-2017), and Assistant Commissioner (2017-2018); Bengali Rural Education Advancement Intern (2016) and Public Relations Chair (2017); Alternative Break Site Leader for Campus Organizations and Volunteer Programs (2016 - 2017); Planning Committee for ALL-U Leadership Conference (2016); Pakistani Student Association (2016); Mentee for Humanities Peer Mentor Program (2015-2016)

What are three words other people would describe you as?

My roommate describes me as a leader, active, and pristine.
When I was younger, my talkativeness and busy body personality type made me the center of a teacher’s worries and detention slips, but now as a senior in college, it has translated into something more: a leader. I am still learning as a leader, learning to give space, take space, to give empathy and love, and acknowledge those who were before me and will come after. As I grow into the future leader I hope to be, I also hope to motivate others to know that those who never believed in them is such a small number compared to how many people do believe in them. Everyone has the capability to be their own leader and there is no set way to lead effectively. I am definitely not physically active, but I do try my best to be active in people’s lives and in the social justice scene as best as I can. I am only one person, but I believe in the importance of sharing/giving space with others and holding myself accountable to my actions. Pristine can be interpreted in different ways, because I feel like I am far from pristine, but I do like this definition: “in its original condition.” I always remind myself to remember who I am, where I come from, and who was there for me through a lot. I will always be my authentic, original, and pristine self.

What would you say is your greatest strength? How have you utilized it to empower yourself?

My greatest strength is my ability to be unwavering, even through difficult times, but there are still moments when I can’t always be so. I recently saw a quote from writer Katherine MacKenett that states, “Now, every time I witness a strong person, I want to know: What darkness did you conquer to your story? Mountains do not rise without earthquakes.” I resonate with this statement a lot because I often hear people telling me that I am strong, that I look put together, and that I have it all under control. Yes, I appreciate that those around me can see how hard I work and do truly love my unwavering attitude at times. But, I do have my dark days and dark past that haunts me. I have had many moments in my life where I put myself down or was put down by those I thought loved me. I began boosting myself up by trying to find the glimmers of confidence and affirmation that reminded me about why I am here, why I matter to myself, and why I matter to those around me. I empower myself to be proud of where I have been able to reach, and remind myself that being unwavering does not make me any less human.

What are you passionate about? Do you see yourself doing something with this passion in the future?

I’m passionate about deconstructing and revitalizing the mental health care system around the world, and poetry for the soul. I am hoping to receive higher education in public health or community health to work with mental health initiatives for marginalized communities, but poetry has been a tougher part of my passions lately as well. I am trying to find more time to write and remind myself that I am writing myself for me. One day I hope to publish poetry that soothes the soul and reminds people what it means to be human each day.

What is your life motto?

Remember what you are worth, that is your life’s importance.

If you could drop all of your responsibilities for a day and do anything with this free time, what would you do?

Students, especially prominent student leaders, deserve to have days to themselves for self preservation and reflection, so I would definitely want a carefree day alone in order to rejuvenate myself for when I need to get back to work. I would spend a day in a flower field with my dog, Max, while I read books, paint a new painting, and somehow have magical wifi to watch a few episodes of an anime.