Meet Pearl Zare, this week’s Influential Leader at York U. Pearl is 23 years old and a Kinesiology & Health Sciences student. She currently has an impressive number of roles as a student, employee and volunteer which include but are not limited to:
- Working at SCLD as Clubs Peer Mentor;
- Volunteering with YFS on the Clubs Committee;
- Vice-President of the Iranian Students Association;
- Sitting on the Faculty of Health Curriculum’s Committee;
- General Member of the Faculty of Health Student Caucus;
- Sitting on the Faculty of Health Council as a Student Representative;
- Volunteering at McKenzie Health Hospital as H.E.L.P.;
- Invigilating Exams;
- Working at a Medical Clinic as an Administrative Assistant.
How has York supported your success?
York to me is not just school. It’s home. I’ve worked in different positions at the University; I’m a student, I’ve also worked as “staff” in a sense. It has supported my success by essentially helping me learn how to learn by being a good student. York has taught me to think critically and be an active member of my community. Not just at York but in the many different communities of my life, including being a global agent of change. York has taught me to not limit myself but also see myself as a part of my community as a piece in a larger mosaic, a valuable piece, to reflect and say “Well, what can I do?”
What inspired you to get involved?
I was really involved in high school, it’s really a part of my nature to get involved. I wasn’t sure if university was going to be like that because I wasn’t sure if I was only going to be focused on my education. I made an effort to stop in Vari Hall every time I saw a club tabling. It was talking to people that made me want to get involved. Everyone had visions and changes they wanted to see in their community and I wanted to be a part of that. What really motivated me was that you don’t have to let go of a part of your identity (getting involved) just to focus on your education. The University isn’t just an institution, it’s a snap shot of the real world.
What tips would you share with incoming first years?
- Get involved! Academically, socially, politically, in anything that you are interested in. The University does a good job of reaching out to students, but students need to reach back. There’s a hand reaching out, you just need to meet it halfway.
- Don’t look at extracurriculars as a barrier or distraction from your academic success. Rather, look at it as a resource and an opportunity that can enhance your university experience. It’s who you meet along this journey that will help you find your place in this world.
- Take advantage of the resources that are offered on campus. Make an effort to ask questions when you don’t have the answers.