Meet Parisa Khazra, a 4thÂ year Business Degree student at Guelph-Humber.
Parisa does not permit her busy academic schedule, part-time job, social life or school commute interfere with her countless volunteer activities. She is a young womanÂ passionate about giving back to her community, by empowering others through her extracurricular pursuits. At present, Parisa is the President of DECA U Guelph-Humber, a Career Support Peer, and a member of both Consent is Sexy Crew and Agora Fellows.
All these activities might seem intimidating to some, and in fact that is a similar feeling Parisa occasionally feels. It can be challenging undertaking so much, while being a full-time student, having a job and everything else that comes with being a young person.Â When asked what she finds most challenging about the activities she partakes in, she said, â€œthe time to do everything! Sometimes things kind of have to give. Iâ€™ve always been good at balancing what I do. For example, in September I had a very hectic month, so I was slightly less active in DECA. But I have a really great team, so we were able to balance it all, so a lot of that comes from having open communication and explaining to others the different commitments you have. But it always comes back to responsibility; I always make sure I get what I need to get done.â€
In fact, regardless of the restraints her activities sometimes pose to other areas of her life, Parisa doesnâ€™t mind, because she finds this work very rewarding. Parisa says, â€œthe rewards definitely out weight the hectic lifestyle. I like knowing that I can make an impact in other peoples lives and help them in some way.â€
When asked what motivates her to participate so actively, Parisa said â€œeverything I take part in, I take part in because I think I can add value to the community. So as president of DECA, I really see the value that DECA can have for students. Iâ€™ve seen students get internships, jobs and really grow as individuals from it. So its very empowering for me, and empowerment is something I stand for. I joined Agora fellows because I wanted to open my own mind to other peopleâ€™s opinions. My goal going into the program was to enter in with one opinion and leave with a totally different opinion. So a lot of it is about developing as an individual.”
Having been so involved with Guelph-Humber for the past 4 years, Parisa recalled her proudest moment throughoutÂ her extracurricular pursuits. “There are two things that come to mind instantly. This past weekend I competed in Halifax for Dalhousieâ€™s annual Ethics Undergraduate Competition, and my team came in first place! The second was at last yearâ€™s provincials for DECA, where I was fortunate enough to place second overall in my category and third in one particular element of the category for Human Resources.”
Her passion and dedication to her community isÂ remarkable and goes beyondÂ simplyÂ helping othersÂ but rather connecting with other like-minded individuals with the same enthusiasm. Joining various organization enabled Parisa to connect withÂ people from different programs that she otherwise wouldnâ€™t meet.Â Yet, at the end of the day, it’s about giving back. She says, “The roles Iâ€™ve taken on are all empowering to someone in some way. To know that I am able to help students in some facet, I think is rewarding for myself and I really genuinely enjoy having that hand in their development as individuals.”
Meeting someone with so much drive makes you wonder the key influencers in their life.Â For Parisa, there was only one person that came to mind, her professor and case competition coach Justin Medakiewicz, who has been an inspiration and support for her over the past 4 years. In fact, she even attributed her success in extracurriculars as a result of Mr. Medakiewicz’s assistance, making her extremely grateful for his help in chasing her goals.
It’s evident that the need for empowering others and giving back is engrained in Parisa.Â When asked why she thinks volunteering is so important, she said, “For two reasons. First of all I very strongly believe in giving back to the community. Guelph-Humber has been absolutely incredible to me and I wouldnâ€™t be the person I am without it. So I think it would be selfish of me to not give back to the community in some way. The second reason is because it’s really important to have a strong group of people around you and the only way you’re going to build that community is by being involved in the community, so itâ€™s a little bit of both.”
It’s a pleasure to see students like Parisa actively engaged in their communities, dedicating time away from their busy schedulesÂ to enrich the lives of others. May her example inspireÂ other students toÂ considerÂ being more involved with their schools and communities!
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