The UIC team has helped put mentors in our schools for over 4 years. We asked the 2016 Board to answer some questions so everyone can be comfortable meeting them on the UIC campus. Please do not hesitate asking them how to be involved with Sprouting Leaders if you see them around!
1. How did you get involved with Sprouting Leaders?
Mennat: It was my freshman year at college and it was at the involvement fair at school and I was generally looking for clubs that were community service or volunteering based because those were the types of clubs I generally did in high school.
Tania: A really good friend of mine, Eileen, has always been involved with Sprouting Leaders. She told me about a position opening on the Eboard and she told me what the organization was about and I loved it!
Abraham: I got involved with Sprouting Leaders through a program called Business Scholars. During a presentation, they mentioned that Sprouting Leaders needed volunteers and they gave a little summary on what they did, and it interested me.
2. Tell us about yourself - major, year, and aspirations?
Mennat: I’m a second year, Bios/Pre-Med major and Spanish minor at UIC. I want to be a doctor specifically in the field in Hematology, and I hope to publish a scientific paper before I graduate UIC
Tania: I’m a 4th year pre-nursing student with a minor in sociology. After I receive my nursing degree I would love to work in the emergency room of a children’s hospital. I’m also very passionate about equal treatment and opportunity so I know that my passion will help me become a great nurse.
Abraham: My major is Civil Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. I am currently a sophomore with a junior level standing. My aspirations consist of going to the Marines, pursuing my studies at Stanford University for graduate school and specializing in Structural Engineering, and eventually being CEO of my own Engineering firm.
3. Who is someone you look up to?
Mennat: I look up to Shakira because like her hips, I do not lie. Just kidding, I look up to my mom because she has a lot of perseverance and is a very driven individual, so I hope to model the way I approach problems in life the way she does.
Tania: I look up to both of my parents. I am a first generation student so everything that they have done is the reason I am here today and I admire them so much for leaving their family in Mexico just to give their family a better life full of opportunities.
Abraham: My dad.
4. What is the hardest aspect of being in college?
Mennat: Relatively, it is commuting on a daily basis because I miss out on the full time “college experience.”
Tania: The hardest aspect of being in college has to be being able to manage time wisely. Homework is a lot harder and being part of different organizations aside from working gets difficult at times.
Abraham: The hardest aspect of being in college is knowing when you bit off more than you can chew. It is difficult determining how many extracurricular activities one can take on with being able to keep good grades and still have somewhat of a social life.
Mennat: When I saw a car parallel park itself.
Tania: When I first found out that there are cars that run on electricity instead of gas, I thought, “wow that is so high tech”!! Next thing you know, cars will be floating and they won’t need wheels anymore!
Abraham: When the first iPhone came out.
6. Batman gets his name from a fear of bats. Using that logic, what's your superhero name?
Mennat: Stairmaster. I know, it’s embarrassing, but stairs freak me out.
Tania: I would totally be Catwoman!! I’m afraid of cats and always think they are going to attack me if I look at them. Whenever there is a cat around I always keep my distance…. just in case!
7. If you got $10,000 that had to be vacation money what would you do and where would you go?
Mennat: Backpack across Central and South America. Why you may ask? For the food, of course, but also to expose myself to and learn about different cultures.
Tania: I would travel to Europe during the summer and try to attend as many festivals as possible in different parts of Europe.
Abraham: I would buy myself Yeezy 350 Moonrocks and go to Brazil with my best friend.
8. What is your favorite after-school activity?
Mennat: Spending time with my family since I don’t see them much because I am always at school.
Tania: My favorite after school activity would have to be drawing or painting. I love to draw and lately I have been painting canvases!
Abraham: I enjoy playing intramural soccer with my brothers.
9. How do you relax?
Mennat: I like sitting by the lake because my dad used to bring me there when I was a little and we used to eat ice cream together, so it brings back memories.
Tania: I relax by laying in my bed listening to music. I have a huge tapestry in my room with lights and it is so chill!
Abraham: I get in sweat pants and a comfortable shirt and watch Netflix.
10. Favorite snack?
Mennat: Granola bars and Goldfish.
Tania: My favorite snack is anything with Nutella! I like to eat it with fruit or crackers!
Abraham: Sour Patch Kids
11. What is something you believed as a child and grew up to find out it was false?
Mennat: I believed there was a sponge and a starfish living in a pineapple under the sea.
Tania: As a child I always thought that actors were the real people in the movie. As I grew older I started noticing that I had seen the same actor before but I would be confused because he had died!! I finally found out that I was wrong and that they were just people pretending to play different roles.
Abraham: I always believed that people who grew up in bad neighborhoods had no way out, and then, I proved myself wrong.
12. What is something you love doing or are passionate about?
Mennat: Educating the youth and defying social norms.
Tania: I’m very passionate about educational inequalities. I applied to be a tutor and I got hired at Farragut Career Academy, which is in Little Village. I currently do classroom support and tutor after school and I love my job! Whenever I know that I am helping someone it makes me feel great and like I am making a difference.
Abraham: I am very passionate about art in all forms. Mainly graffiti, fashion, and paintings.
13. What are you looking forward to?
Mennat: Graduating and using my education to give back to my community.
Tania: I am looking forward to graduating and settling down. I can’t wait to be able to travel the world and actually be able to afford it.
Abraham: I am looking forward to achieving all of my goals that I have set for myself.