25 Ducks: Sandra Benny
Major: Family and Human Services
Dream Job: Ambassador to the United States
Why are you attending UO?
I have always wanted to study in the US — since I was young. The University of Oregon offered me everything I could have ever asked for … Even after coming over, everyone has been very helpful in my transition and assimilation to a completely different country and culture. I had a dream to study abroad, and with an open mind, I came to Eugene to go to school, form new friendships, and have an adventure. Moving to Eugene is the biggest achievement of my life and something I really enjoyed because I have simply learned so much throughout this process.
How/why do you want to change the world?
I would like to be an advocate for students and youth in the future, as I have had experience working with both populations in the last couple of years. Students are willing to not only be the change we need, but be willing to lead the change. Students are not asking for permission. They are asking for respect. Students want to express their passions in meaningful ways. They want to show the world that in spite of their years, they are a force to be reckoned with.
What has been the best part of your college experience?
I have gotten the opportunity to hold positions in the Eugene community that range from assisting special needs students at a local community center, advocating for underrepresented groups with Habitat for Humanity, to working with juvenile delinquents on probation and parole, and now serving as President of the International Student Association. I have thoroughly enjoyed fulfilling the responsibilities of this leadership position in applying my own lessons so that all UO international students have the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the immense, yet invaluable, difficulties associated with undertaking higher education in a foreign country.
What are you proud to have been involved with at UO?
The International Student Association, the Duck Events Fund, the International Student Career Alliance (ISCA) Committee, the University of Oregon Police Department and the Family & Human Services (FHS) Student Leadership Board.
What are some of your goals after college?
I would like to get some work experience in Graduate School for nonprofit management or higher education is also on the radar for me after gaining some work experience. Eventually, I’d like to work a job that I’m passionate about, on an international scale.
Whose your biggest role model/influencer?
Abe Schafermeyer. Abe is the current Director of the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). I have had to overcome major obstacles my entire freshman year and he was, and still is, a huge mentor to me.
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