Ivana Chan

1. What is one of your proudest accomplishments and why?

Between the summer of 2014 and the fall of 2015, I worked as an active Co-Chair of Rethink: Psychiatric Illness. It was the first year for this young non-profit mental health awareness and advocacy organization
without its original Co-Founders, Viviana Bonilla Lopez and Stephanie Nieves.

The process of transitioning leadership roles meant taking on a wide variety of responsibilities that taught me valuable lessons about time management, social responsibility, conscientious language use, and more. Throughout the semester, I was organizing weekly meetings and monthly trainings, forming collaborations with other groups, getting interviewed as a Co-Chair of Rethink and creating spaces to talk about mental health awareness. On occasion, it felt like a full-time job. Although Rethink may not be the biggest organization on UNC’s campus and my experience included its fair share of challenges, I am truly proud to have had the opportunity to learn more about leadership and mental health. While I used to think that leaving a “heelprint” at UNC meant starting something exciting and new, I now believe that it can also mean maintaining, improving, and strengthening the many incredible organizations and structures that already exist.

2. What is your personal mission statement?

To promote open mindedness with a freshness of appreciation and curiosity by trying anything at least once and taking time to reflect on the experience.

3. What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

I dream of developing a language competency program that could be applied universally and integrated into schools, universities, business training programs, and more. The cruxes of many problems in the world seem to stem from miscommunication and careless use of language. With increasing globalization and opportunities for cross-cultural immersion, I imagine that providing access to educational programs on language sensitivities would promote conscientious thinking and awareness of critical social issues.