My name is Gabrielle Pastore and I am a sophomore attending Loyola Marymount University as a major in psychology. I am currently one of the two co-cultural coordinators in the Chinese cultural club, Han Tao.
READ ON FOR A Q&A WITH LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY’S GABRIELLE PASTORE.
What inspired you to enter this position/run for office?
There were multiple things that inspired me in entering the position of co-cultural coordinator. One of the main ones being the e-board that was in charge during my freshman year, which included my big who was the club representative. A large part of what attracted me to my club is how welcoming everyone was, especially the e-board. I realized I wanted to be a part of the people who make the newcomers and existing members feel welcomed. Another factor that inspired me to enter my position as co-cult is my love for history and culture, which are some of the main things I talk about in general meetings in my position.
In your own words, how would you describe your role?
As co-cultural coordinator, I am one of the two people who are in charge of talking about Asian American (but primarily Chinese) culture, history, and/or modern events during general meetings. I also am in charge of helping organize the cultural club events we have, such as the Lunar New Year festival. However, my responsibilities may overlap with those of other roles, as everyone on e-board helps each other.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in your position?
Some of the main goals I would like to accomplish as co-cult is to maintain and grow the welcoming and inclusive community Han Tao has already established, to educate others on Asian American culture/history/modern events to fight against ignorance, and provide a safe space for people to enjoy cultural activities.
If you could be remembered for one accomplishment during your time in this position, what would that be?
I would like to be remembered for being an efficient and hard-working e-board member by always being willing to help the other e-board members.
Do you have any aspirations to continue your work beyond your college days?
Yes, I would especially like to continue spreading awareness on the issues and events facing Asian Americans.
What was the moment you realized your work was making an impact on others?
Since I am fairly new to the position, I do not believe my work has made much of an impact on others yet. However, I know the work of the e-board does make an impact on others based on the previous e-board. The previous e-board helped provide a sense of community in a period of time when many freshmen were feeling uncomfortable being in a new environment in an unexpected way.
With each of the general meetings they organized, I was able to meet multiple people I am happy to call my friends, despite being online on Zoom. Although we will likely be on-campus for this upcoming semester, I hope to be able to help other members feel the same sense of community through the cultural events and general meetings I help organize.
What’s something about yourself that might surprise people?
I have been acting for the last 10 years. One of the things I am most proud of is voicing Natalia Korda in the video game Resident Evil: Revelations 2.
It’s easy to assume that those in positions of leadership ‘have it all together’. In your experience, is this a true assumption?
Personally, I do not think so. Leaders are human too and are bound to make mistakes and not have it all together. I believe one of the aspects that makes a leader good is the ability to realize that it’s okay to not have everything together and to ask for help.
What has been your biggest struggle during your time as both a leader/role model and full-time student?
I would say managing my time to allocate the proper amount of time for all the aspects of my life. Being on e-board is a considerable time commitment; being able to balance this with my homework, classes, acting classes and auditions and personal time can be very overwhelming at times. However, I am starting to get in the swing of things!
What advice can you give to other students striving to take on a role of leadership?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! There’s no shame in needing it from time to time since everyone needs help eventually. By asking for help, you might even learn a new solution that you hadn’t thought of before.
While we all know that positions of leadership look great on resumes, in what other ways has your position benefitted you?
I would say the position has benefited me by providing me with a community of people that I consider to be my friends. I have been spending more time with the other e-board members and I always enjoy learning more about them!
What is your favorite moment from your time in this position?
I would say the first time I met all the e-board members in person! It was a lot of fun being able to finally talk to the people I’ve been hanging out with online. Though I know I’ll make many more memories in the future that I’ll cherish.
What’s next for you?
As for e-board, since I have not been in the position for long, I have not decided whether I will pursue a different e-board position. However, in regards to education, I am planning on applying for internships for my junior year.