Senior Spotlight: Zoë J.

This summer I had the pleasure of photographing Zoë for her senior portrait. Not only is Zoë a first year at UVA, she is the founder of a youth organization called DICCE, which stands for Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural Competency, and Equity. We were so impressed with her mission that we asked her to answer a few questions!

RRP: Can you tell me a little about DICCE and what compelled you to start this organization?

Zoë: In my junior year of high school, I founded DICCE which is an organization creating diversity, equity, and inclusion materials for Gen Z by Gen Z. Many schools do not teach students a comprehensive United States history curriculum that talks about the role of race and identity in our nation’s development and its impacts on life today. This, on top of a lack of DEI training for young people, contributes to micro-aggressions and naivety about how identity impacts lived experiences — which cascades into more injustices as students pursue careers and participate in our democracy. Through DICCE, I am hoping to fill that gap in our schools and empower kids to be equity and empathy driven — regardless of their postsecondary plans.

RRP: Future major and/or career aspirations?

Zoë: I am planning on double majoring in Spanish and Public Policy. I am still undecided on my exact career, but I know I want to be involved in education policy. That will likely mean working at an education non-profit, local school decision-making groups, or the Department of Education (or a run for office).

RRP: What are you most looking forward to as a Wahoo?

Zoë: I am looking forward to exploring intellectually and being surrounded by students who are curious about the world and making it a better place! I am super stoked about being able to pick my classes and the flexibility I will have to try out new fields. 

Bravo Zoë! Best wishes for an amazing year at UVA. Thanks for being a shining light in our community!

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