Sarah Bana
living life one day at a time
Major Quantitative Economics
Age 21
Year 4th
Hometown Arcadia
Find Sarah On

I believe that everyday Sarah Bana strives to live her life with John Quincy Adams’ quote in mind, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” She is an amazing woman of color that has served many different aspects of our campus from being President of Circle K, assisting the Cross-Cultural Center as an intern to most recently being our Associated Students at UCI’s Executive Vice President. Elaine Won knows of Sarah’s commitment to our campus as “she is not only a mentor, but a friend, providing many opportunities to grow as a student, individual, as well as an active participant in the community, influencing her peers with her command and sincere passion.” Sarah also often echo’s many different inspirational sayings that she herself lives by such as John F. Kennedy’s epic words “Ask not what UCI can do for you, ask what you can do for the UCI community” but of course with a slight twist. She is someone who can make your everyday conversations become a moment of discovery. Finally she hopes that if she can inspire one person each day of the year, so that each student serves as part of the community, we can make change in the world.

ED: What is your motivation?
SB: My motivation is best described by this quote – “There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in this world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.” I believe that everyone should be given the opportunity to succeed. I have definitely dedicated myself to the realization of humankind’s potential and act on everything with no regrets. I love people and love seeing them succeed and make change.

ED: What have you accomplished?

SB: I think my biggest accomplishment has been the ability to get other people involved in serving the community. As President of Circle K, we attained a membership of over 125 students accomplishing over 10,000 community service hours. As part of Associated Students at UCI, I have been able to involve many students in the advocacy of the UC, fighting against fee increases, lobbying for more money to the UC and CalGrant funding and much more. A lot of these students have committed themselves to the battle for access, affordability and quality. More tangibly, I have been part of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act which passed this past year in the Federal government. This increases the award allocation of the Pell Grant as well as improvements of the student loan program. Another involvement for me was in Summer Multicultural Leadership Institute and Student Parent Orientation Program. Through it, I was able to inspire first years to get involved and open their eyes to opportunities. I worked to increase the hours of the Student Center, allocate money to campus departments through the Student Fee Advisory Committee, and built community in the Cross-Cultural Center as an undergraduate student here at UCI.

ED: What is your passion?
SB: If you haven’t already guessed my passion is to serve. In addition to service, I genuinely enjoy the study of economics because it gives me a lot of context on the way this world works. It is really fun to study and learn logical and rational thinking. I am also passionate about leadership development. I think it is extremely important to grow individually and encourage others to grow. I like to talk about strengths and being the best you can be. Leadership development is something vital I think one can get out of their college experience and I hope to help encourage others to pursue leadership.
I am also passionate about music. I love listening to music, learning new lyrics, and at times singing!

ED: What have you done for the Asian Pacific Islander American community?
SB: The APIA community and other students of color are more affected by the budget cuts and fee increases on campus. I have worked to increase the financial aid sources for the community. Most recently, I helped with the effort to save the Competitive Cal Grant. I have also worked to ensure that students of color issues are represented in ASUCI. We are currently working on establishing a Recruitment and Retention center on campus, holistic admissions and other diversity initiatives. I have been working on AB 540 student issues and passed a resolution through Legislative Council unanimously supporting AB 540 institutional aid. As an intern at the Cross-Cultural Center, I worked on making sure the API community was connected to the events that the Cross-Cultural Center and other departments on campus!

ED: What do you hope to accomplish?
SB: I hope to eventually incorporate social justice and well being elements into economic variables as an economist and public policy maker. I recognize that economics gives a greater understanding into the world and it is one of my passions. This coupled with my passion for helping others encourages me to use economics to help others to be successful by justifying giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed.
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