Update and Interview with World Link Alumna Gabriela Uncu (2016; Moldova/CA)
Having only been back in her home country about four short months, World Link exchange student Gabriela Uncu (2016; Moldova/CA) was recently selected by FLEX Alumni Moldova to be the City Representative for Chisinau.
It is no surprise Gabriela was selected for this position. She was an active student during her exchange year, achieving 130 community service hours and giving 18 cultural presentations. She set many goals for herself and worked hard to achieve them. This hard work paid off when she was invited to World Link’s Advanced Alumni Leadership Conference held in New York City in May of 2016.
World Link wanted to gain some insight as to what has inspired and continues to inspire this new alumna and now leader to work hard as she moves into her future.
“What motivated you during your program year to work hard?”
I always set my goals higher than the previous ones, I try to challenge myself all the time because that’s the only path to growth. Coming to the States was a great opportunity to discover some of my limits and passions. I was driven to work hard by the wish to become better every day through experiences and learning.
For example, at the beginning of the year, I decided I wanted to do a great job and get the best out of my exchange year including all the aspects: family, friends, school, sports, clubs, volunteering and travelling. Having a final goal like completing the PAL program really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and look for different opportunities and ideas to complete my tasks. I did my best to combine everything and enjoy every single moment. It was hard at times, but it’s about how you stand up after failing, what you learn from it and how you use that knowledge in the future. Looking back, I understand how setting my aims at the beginning shaped my year.
Oh and I’m so grateful for the reports I had to complete each month because now as a City representative I’ll have to do the same.
“What motivated you to continue to be an active alumna?”
I was active even before becoming an exchange student, so it was obvious for me to continue doing what I enjoy the most: helping people. Still, becoming a FLEX alumna opened new doors for me in terms of ideas, people, and events. It feels like I can do a lot more now in order to make a difference. I am always motivated and supported by the older alumni who have initiated so many projects and have brought change in my community. I’d like to be a source of inspiration for somebody someday as well.
“What made you apply for a FLEX City Representative position?”
At first, I was hesitant because I thought I wouldn’t have enough time to do a great job, but after being encouraged by my family and coordinator, I decided that it’s the perfect way to exploit all my creativity and dedication. I applied for this position to learn even more about leadership and teamwork. I intend to implement ideas that might seem small but are so important. Becoming a City representative is an excuse for me to be even more active and motivate the other alumni to participate and organise events. I want to bring back the enthusiasm of doing extraordinary things to my fellow alumni.
“What other clubs or organizations are you a part of that are helping your country?”
I am a volunteer at the National Youth Council of Moldova. I chose to work with the Youth Policy Committee, which is generally considered to be the most boring one because you have to analyze documents and laws. Where else could I learn so much about legislation and how the government works for and with youth? My mentor won a grant to make an advocacy group out of many NGO’s in order to coordinate and collaborate with them on improving the opportunities given to young people, so I help her in organising the different events and trainings for the members of the group. I also help translating documents and projects in English for foreign investors, as well as many other things. Variety is always good.
I am also a member of my school senate because I want to give back to the school that raised me. Moreover, I enjoy working with other students, who are full of enthusiasm to make a change. I am active in the senate for them because I want to make the school be in a continuous progress. Maybe it’s not helping the country, but knowing that I have improved education or the school experience for at least a few students is enough to motivate me to do it.
I am so thankful to World Link for all that it’s done for me, all the tasks and options/obligations I had to do. They really made me grow and discover myself.
Overall, the one quote that motivates Gabriela?
World Link would like to thank Gabriela for giving us and now the reader insight into her motivated mind. We know she is crazy enough to think she can change her country and the world, so we are certain she will.