Amanda Zahui BTell me about yourself, how old are you? 

Zenzele Franklin: I am 19. I am a junior in college and a sophomore in my major studying Computer Science. I want to do something called user experience. User experience is when you get a good understanding of the user and their wants, needs, etc. about the products they are using so that you can better understand them and what they need for the product to be better.

Amanda Zahui BHow long is that education?

 Zenzele Franklin: Um, it depends. Some people have done other majors in college and have just done boot camps and they are fine. There are also some people who go for psychology and just market themselves for the road.

 Amanda Zahui B: So you can just major in something else and then add it on?

Zenzele Franklin: Yes, it is a new role so there are not that many schools that have that major specifically.

Amanda Zahui B: What school do you attend?

Zenzele Franklin: Binghamton University.

Amanda Zahui BHow did you get introduced to the YWCA and how long have you been part of it? 

Zenzele Franklin: My friend Sydni started going because of their college access program and free SAT tutoring. She then started bringing me to the monthly meetings. At that time, I was not part of it but they had an internship so I was able to get on with the internship and learn some soft skills and office skills. Then they gave us more responsibilities like event planning. They would give us a budget and ask us what we needed and gave us full responsibility over it.  

Amanda Zahui B: How was that for you, did you like it?

Zenzele Franklin: Yes, I liked it because you really feel like you are empowered and someone is actually telling you. You have the power to do this and that and you can just come up with a thought and see it through.  

Amanda Zahui B: How did you feel going into that being that you haven’t done that before?

Zenzele Franklin: It wasn’t bad to me because I have an arts background. I use to dance and you have to present yourself, in a way, so it was not all that new. Speaking was kind of new but it made me a better speaker and people now say “you’re such a great speaker.”

Amanda Zahui B: That’s beautiful. So would you introduce this to someone else?

Zenzele Franklin: Yes, because even though I am out of high school, we are still planning things. We just came up with the alumni council and I am the Vice President. We send out care packages to other alums in the program, connect people and things of that sort.

Amanda Zahui B: I love care packages, what would one look like?

Zenzele Franklin: So we are trying to think about that now, things that people would need. The care packages will look different for the freshman, juniors and seniors.

Amanda Zahui B: What are your thoughts on graduating, like being done with everything? How does that make you feel?

Zenzele Franklin: I guess I would say it is a little nerve racking but not too much. As long as I am doing what I need to do to get into the career field I want to be in, I am fine. The only thing is figuring out where I want to live. I don’t want to go back home after having all this freedom.

Amanda Zahui B: If you could pick any job you want and any city, where would you choose to stay?

Zenzele Franklin: Right out of college I would stay here. I do want to see what the tech community in California looks like.

Amanda Zahui B: Name a woman who has inspired you in your life and why.

Zenzele Franklin: There are so many, my mom obviously due to her being single. My dad is in my life but she handles everything for me so the fact that she made a lot of things happen and it is just she is inspiring.]

Amanda Zahui B: Tell me one interesting fact about yourself.

Zenzele Franklin: I have scoliosis, so my spine has an S curve.

Amanda Zahui B: What is a fun fact about you?

Zenzele Franklin: I love thrifting.

Amanda Zahui B: I have never been and really want to go.

Zenzele Franklin: You should try!

Amanda Zahui B: What do you love about yourself? 

Zenzele Franklin: There is a lot. I love my hair. Something internal is; I love that I am an understanding person. I am the type of person that if something gets me upset I like to think before I react and process and then speak.

Amanda Zahui B : That is beautiful. So what makes you feel confident?

Zenzele Franklin: When I look good. When you look good, you feel good. I feel like I can take on the world when I look good.

Amanda Zahui BFill in the blank: I am on a mission to: __________.


 To contribute to Zenzele’s educational success, please support her through this college shower registry!