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Inspire Podcast: Journey to Graduation


3 students standing in front of a photo wall collage

Student leaders, India Bown, Yovanni Valdez, and Zaynab Salih are among the 2024 University of Utah graduating class who started their college journey in the peak of the pandemic, completing an online orientation and starting all their first courses on Canvas or over Zoom. Like many students, they each had their challenges and struggles, but through asking questions, acting on passion, and connecting with mentors, they were able to persevere through the obstacles and make it to the finish line as highly involved, successful students.   

“Self-advocacy is one of the most crucial skills I have learned during my college experience,” said Yovanni. “More often than not, you will present an idea, you will have something to say, and you will get shot down… Over the years I’ve just kind of learned to stand my ground and to fight for what I want, and I think that’s how we’ve gotten here today.”  

Tune in to the INSPIRE podcast’s latest episode to hear each of their stories and learn how they came together to put on the highly successful By U For You Fashion Show on campus with nearly 1,000 people in attendance. Through their hard work, passion, and collaboration, they cemented a partnership with the Union Programming Council and Fashion in Business to make the fashion show a permanent, annual event on campus.  

Last Updated: 5/1/24