As we continue to celebrate the success of UIC Business students who were recognized this year with the Chancellor’s Student Service and Leadership Award, we would like to take this opportunity to share the story of Sesil Hadzhieva, a second time recipient of the CSSA award. She is a Junior student at UIC Business, pursuing a degree in Accounting, who believes in giving back to society in every possible way. Her passion for volunteering has led to tremendous contributions to the surrounding community. The Chancellor's Student Service Award (CSSA) is all about acknowledging such students who positively contribute to society.
Firstly, congratulations on your success for receiving a Chancellor Student Service and Leadership Award (CSSLA). It’s one of UIC’s highest honors to receive for our students. How are you feeling about this award?
Thank you so much. I feel amazing because it's an honor for me to receive such an incredible award for the second time. Being awarded for something you love doing is amazing!
What makes you a student leader?
I have been part of a couple of organizations since I started attending UIC back in 2017. I believe that what makes me a student leader is that for some of the organizations I am not just a member, but I am also part of the e-board. As an e-board member I am able to use my leadership skills and help the other e-board members!
How involved are you presently on-campus - with initiatives, student organizations, etc.?
I can say that I have been very involved on campus since I started attending UIC. I have been part of a lot of organizations such as Colleges Against Cancer, Alternative Spring Break, Beta Alpha Psi, CHAARG, Pup Patrol, Phi Eta Sigma, SOS UIC. I was also part of SAB. I have volunteered on some of the UIC events such as career and job fairs and other events organized by the orgs I am part of.
What experiences do you think contributed for you to receive this award? Is there a program or initiative in particular that is close to your heart that you are incredibly proud of?
I believe that the experience that contributed for me receiving this award is being part of Colleges Against Cancer. I hold that organization close to my heart because we help people fighting cancer financially and morally. We raise more than $8000 every year on our annual event, Relay for Life, and that money goes to cancer patients and research projects. That event and the organization's mission bring the whole student body together in the fight against cancer.
What is the driving factor to your success?
My family supports me and is beside me throughout everything! So, they are my biggest driving factor for every success.
What does your legacy look like?
Being part of many different organizations on campus shaped me into the person I am right now. I've been volunteering since I was little, so continuing that throughout my college life made the whole experience so much more meaningful!
Lastly, what advice would you give for other students looking to receive a CSSLA?
You should keep up the great work of helping the community not only because of the extrinsic rewards but the intrinsic as well, namely feeling meaningful. The world needs more people willing to help others. So, my advice would be - please keep spreading love and kindness! It won't go unnoticed.
Thank you Sesil for those kind words and that incredibly powerful story of yours. May your passion for helping others in need continue to make a positive impact on society. In times like this, what we all need is humanity. We wish you all the very best for the future and may you continue to inspire all of us around you. To stay connected with Sesil, you can send an email to her or connect on Linkedin.