Ava Jahanvash, a senior at the University of La Verne, wears a black belt in her dad’s karate studio, but her black belt level of expertise does not stop there. Jahanvash puts the same hard work and dedication into every aspect of her life.
Jahanvash has done more during her college years than the average student.
She is president of Sigma Kappa sorority, former president of Associated Students of the University of La Verne and former captain of the debate team.
She is part of various organizations and honor societies and has worked for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, or OXFAM America as a change leader.
Jahanvash has done all of this while pursuing her undergraduate degree in political science and economics with a minor in speech communication.
“I have been given a lot of awesome opportunities that I am very thankful for, but I have also worked really hard and that has allowed me to be successful,” Jahanvash said.
Her natural instincts of leadership began when she was in elementary school. She became part of student government at an early age and realized she enjoyed it – her interest never died.
Jahanvash said she does not like saying no to opportunities and that is the reason why she is so involved.
“I figured I could say yes to everything, and for me so far, it has worked out really well,” Jahanvash said.
“Her drive and motivation make her stand out from the rest,” Barbara Mulligan, director of student life, said.
“She has always given her all to the positions she has been a part of.”
Jahanvash firmly believes in setting goals for herself and feels she has successfully reached them.
“Even though I had another year, I didn’t think it was fair for me to stay in it, because I had got so many benefits from it,” Jahanvash said. “I felt like I should allow other people to have the same experience I did.”
Michael Wahba, former vice president of ASULV, was shocked when Jahanvash asked him to run with her for the term – it led to a strong friendship.
“She has this amazing effect on people,” Wahba said. “She’s always bringing out the best in people and is a great leader on campus. We were able to accomplish a lot.”
Jahanvash said the biggest reason she is able to do what she does is because of the people that surround her.
“Ava is a very good role model for everyone on campus,” ASULV President Elizabeth Ross, a sorority sister, said. “She inspires everyone to do more.”
As her graduation date comes close, she is working on the legacy she will leave behind.
She wants to be remembered as the person who motivated others to be who they want to be.
“Don’t ever think you are doing too much or too little,” Jahanvash said.
“You don’t have to do a million things. I was able to do it, and I am very lucky and thankful, but that doesn’t mean you have to do a million things. You can do one thing and be awesome at it.”
Alejandra Aguilar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.