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The Female Dreamers of FIU

A psychedelic healer, a teen choice award recipient and an Arabic poet. Each profession linked to a person with an elaborate background and story to tell. These 3 unique women are what make up a fraction of the student body at Florida International University, but their drive speaks for the million of people they will not only help, but also motivate. As students, we sometimes forget about how diverse and inclusive our campus life is and today I had the fortune to speak to 3 select dream builders.

Credit: Kalia Richardson

Yasmin Silva

HerYear: 1st Year

HerMajor: Psychology

 HerDream: Empower the world with the medical knowledge on psychedelics

Interviewer: What is your life’s goal?

Yasmin: I want to become a Neuro psychiatrist. I want to do a lot of research mostly on how [psychedelics] in small amounts can be used for therapeutic purposes.

Interviewer: Why psychedelics?

Yasmin: I just think because of the laws against it, the laws were put by people who didn’t really know about psychedelics. They didn’t know about the benefits it had, they just saw it as an illegal drug off the market. Because of that, we haven’t done enough research to know the benefits. There have been proven benefits showing that it can take people out of depression and it can also help with post-traumatic stress disorder

Interviewer: Are you doing anything in the near future to build on that goal?

Yasmin: Next year, I want to be a TA or RA at this National Student Leadership Conference. I went during my junior year and I studied at Harvard Medical School for Psychology and Neuroscience for 9 days. I got a really real experience, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Credit: Kalia Richardson

Sylvy Benjamin

HerYear: 4th year

HerMajor: Theatre

HerDream: Entertain audiences through her natural gifts  

Interviewer: What is your life’s goal?

Sylvy: I want to be an actress and a singer. And if that doesn’t work out, I want to own a bar, a karaoke bar, so I can continue with music.

When I graduate move to Los Angeles…get a director to help me make this show become a reality. It’s a show about these teenagers, how they save the world and how they deal with their own problems; like one of the characters, he’s struggling to come out to his dad. It’s one of those shows where they break the 4th wall.

Interviewer: Are you doing anything in the near future to build on that goal?

Sylvy: First, I need to come back and study at FIU because my goal is to receive a reward at the Teen Choice Awards.

Credit: Kalia Richardson

Shurooq (which means sunrise) Alsaleh

HerYear: 2nd Year

HerMajor: Public Relations

HerDream: Encourage Omani girls to stop at nothing to achieve their goals 

Interviewer: What is your life’s goal?

Shurooq: One of my life goals is to create my own book because I write poems in Arabic. One of my goals, when I finish studying, is to publish my book and distribute it in different countries.

Interviewer: What are your other goals?

Shurooq: I want to get a job here because I don’t live here, I got a scholarship to FIU. Once I finish, I have to go back home. So, I want to get a job and get the experience before I go back home.

Interviewer: Where is your home?

Shurooq: Oman, Middle East. At the beginning I didn’t like this place at all; I felt homesick because I’m here without my family. I also wanted to cancel my scholarship because I felt like I couldn’t do it. But now I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to study here.

Interviewer: What have you accomplished or had to overcome?

Shurooq: The obstacle is English is not my first language, so studying things not in your first language is really hard to understand especially when people who are around you are fluent in English. It’s really hard, but I’m trying my best.

Interviewer: What made you want to study abroad all the way on the other side of the world?

Shurooq: I was curious to gain this experience, studying abroad, living alone; I wanted to feel this responsibility. Because everything I’m doing right here, right now, I’m not doing back home and if I didn’t have this opportunity I would never learn. Because back home, everything is for free, everything is ready, everything will come like this. You don’t have to worry about the rent, if you don’t have money, I feel now I’m more responsible. First, when I arrived here, I didn’t know how to open the washing machine because I don’t do this at home, someone does it for me. Now, I have changed a lot.

Interviewer: What would you say to Omani women who want to study abroad?

Shurooq: If you have a goal, you will reach it. Some people, they want to study abroad and chill. They don’t want to come here to study or get a degree. Back home the government is paying for these people, they’re paying for us to study here. If you have a goal and if you really want to do this, go for it, but if you want to come here to just have freedom and chill, don’t do that. Give that opportunity for others because there’s a lot of people that really want to do this.

Kalia is currently a journalism major at the University of Florida. She loves getting involved in all things fashion, jamming out to house music beats and traveling to new places. She is currently an active member of the Black Student Union and spends her leisure reading, sketching and working out. You can keep up with all the things she's involved in through Instagram @k.a.li.a.
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