Zamzam Yusuf: Stepping Out of Her Comfort Zone

Zamzam Yusuf is a student at the University of Minnesota working towards her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology Infrastructure. Between balancing her school work, volunteering and being president at the Al-Madinah Cultural Center on campus, Zamzam is truly making the most of her college experience. Zamzam serves as an inspiration and role model to many at the U and throughout the Twin Cities community. Here’s a little bit about what she’s up to and the impact she’s making on our campus:

Q: What is your best memory at the University of Minnesota?

A: My best memory at the University of Minnesota is Abeer winning the student body presidency <3.

Q: What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

A: The mall area! I love highly concentrated areas.

Q: What activities are you involved in and how have they enhanced your experience at the U?

A: Currently, I am president of the Al-Madinah Cultural Center and I cannot begin to explain how it has enhanced my experience at the U. What I will say is that it has definitely been one of the most rewarding experiences in my undergrad career. It has pushed me, rather catapulted me, out of my comfort zone, which I am so grateful for. You know what they say: “there’s no growth in the comfort zone, no comfort in the growth zone.”

Q: How have you contributed to your community at home, on campus or both while attending the U?

A: As I mentioned previously, serving on the board for the Al-Madinah Cultural Center is my way of contributing to the different communities on campus, the Muslim communities, and other people of faith or non-faith. We provide resources and programs that everyone can benefit from. Our mission statement is that we seek to create a better understanding and appreciation for the different cultures of Islam through educational, social and community programs on campus. I try to help to contribute to students’ and faculty members’ overall cultural experiences at the U.

Q: What are you passionate about and how to do you reflect those passions in your everyday life?

A: I’m very passionate about youth development (ages 13-18). Specifically, youth of color from the Twin Cities area. I try to give back as much as possible to youth whether it be through being a mentor, helping them with their homework or simply being there for them when they need it the most. They’re at a crucial point in their life and in their development as a person. There’s a lot of changes happening at this point in their lives and it’s very important to equip them with the necessary skills to know how to deal with change in an effective manner. Being the oldest among my siblings, I didn’t have an older brother or sister to look up to. I want to be that older sister figure for teens and I want to be able to share with them my experiences and be there for them if they need anything at all. Being a youth counselor for two summers in a row has definitely helped me understand how to work with youth and how important this type of work is.

Q: What is your dream job or your future aspirations?

A: Anything that allows me to have a great impact on the lives of people. That is where I would find the most satisfaction and fulfillment.

Q: What are you doing right now to work towards your future goals?

A: One of the many things that I am doing to work towards my future goals is by getting my bachelor’s degree. Another thing that I’m doing is trying to gain as much experience as possible through being involved in leadership roles. I feel that the skills I obtain from these experiences will be transferable and will help me in any pursuit of mine.

Q: Do you have a role model? If so, who are they and why are they inspiring to you?

A: My role model is Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) because: He made every person he spoke to feel like the most important person in the world. Despite his role in the community, he put his family first. He was gentle to those who wished him hard. Contrary to popular belief about Muslim, Islam and especially how he was portrayed, the religion softened his heart, words and actions, not hardened them. He brought out the best in his companions.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Q: What advice do you have for students, future and current, who want to be successful?

A: TALK AND GET CONNECTED WITH ALUMNI!

Q: Favorite inspirational quote?

A: “Life’s a game, but it’s not fair. I break the rules so I don’t care.” -Rihanna

Just for Fun

Coffee Order: Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk!

Favorite Food: Lasagna.

One thing you can’t live without: I’m an Independent Black Woman.

One thing you love about yourself: My creativity.

One thing you’re grateful for: Every day that I’m alive. One last thing… SOMALIA HA NOOLAATO! (Live long Somalia!)