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15 College Girls Pick Their Top Female Role Models

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

This International Women’s Day, you may have a specific woman in mind that you want to celebrate. Is it your mom? Your best friend? An actress? I interviewed 15 girls to see who the common female role models were among college students and here were some of their top picks:


The top choice among college girls is their mom. It’s not hard to imagine why—moms literally give birth to you and raise you to the girl you are now. You may be best friends with your mom or maintain a mom-daughter distance. Whatever your relationship is, you can’t deny that they have had a significant influence on your life. 

“The person I always ask for advice is my mom. Every day, she inspires me by pushing me to be a better version of myself and teaches me not to dwell in the past. Seeing her work hard in every aspect of life—whether it be work or providing for the family—serves as my motivation to be the best in everything I do.”— Kristen Fung (fourth year, psychology major) 

“I would say my role model is my mom because not only has she taught me what I know about love and life, but she has also shown me how to stand my ground and fight for myself.”— Kiertan Prasad (first year, chemistry and materials science double major)

“She always completes what she sets her mind to. Even though she faced hardships as an immigrant, she never stopped going to the store and she never stopped making us food. I always admire her hard work.” — Heidi Tapi (first year, Japanese major)

“Even at a young age, my mom did a lot [of] things that I can’t do, such as supporting her own education. She also made her own money when she moved to the U.S., which I have a lot of respect for.” — Christine Eun (first year, psychology major) 

“My role model is my mom Ying! I admire her for her fearlessness in how she carries herself, as well as how much she cares for her friends and family. She inspires me to advocate for myself and I couldn’t be more grateful.” — Victoria Li (third year, human biology and society major) 

“My mom knows the value of empowering yourself with education. Even though she didn’t have many opportunities when she was young, she seized her own opportunity to get the career that she wanted. She is currently a pharmacist. I became interested in the medical and healthcare industry because of her.” — Seohyun Min (first year, molecular, cell and developmental biology major)


It’s no surprise that the second choice is family again. After all, sisters are who you share your room and little secrets with. No matter how many times you fight with your sister, you can always count on them to be there for you when you need them. 

“My female role model would be my older sister! She’s gone through so many trials and tribulations in her life that would make someone want to give up, but she keeps going! She’s taught me what it means to work hard and never give up even when the odds are stacked against you.” — Eghosa Ogbeide (third year, human biology major) 

“My role model is my older sister because she always inspired me with her kindness and the way she viewed the world.” — Julia Ordway (third year, psychology major)

“My female role model is my twin sister Katie. She is really beautiful, intelligent, kind and she is becoming a really amazing woman.  It makes me so proud to be her sister and I always feel inspired to be more like her.” — Tillie Louisell (second year, Japanese major)


For some of us, our inspiration can be people in the academic world. Whether famous or not, these people can motivate us in our studies and help us look forward to the future! 

“My role model is researcher Brene Brown and I look up to her because she inspires people with her courage to be vulnerable. She emphasizes the value of transparency and the gratification that one can gain from acknowledging their shortcomings and expressing genuine thankfulness and they serve as reminders for me in my daily life!” — Margaret Kim (first year, business economics major) 

“[My role model is] the head research assistant at the lab I volunteer at! She transfers knowledge to me, always double checks everything I do and takes her role seriously.” — Chloe Retika (second year, neuroscience and psychobiology double major)

other public figures: athlete/gamer/actress

Other responses included anyone from best friends to public figures like Olympic athletes. We can see that college girls get their inspiration from a wide range of people. 

“My role model is Twitch streamer QuarterJade! She’s insane at gaming, super funny, personable & down-to-earth and is constantly trying to make the Twitch/gaming community a more welcoming place for women.” — Miranda Wu (third year, business economics major) 

“My role model is Lee Keifer. She was the first American to win gold in Olympic individual foil fencing. I was lucky enough to meet her multiple times! Her ability to work hard and still have time for other things in life such as medical school is inspiring to me as I am a foil fencer myself going through college.” — Elaine Fan (first year, math-econ and statistics date theory double major) 

“I would say my role model is Audrey Hepburn because she was able to succeed as a famous actress and also a fashion icon yet chose to help out with relief work after her retirement. The amount of accomplishments this woman has achieved is so admirable and inspiring for many women out there!” — Ryley Park (fourth year, applied linguistics major)

best friend

Best friends are people with who you share a lot of time. Consequently, they may introduce you to new hobbies or friends and shape your perspective of the world. You know you have a good best friend when they are your inspiration. 

“One of my main role models is my best friend Apoorva, who is one of the kindest and smartest people I’ve ever met. She is reliably graceful, wise and dedicated to everything that she does and believes in. She is also inspiring to me because she is amazing at cultivating her own skills (whether it be in handmade crafts, sports or academia) and inspiring others to care about each other and the planet. When I have difficult decisions to make in life, I talk to her and think to act as she would.” — Constanza Motemayor (second year, global studies major) 

It is important to stop and thank the women in our lives who have inspired us. Let’s remember to do so especially as we celebrate International Women’s Day this week! 

Rio is a third-year UCLA business economics student from Japan. In her free time, you can find her hiking, dancing away at concerts, or cafe-hopping!