A Portrait of Patricia: An Interview with Communications Enthusiast Patricia Ndaya

Meet Patricia Ndaya – a 19 year old Communication Studies major and International Development minor in her second year; Director of Social Media for the Communication Studies Student Association; and Founder of her own up-and-coming website!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of your interests?

I’m a Communications Studies major with a minor in International Development studies at York University. I like to think of myself as a creative soul. I’m interested in culture, media, and the world. I enjoy creating digital content as well as doing things that make a social impact. I’m a modern girl with old-fashioned views.

What are the clubs/ extra-curricular you’re involved in, in and around York?

I am involved with the CSSA at York (Communication Studies Students’ Association) as the Director of Social Media, and I had the opportunity for a short period of time during first semester to work alongside the Marketing team for the UNICEF Chapter at York.

So, as the Social Media Director for the Communication Studies Students’ Association (CSSA), what does your job entail, and how did you decide on running for this position?

I create graphics for our social media pages, and I run our new Campus Style social media campaign that I created. I have to make sure our online presence is spot on, and perfect for the brand identity of the CSSA. I manage the Twitter and Instagram, making sure I build our social media audience. The great thing about the CSSA is that I have the opportunity to do more than just what a Social Media Manager does.

I chose this position because I love branding myself on social media, so I wanted experience doing it for another person or brand. No better association to choose the one that supports my major.

Why did you choose York, and specifically Communication Studies?

I don’t feel as if I chose York, I honestly think York chose me. I know, very corny, but true. In the 11th grade, I took a media studies course where I had a pop culture-themed assignment, in which I talked about the evolution of the Barbie. Instead of doing the normal Powerpoint format, I decided to use Prezi. I created a visually appealing presentation, and because I enjoyed the assignment a lot, I knew I would love presenting, pitching, and creating things digitally for a career. My media studies teacher spoke to me about Communication Studies, and now I’m here studying it.

York originally wasn’t my first choice, which is why I say I didn’t choose York. I applied for all 3 major Toronto university communication programs. One declined and another put me on the waitlist but York accepted me from the get-go. I feel like York chose me because the minute I entered first year I felt very in tune with the pride and empowerment this school has.

I get the best of different sides of York; I get the creative cultural side through communications and the impactful social activism side through international development.

Where do you see this program taking you after graduation?

I see myself continuing into higher education and just expanding my resume and experience.

What is your favourite spot at York?

I have a couple; I love the TEL building because the CSSA & Communications departments are there. It’s a great space of passionate like-minded people, and because there’s a RBC machine there lol! I also love Vari Hall, it’s like the Yonge-Dundas Square of York. There’s always something entertaining happening there and I’ve encountered some pretty dope people and learned about really interesting causes and associations at York there. Lastly, the new Bergeron Centre…it’s such a beautiful photo-worthy building and they have a Freshii inside it - win win!

Do you have a bucket list? Have you crossed anything off?

I’m not a fan of bucket lists, but I am a person of many goals and dreams that I want to obtain in my life. I haven’t crossed anything off yet but I feel like my 20’s is going to be quite the decade for me to say the least!

What is your biggest goal for your 20s?

My biggest goals are to expand my personal brand and travel!

What is your top must-see travel destination?

It’s a division between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Israel!

So I know you’re currently in the midst of starting your own website – can you tell us a bit of what its about?

My website is called Yasha Lifestyle (yashalifestyle.com.) It’s a Toronto-based Christian culture platform/ lifestyle brand where faith and culture collide. “Yasha” means many things in Hebrew (purity, sanctification, victory, deliverance etc.) It’s about a positive lifestyle. I focus on the cultural side of Christianity - so modest fashion, faith-based music, motivation etc. The purpose is to pin-point on modern Christian culture, while tying everything to the word of God. While some brands focus on modest fashion or hip-hop, our website is a hot bed of that and much more.

We are a group of young creative Christians, who wanted to combine our interests and our faith to bring many people closer to God through our modern and positive content. Our goal is to reach the youth and make God's army strong, bigger, and better.

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the name Yasha Lifestyle.

What was your inspiration for the creation of such a platform? It’s a lot of work while you’re both in school and part of the CSSA’s executive team.  

As a Christian, there are a lot of things in today’s society that don’t make me comfortable. Music is very sexually explicit, the Internet can be very toxic, and television and movies don’t have a positive impact on people. I wanted to create a modern, positive, and creative space where I could enjoy positive, Godly culture, which Christians - and even non-Christians - could enjoy and relate to!

Its definitely a lot of work juggling school, a part time job, the CSSA, internships and now a brand, but the most successful people in the world didn’t reach their success by not working hard. You’re never too young or old to start on your goals!

You’ve mentioned you’re into personal branding on social media – do you have any tips for us?

My biggest tip is be creative and be unique!

What are some of your social media handles or websites where we can get to know you better?

Personal Twitter and Instagram: @pmndaya

Yasha:

Twitter and Instagram: @YashaLifestyle

Website: yashalifestyle.com

Facebook and YouTube: Yasha Lifestyle