Faces of South: Sadin Safi, Confidence Through Leadership
Nineteen-year-old Sadin Safi is a familiar face among the halls of the Jerry M. Brockey Student Center. Students know her as the smiling Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member who greets them at the door of the South Seattle College Food Pantry. As PTK’s Marketing Officer, Sadin rotates shifts with her fellow members to help students in need access nonperishables and toiletry items throughout the week.
“Since the food pantry first opened during Spring Quarter, we’ve seen the pantry grow and help more students,” says Sadin. “Most know where we are and aren’t nervous to approach the pantry. They’re really thankful for this service, without it some might not even eat for the whole day.”
During Winter Quarter 2018, South’s Food Pantry attracted 500 visits from students! The pantry has not only tackled food insecurity on campus, but has also helped build self-esteem and leadership skills among those who run it.
“Before coming to South I was pretty reserved,” says Sadin. “Since I’ve gotten my position at PTK, I’ve become a lot more confident in myself through helping people at the pantry, organizing events and talking in front of big groups.”
Becoming involved in campus clubs and organizations was one of Sadin’s priorities when she first transferred to South from Bellevue College as a Running Start student. Having come from an online high school environment, Sadin wanted to make the most of her college experience. She found her space on campus in South’s AANAPISI Center, where her new friends encouraged her to run for a position in South’s United Student Association (USA).
“I wasn’t really familiar with our student government and what they did on campus,” says Sadin. “One week I went to one of their weekly meetings and really enjoyed it. I ended running for USA’s vice-president position. Although I didn’t get elected, it motivated me to run again for my Marketing Officer position with Phi Theta Kappa. I’ve helped my dad market his business in the past, so I thought it would be a good fit.”
A native of Jordan, a Middle-Eastern country bordering Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria, Sadin grew up mostly with her mother and siblings. During the first nine years of her life, Sadin’s father lived in the United States for work. At six-years-old, Sadin’s mother moved her family to Palestine for three years before immigrating to the US.
“We came over during the winter and all I can remember was how excited I was to see the snow,” jokes Sadin. “Of course, I later found out that snow is pretty rare in Seattle. Another thing that stood out to me was how different the education system in the US is compared to where I lived in Palestine.”
Even before coming to the US however, Sadin knew her future lied in healthcare. She remembers, “playing doctor” as a kid and becoming fascinated by medical tools and equipment. Today she is pursuing her Associate of Science degree with an emphasis in biology at South. After graduation, she hopes to pursue her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Washington-Seattle, and plans to enter medical school to become a trauma surgeon.
In her free time, Sadin volunteers at Highline Medical Center and has quickly discovered a newfound love of the Emergency Room.
“I really like the ER because it combines anatomy, physiology and patient care,” says Sadin. “It’s fast-paced and sometimes shocking, there’s no other department like that. It’s really nice because get to see with my eyes what I am learning in college.”
Sadin’s academic excellence has earned her a place on the 2018 All-Washington Academic Team. She is among 78 of Washington’s top scholars, selected based their high academic achievements, community involvement and service to their college. She will represent South at the annual state-wide community and technical college reception with Governor Jay Inslee and South Interim President Peter Lortz on March 22 in Olympia.
Now with one quarter left at South before graduation, Sadin has advice for students who are just beginning their college journey.
“It’s not about where you want to go, it’s about the journey,” says Sadin. “Instead of focusing on the results, enjoy how you got there. Don’t let this time in your life pass by.”