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Student finds second chance at Foothill

June 6, 2018

Students who come to Foothill College emerge as leaders. Some students, like Associated Students of Foothill College (ASFC) President Danya Adib-Azpeitia, never thought of themselves as leaders before coming to campus. 
Danya is graduating this spring and heading to Stanford. Prior to attending Foothill, she attended UC Santa Barbara but withdrew from the university for medical leave. At the time, Danya was handling mental health issues such as depression. She took a year off from school, which left her questioning if she wanted to return at all and what she wanted to do with her life.
“When I stepped onto the Foothill campus with all these questions in mind I saw answers,” Danya said.
While taking classes part-time, Danya was encouraged to visit Foothill’s Disability Resource Center. That’s where she was encouraged to try different activities and see what the right fit for her was. It was when she took a music class her outlook on learning changed.
“That was really fundamental to how I reevaluated the role of education in my life,” said Danya. “I realized not only that learning could be fun but that I could be good at learning and I can be successful.”
Danya began taking baby steps toward a leadership role.  She looked at what Foothill could do for her, what she could do for the community and how to connect students to campus resources. She participated in multiple clubs and is an Honors Institute student. Danya has also presented at the Honors Symposium, a collective of solutions to global and local issues. 
“I definitely was not an overnight success,” she said. “That’s when I realized I’m not alone. I met students like myself with similar struggles. More importantly they overcome their struggles or used Foothill to help them overcome those struggles.”
After connecting with another student at a protest, Danya's vision for her time at Foothill became clearer. 
“I wasn’t planning to run (for ASFC) until I started to open my eyes to all the different students on campus,” Danya said, adding that coming to Foothill from a private high school allowed her to see different perspectives. “Foothill is a microcosm of life.”
She passes on the leadership baton to the next ASFC president for the 2018-19 year.
Danya said she will study symbolic systems at Stanford. She celebrated her admission and commitment to Stanford by dying her hair cardinal red.
“Foothill was my first choice for a second chance,” she added.