AEGEE Member of the month, February 2020: Zurita!

They were a key figure behind the EPM Barcelona, are the speaker of the Strategy Committee and managed to put together a successful team in a short period of time. They are exceptionally kind, supporting, and a great leader, always eager to help others, and doesn’t shy from challenging the status quo or bringing in new ideas. They also find themselves as co-moderator of the LGBT+ Interest Group and a member of the ITC. We are happy to announce the Member of the Month, February 2020, Zurita!

Congratulations on being awarded the Member of the Month! We’re all eager to hear your AEGEE story!

Thanks! Everyone has a different story for joining, mine might be a bit different than the standard AEGEEan. Before becoming a member, I was part of BEST (partner organisation of AEGEE) for some years and I got the chance to get to know AEGEE, so when I moved to Köln for my Erasmus I knew where to go to make some friends with common interests. Indeed I found people that today I call my friends and that motivated me to stay in Germany after I finished my Erasmus, so I will always be grateful to AEGEE for that.

 What has been the highlight of your time in AEGEE?

Choosing one specific thing would be difficult, so I will go for two. First was at SPM Köln, seeing my own local organising their first Statutory Event, making it fully vegetarian, and adding some new ideas for inclusion… I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a team, of being part of something as I was during that event.

The second was the approval of the Strategic Plan 2020-2023 in Agora Salerno. It was a lot of months working with Viola, Borja, and Yannic together with CD56 and CD57, investing a lot of time and effort to deliver a refreshed Strategic Framework that should enable AEGEE and AEGEEans ever more. Not many believed such a small team could manage, at moments I guess not even us, but it happened and it was just perfect. 

What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve in AEGEE?

There are all the moments with AEGEE-Köln, working from being a very small antenna to organising our first Statutory Event ever… The moments with Strategy, with the Planning Team and the Strategy Committee, always mixing working for AEGEE with having a good time and enjoying each other’s company and friendships. And then my queer family, the Equal Rights Working Group, the gaygora people, the LGBT+ IG and even doing a Interrail to talk about Pride and LGBT+ struggles through the Balkans… AEGEE has given me a lot of people, opportunities, and situations that I doubt I will ever forget.

What are some ways in which AEGEE helped you in your life? 

When I joined I was finalising my degree, now I am starting my professional life. My previous BEST life had given me a lot of tools, what AEGEE has given me the most is support and opportunities. I truly believe in AEGEE’s vision and values, being part of it has allowed me to become an active citizen and to have an impact.

What are your words of wisdom to your fellow AEGEEans?

On a very personal level, I owe AEGEE my step of moving from vegetarian to vegan, as I think without the respect, support, and openness to the topic, I would not have ever dared to do it. Maybe for you it’s something different. It can be learning a new language, visiting an area or region you are prejudiced about, challenging yourself to work on a project or topic you thought you were never good enough for. Use your time in this amazing organisation to meet people, develop yourself and have an impact, “professional life” doesn’t always allow it.

Any closing remarks?

I hope you are all going through quarantine and/or social distancing successfully. These weeks we’ve shown that we are not just random people, but a group of friends ready to help each other and be there when in need. Every country is reacting differently, I hope during this time we remember that Europe is above countries and we continue smashing some borders, online this time.