The Mentor Spotlight series by Project YETI aims to showcase the amazing young Tibetans involved in our YETI Mentorship program and share some of their valuable advice publicly for young Tibetan students. We'll be posting a new Mentor Spotlight every day, so stay tuned!
Tenzin Lhanze was born in New Delhi, India and raised in Falls Church, VA. She is a senior at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at The College of William and Mary, studying Finance and Mathematics. Lhanze’s passion for human rights advocacy has led her to internships at Human Rights Watch and serving as the President for her college’s chapter of Amnesty International. She is currently interning at the Urban Institute, a leading public policy think tank, in Washington DC.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Driven, empathetic, [and] dynamic.
What is a fun fact about you most people don't know?
I am happiest when I'm outdoors in large bodies of water. However, I cannot swim.
What is your favorite quote?
"Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture." -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What motivates you to be successful/achieve?
I am consistently pushed forward by the notion that education, no matter one's age, is the golden path to improvement of the global community. Education is like the flame of a butter lamp. Once lit, it can be used to help light others and expel the darkness of ignorance. By continuing to pursue education and make it more accessible for myself and those around me, I hope to do my part in bringing greater understanding for each other amongst our human family.
If you could offer one piece of advice to Tibetan students in their college application process, what would it be?
Do not value yourself purely based on the college application process and its results. It is a difficult system to navigate through with a multitude of factors, some less predictable than others. Remember to also reach out to friends and family if you are ever in need of advice, suggestions, or just someone to share what you’re going through with. The communities you take part in will always be a source of not only knowledge, but also empathy and love.
If you could offer one piece of advice to Tibetan students entering the college experience, what would it be?
To any young Tibetan, regardless of whether or not they are in college, I would tell them to always be bold. At times, the harsh load of school and life in general can seem heavy and your ambitions may feel impossible. In those moments, remember that you come from a people who have fought bravely and honorably in the face of great injustice and oppression; a people who do not docilely let their situation shape them, but are working to shape their own fate. And be grateful to those who have supported you thus far. Attending college is a great privilege, which should never be taken for granted.