Involvement is key to success for Zarr
Sarah Zarr’s weekly schedule looks a bit like a game of Tetris. Meetings, classes, work responsibilities, homework and more meetings are all carefully pieced together like a puzzle to make her days manageable.
Zarr is a junior mass communications major at CSU-Pueblo, and she carries two minors in leadership studies and nonprofits, but her class work is only a small fraction of her involvement at school and in the community.
She works for Student Engagement and Leadership where she helps coordinate the LEAD Program and plans events for the campus. She serves as secretary for international business organization Enactus, as a director for Golden Key Honor Society, as secretary for the Pueblo community Roteract Club, and she is a member of the ThunderWolves Color Guard.
Zarr also participates in the President’s Leadership Program, where she is the Colorado Leadership Alliance representative. She sits on the CLA Scholar Board, which helps plan a statewide summit for CLA students from leadership programs around Colorado. She is also the student representative on the CSU-Pueblo PLP board of directors.
She is founder and president of Pueblo Students for Life, a pro-life organization on campus that helps pregnant students with resources and assistance so they may continue their education.
Her work in the community includes planning events with the Downtown Association and the Pueblo Convention Center.
As if that wasn’t enough to capsize her calendar, Zarr is also a senator with CSU-Pueblo’s Associated Students’ Government, where she serves on several committees and represents the students of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
“I can (be so involved) because I get energy from being around people and from getting to work with great teams of people in everything I am involved in. I love people, and it makes being involved exciting and energizing. I love to bring people together for a common cause. If I can make a small impact on someone, it makes all the busyness and stress worth it,” she said.
Time management is a skill Zarr has developed over the last few years.
“I think it’s about prioritizing. You just have to decide what needs to be done immediately and what can wait. And sometimes, you’re not going to be as involved in something,” she said. “Some things you can decide ‘OK, I’m just going to go to this and be a part of this, but I’m not going to contribute to it as much I will contribute to something else.’”
“I’m also finding that I need to limit some things now. I think it’s time to be more focused, so I can make an impact in what I’m doing,” she added. “I think it’s good at first to be involved in a ton of things and really find out what you like. And as you’re advancing through college, narrowing it down so you can have an effect.”
One activity that Zarr will leave behind after this year is color guard.
“This is going to be my last semester. It’s a ton of fun, and I’ve loved it. It’s a good experience, but now I feel like it’s time, especially if I want to go to grad school, to free up my time for other things.”
Zarr has lived in Pueblo for only five years. Her family moved from Montana when her father took a job as director of the student union at Pueblo Community College. She credits her parents for giving her a sound foundation for success.
“I was homeschooled my entire life before college. It was amazing, and my parents sacrificed so much to give me an amazing education and awesome opportunities and a tight knit community of close friends,” she said.
Zarr knew she wanted to attend CSU-Pueblo when she first moved to Colorado.
“My mom and I were driving around, and she was showing me some areas in the city. We drove up to the university, and I thought it was a beautiful campus, and I could see myself going to CSU-Pueblo. I felt excited and like it was somewhere I was supposed to be,” she said.
Her heavy involvement at school is a source of pride for her parents, she said, but they do miss having her at home.
“Sometimes they’re like, ‘Oh my goodness, we never see you,’ but since my dad works in higher education, he gets really excited when I tell him about stuff,” Zarr said. “They’re also the ones who encouraged me to apply for the President’s Leadership Program.”
When Zarr came to CSU-Pueblo, she didn’t feel like she would fit in with the PLP, but she applied and was accepted.
“I got in, and it kind of jump started my confidence in what I wanted to do,” she said. “It’s really competitive to get in. It’s probably my favorite place on campus. The leaders and the people there are all of the same mindset, and we can work together. It’s a really strong community, and we’re all really close.”
In January, Zarr decided to run for ASG senator, and both presidential candidates, Mike Weiner and Timothy Zercher, approached her to run on their tickets.
“I was asked by Mike first, and literally the same day, Timothy asked me too, and so I had to decide. It was really tough because they were both my friends, and I felt they were both really capable,” she said.
Zarr was elected to the ASG Senate during the spring election. As CHASS senator, she now sits on the Student Fee Governing Board, the child care center fee and athletic fee committees, the enrollment management committee and the ASG internal affairs committee.
With a schedule resembling a complicated puzzle, Zarr rarely has time to relax, but she wouldn’t have things any other way.
“I think it’s so important for students to be involved,” she said. “It’s really helped me decide what I want to do, and it’s made my college experience great.”