Tobi Jegede '18
Hey! My name is Tobi Jegede and I'm from Elkridge, Maryland. I am a sophomore and I am studying Electrical Engineering. In addition to being a member of the Princeton Perspective Project, I am an academics chair on the Forbes College Council, and a member of the a cappella group Off the Record. I am excited to work on this project because I have had my own share of struggles in trying to find my place on campus, both socially and academically, during my freshman year. I hope to help create programming that will help to address these issues on campus in order to create a campus climate in which the concept of effortless perfection becomes dismantled.
Mary Claire Bartlett '18
Hi Everyone! My name is Mary Claire, and I’m a junior from New York City. In addition to PPP, I am a member of the Varsity Volleyball Team, Orange Key, and the Princeton Pre-Law Society. I am a Woodrow Wilson School major with a specific interest in human rights and social justice. While my academic interests focus on ways to improve human wellbeing on a large scale, I see PPP as an effective way to accomplish this goal here in my own community. As with other members of the PPP team, my Princeton experience thus far has not always gone exactly the way I imagined it would, with each new semester bringing unexpected successes and failures. Through PPP's programming, I hope to convey to the Princeton student body that these setbacks are not only normal, but are actually a crucial element of our educational experience. By engaging in dialogue about our struggles, we can learn, grow and support each other. Therefore, I hope that you will take the opportunity that PPP provides to open up about your own story—you never know who it will inspire, or what change it will bring about!
Brighie Leach '19
Hello! My name is Brighie and I am a freshman from the Bay Area. Aside from being a proud member of the Princeton Perspective Project, I also run on the cross-country and track team and plan to study Sociology. I joined PPP because I believe strongly in our mission statement—to create a campus where people are comfortable discussing not only their successes but also their personal setbacks and failures. I believe that by fostering honest and open attitudes on campus, we can help secure a healthier and happier student body. At a university where we are constantly surrounded by examples of success and achievement, it is easy to feel isolated during difficult times; but the PPP team is working hard to change this by correcting the common misconception of others’ “effortless perfection” and reminding students that there is not a single person at this school who has never experienced a setback. You are NOT alone! With your help and support, we can make sure no one ever feels like they have to fight another battle alone.
Kevin pendo '19
Hi everyone! My name is Kevin Pendo, and I am a freshman from Darien, CT, planning to pursue a Neuroscience major and a certificate in Applications of Computing. I also hope to attend medical school after finishing my undergraduate studies. I am super excited to be part of the Princeton Perspective Project, because I believe that our mission is relevant to all Princeton students in some way or another. As Princeton students, external pressures abound, but for me, the greatest pressure I’ve felt has always come from myself. While this has driven the development of my work ethic, it has also at times led me to struggle in finding the intrinsic enjoyment in my studies—the enjoyment that, although sometimes hard to see, exists irrespective of a letter grade or exam score. As I continue to work on finding the internal fulfillment of my endeavors, I hope that I can help the Princeton Perspective Project be a force for the betterment of the experience of all Princeton students—a force that fosters a community where people find the intrinsic enjoyment in their academic, social, and extracurricular activities. I believe that a culture where students truly support each other and seek the inherent joys of challenging themselves will be a culture where we can all view struggles/setbacks not as failures, but as perhaps the most crucial opportunities for genuine growth.
Angela Kim '19
Hi everyone! I'm Angela Kim and a freshman from the Los Angeles area. I'm planning on majoring in Anthropology and hopefully earning a Teacher Prep certificate. I love working with people and hope to turn this passion into a career in education. In addition to being a new member of the Princeton Perspective Project, I am also a part of WPRB, Princeton's independent radio station. I'm really excited to be here at Princeton and one of the reasons I joined PPP was so that I could be a part of a team that fosters inclusivity and encouragement on a campus where we are surrounded by notions of perfection. I'm looking forward to working with the PPP team and getting to know more of the members of the Princeton community!
Natalya Rahman '19
Hi everyone! I’m a member of the Class of 2019, and currently a prospective Politics major. I’m from Karachi, Pakistan and I went to high school in Dubai, UAE. I’m passionate about the Princeton Perspective Project (PPP) because I think the idea that struggling and setbacks are a regular part of life is relevant to everyone. Apart from being a member of PPP Student’s Advisory Board, I volunteer with CONTACT of Mercer County, an organisation that answers the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and Lifeline Crisis Chat. I am also a Peer Career Advisor and a writer at Odyssey Online. I am a part of Princeton Social Innovation as an officer of the TEDxPrincetonU team, as well as Muslim Advocates for Social Justice Individual Dignity. Please let me know if you have any feedback or questions for us, or if you just want to talk!
KOBI TSESARSKY '19
Hi! My name is Kobi Tsesarsky and I am from New York City. I am studying Psychology and in the class of 2019. Here at Princeton, I am involved in the religious life, volunteering, and am an Orange Key guide. Some of my favorite activities include cooking, watching football, and traveling!
In life, I know that everyone faces difficult struggles. I am a big believer in learning how to deal with the difficulties that life throws at us. That’s why I joined PPP. I want to be a part of an organization that promotes the idea that everyone does face challenges, that it’s okay to fail, and that no one goes through life at Princeton without struggling or failing. On top of that, I want to help students develop skills to learn how to deal with their setbacks or failures. I can’t wait to see what is in store!
NATE LEVIT ‘20
Hello everyone! I'm Nate Levit. I'm a freshman from Tulsa, Oklahoma in Wilson College. I plan on concentrating in History or Politics. I joined PPP because, just a few weeks into my first year of college, I already felt that there was a need for an organization that empowers students by making sure that they do not feel alone in their struggles. Princeton is difficult, but by ignoring that simple fact people around me were making it even more stressful. Everyone was in the midst of a tough adjustment period, yet no one was willing to admit it. I recognized that there was a clear need to promote conversations on the topic of failure. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
DAVID FRIEDMAN ‘20
Hey everyone! My name is David and I’m a freshman from Southern California, prospective Woodrow Wilson School major. I’m extremely passionate about global development and education equity. My transition to Princeton has been humbling—constantly being surrounded by such driven, high achieving peers has at times made me question my adequacy. I’m excited to be on the PPP team to help promote encouragement and self-acceptance and combat this harmful notion of effortless perfectionism across campus.
DAVID CORDOBA '20
Hello! I am a member of the class of 2020 from Roselle, NJ. I am aspiring to major in Molecular Biology and obtain a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy. I became a part of the Princeton Perspective Project because I truly believe in its mission to serve others through cultivating discussions on failures and setbacks. During my first weeks on campus, I believed that everyone around me was well-adjusted. However, as I've talked to many of my peers, I realized that adjusting to life at Princeton is not too easy. So I asked myself, "Why is no one opening up conversations on these struggles?" Fortunately, I see that the PPP strives to not only find the answer to my question, but foster conversations on such topics, and I am excited to come on board to help in any way possible. Outside of the PPP, I am also involved with Princeton Latinos y Amigos (PLA). I happily look forward to working with the other members of the PPP and serve the members of the Princeton community!
Founding Committee 2014-15
Billy Arendt '16
Hi everyone! I’m Billy Arendt from Houston, Texas. I’m a junior majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering and playing on Princeton’s varsity baseball group leader working with Habitat for Humanity for the past two years. Other than my passion for service, I have a deep love for connecting with people. Since my first day on campus, I felt overwhelming anxiety about my adequacy as a Princeton student coupled with my performance as a student athlete. As I slowly developed friendships in college, I found that my feelings were mutual among my peers. Once I realized this, things didn’t get easier, but I understood that in our difficult struggles we learn things that the classroom could never teach us. My perspective has changed! I’m excited to be part of the Princeton Perspective Project, and I hope that we embrace this opportunity. As we get to know more about the experiences of others, we will deepen our sense of community. This project serves as a safe space for expression, please help make Princeton a more understanding and open place.
Deana Hamlin '17
Hey! I'm Deana from Virginia and a sophomore in Rocky College. I'm a prospective Woodrow Wilson School major and plan to attend law school after my undergraduate education. I’m a big proponent of service-learning and passionate about projects that enhance a community by inspiring a change in its members. That’s exactly what PPP does; it sets a precedent for more realistic expectations and encourages us to place value in our failures to propel us to success. And most importantly, it builds a community that inspires this change, so “effortless perfection” is no longer an individual battle. On campus, I'm involved with organizations that have service and community enrichment at their core-- I am co-president of the Pace Council for Civic Values (PCCV), a Community Action leader, and a volunteer for GetSET. Also, I'm president of the a cappella group Off the Record and a member of Princeton Faith and Action (PFA). I’m proud to work with the PPP team because I believe its purpose is essential to Princeton’s campus, especially to enrich our community of students, faculty and administration.
Isabella Lloyd-Damnjanovic '17
Hello everyone! I'm Isabella, and I'm a sophomore from Los Angeles planning to declare the Woodrow Wilson School as my major. My dream is to work in social justice, particularly on issues of gender and income equality and homelessness. I'm also interested in philosophy and learning languages. On campus I am a member of Forbes College, a SHARE associate peer, a Writing Center fellow, and a member of the Princeton Women's Mentorship Program. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help combat the destructive culture of 'effortless perfection' here at Princeton that teaches us to constantly measure ourselves against our peers, devalue our own successes, and hide our feelings of inadequacy, our struggles and our failures. Join us in being part of the change!
Janet Adelola '17
Hey! I'm Janet and a sophomore in Mathey College. I'm involved in many community service projects on campus as well as Princeton Faith and Action. I am interested in biomedical engineering, particularly prostethics. I would love to be able to find a great intersection between my interest in biomedical engineering and global health. I'm so excited to be apart of this project because I think it will succeed in changing the destructive aspects of our culture at Princeton. It will help make our environment a safer and more encouraging space where students won't feel pressured to be perfect and will be more open to share about their struggles and downfalls.
Katie Breen '15
Thanks so much for visiting the website! I'm Katie, and I am a senior in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. I am grateful to a variety of mentors who have helped me through the tough times at school. By broadcasting the pitfalls of "effortless perfection" and sharing stories, I can't wait to see how PPP provides a collective mentoring body, with Princeton students learning from one another. I am an Orange Key Tour Guide, and I studied abroad in Kenya last semester and spent the summer doing senior thesis research in the National Forests of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
Marie Brooks '15
Hi! I'm a senior studying mechanical engineering, dreaming of designing cars (the faster the better, obviously). I'm on the Princeton Racing Electric team, and I'm an executive officer for Princeton Faith and Action. I'm so grateful to get to work on this project - I have personally experienced both the pain of feeling isolated by failure, and the incredible strength that came from opening up about my struggles and realizing that every single person on this campus had a similar story. I hope that together we can transform Princeton to create a culture of openness and honesty and a community that seeks to truly take care of each other.
Mary Heath Manning '17
Hey everyone! I'm Mary Heath. I am a prospective Italian major, and I have dedicated much of my education to the study of languages. I hope to study law after finishing my undergraduate degree. Because of my passion for justice, equality, and language, I am extraordinarily excited about the PPP. Justice and equality are key to this project because there are often misperceptions of confidence, intelligence, etc. at Princeton. Language is equally as important to this initiative because the ways in which students discuss these issues will play a huge role in the impact this project will have. No one on this campus is perfect; each student has failed to succeed in some area, felt down about social standing, and seen himself as inadequate in comparison to his peers. We hope to create something that will allow Princetonians to embrace their imperfections. With your help, I foresee great change coming from this project!
Max Rogers '16
My name is Max Rogers and I’m a junior majoring in Economics. I’m on the varsity wrestling team and a leader for Princeton Faith and Action. I joined this project because I was challenged in balancing academics and athletics in my first year at Princeton, and I want all Princeton students to feel that they have a group of people to reach out to for any challenges they are facing. Every student at Princeton has a unique set of gifts and talents, and I believe this project can help all on campus feel more confident in their own abilities.
Nusrat Ahmed '17
Hey everyone! I'm Nusrat, and I'm a sophomore in Mathey College. I am very passionate about working with street children on providing them a platform for self-expression. On campus I'm secretary of the 2017 Class Council, member of the cappella groups Umqombothi and Off the Record, and a vounteer with LEAP. I am so excited to be a part of the PPP team as I think its intended goal to break down the concept of 'effortless perfection' and paint failure to be something that's a part of life is incredibly important on a campus such as ours. I hope PPP can help us understand that it's okay to ask for help, to fail, to not be the best, and to not measure our success and use of time by the validation of others.
Shawon Jackson '15
Hi everyone! I'm Shawon, and I'm a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School. I'm passionate about educational equity and social justice, and I'm thrilled to be part of the PPP team. I've had too many conversations with friends about how they seem to be the only one who doesn't have it "together". That simply isn't true. All of us - no matter how we appear on the surface - deal with struggles. With this project, I hope to help Princetonians realize that it's OK, and actually useful, to fail; you can't have success without it. In addition to this project, I'm president of USG, an RCA in Forbes, and a dancer with diSiac. Please reach out if you have any questions or feedback!
Sophie Wang '16
Hello! My name is Sophie and I am a junior from the Bay Area studying Molecular Biology. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this project, and I owe a large part of my involvement here to the Women's Mentorship Program.
I joined the project because I find "perspective" to be one of the most captivating and meaningful words in the English language. It represents the need to re-examine the way we perceive success and failure both in ourselves and in others--to realize that neither tells the complete story.
I think the key to gaining perspective is something so magically simple yet sometimes difficult to do: opening up. It really is a domino effect. If you open up to even one person, perhaps they might realize that they are not struggling alone and do the same. I truly believe that together we can create a campus that embraces our setbacks, and values our success. Together we can make Princeton an even more open and honest community to be a part of!