Senior Spotlight: Sydney Thiroux '21

May 27, 2021

Sydney Thiroux Chinese and Global and Cultural Studies major Sydney Thiroux excelled in the classroom—earning honors in both her majors—while still finding a way to give back to the Whittier community. 

As a member of the Food Recovery Network, Thiroux helped to feed the hungry by partnering with campus dining services to funnel hundreds of pounds of leftover food from the cafeteria to the St. Matthias soup kitchen. 

Hometown: Northridge, CA

On-Campus Involvement/Activities: Food Recovery Network, CRU, and was the women's Bible study leader and co-president. She also participated as chair for the Model United Nations of the Far West. 

Experiential Activities: Writing intern at The Borgen Project, worked to raise awareness about global poverty, wrote articles for their blog and magazine, contacted congressional leaders to support poverty reduction legislation, and raised over $800 through a personal fundraising campaign. 
Worked for College’s Student Disability Services office as a note taker and testing proctor, an orientation advisor, and a writing associate. Volunteer work includes St. Matthias soup kitchen, Love Whittier 2020, and service in international relations. 

Most unusual thing you did at Whittier College: Graduated one year early, chaired a Model UN committee without previously attending as a delegate and bringing my sewing machine to the dorms during my first year.

Which accomplishment are you most proud of? Surviving a pandemic! Not only surviving but finding ways to thrive! I don't really give myself enough credit for how well I adapted to the changes caused by the pandemic and how much I was able to accomplish this year in spite of a global crisis. 

Favorite class: Life and Teachings of Jesus with Professor Rosemary Carbine. So many of the things I learned in that class have been so helpful in my spiritual life. 

Advice you would give your first-year self: Don't worry if it takes more time than you expected to find where you fit in. It's okay if you don't click with everyone right away. It's okay to outgrow certain people and places. It's okay to not have everything figured out yet. Keep yourself open to new experiences and opportunities, but know when you need to say no. 

Plans after graduation: Currently, my plan is to find full-time employment, preferably either some kind of teaching position or something in the nonprofit field. I'm excited for where my search will lead me!

Ultimate career goals: In all honesty, my ultimate career goals are still unclear. I could see myself in education, in the nonprofit field, local/national politics, international development, etc. That's why I'll be taking a couple of years off before grad school, so I can figure that out.