The Best of The UP Lab 2013 – Part 1


It has been six months since the launch of The UP Lab! In order to commemorate this milestone, we would first like to again highlight the UnParalleled individuals whom we interviewed thus far through our On The Rise series.

The purpose of our On The Rise series is to put a spotlight on everyday individuals who have an extraordinary mindset to drive them toward success and happiness. We feel that inspiration is best drawn from the people around us who we can best relate to.

Before jumping into a recap of our interviews, we’d like to thank you for your continued support of The UP Lab! We wouldn’t be running if it weren’t for you all.

Listed in order of interview.

The 8 UnParalleled Individuals

Emi Oshima – Intention From the Heart: We first had the honor of interviewing Emi who co-founded the Fresh S.T.A.R.T. program at UCI. She leaves us with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “[True] happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Omeid Heidari – Nursing without Borders: Before graduating from UCI, Omeid was actively involved in a number of organizations and led his own research with the Nursing and Public Health Departments. He also spoke at TEDxUCIrvine 2013 on spreading awareness about the power of those working in the nursing field.

Kendrick Wang – A Teacher Rising Above Failure: Kendrick shared his stories of struggling with failure before developing the grit to keep pushing forward. He is currently teaching English in Japan. As someone who continues to pursue new things everyday, his statement about his life still holds true, “I don’t feel comfortable where I am, but I feel comfortable with who I am.”

Jesse Oduro – Dreaming to Success: Many of our readers are college students and there is no better time to dream and come up with outlandish ideas than when you’re in college. However, Jesse reminds us that dreaming is only one part of the formula to success. He tells us, not to stop dreaming, but “you should always take a step toward making it more than a dream.”

Ciena Calavitta – The Iron Woman: Ciena has done 3 full Ironmans, 1 half Ironman, 2 olympic distance triathlons, and 1 sprint distance triathlon. That was as of August 19, 2013. There’s no telling how many more events she has completed since then. Ciena reminds us that, in the end, it’s the people who hold near and dear that are always there to support us, whether that be family, or your best group of friends.

Ben Lee – Roots of Success: An anthropologist and large presence in the California freestyle dance scene, Ben has aspirations of becoming a professor as well as a world-renowned dancer. In his interview he explained the importance of doing work you enjoy doing, not for the sake of anybody but yourself. “Without you being the best that you can be, the world isn’t the [best] place that it can be.”

Izzy Loh – Engineer by Day, DJ by Night: Izzy shared with us the belief that you can have your  cake and eat it. You can have the best of both worlds even if both worlds are almost polar opposites. According to Izzy, you must “give yourself permission to enjoy life.”

Jabari McDonald – Under Constant Improvement: One of the more involved individuals with student services at UCI, Jabari brought to the table a definition of failure that transcends typical definitions. “Failure is when you think you can’t learn from an experience.” Needless to say, he has learned from his experiences. He has overcome a variety of his own fears including audition and making it onto a dance team (MCIA) and public speaking, becoming a campus representative for UCI.

Enjoy these interviews! Remember, these individuals are only a few of the ordinary individuals you are surrounded by every day. However, they’ve taken the steps to do a bit extra, to strive for success on their on terms.

Remember that you are  capable of achieving the extraordinary and nobody can tell you otherwise.

Be UnParalleled.



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