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Welcome to the dirty T: Meet Luciana Dahdah and her heart for fashion, traveling and philanthropy

Luciana+Dahdah%2C+a+freshman+studying+political+science+and+Spanish%2C+grew+up+in+both+Guatemala+and+Arizona.+Also+a+member+of+Gamma+Phi+Beta+sorority%2C+she+hopes+to+start+a+non-profit+business+that+would+support+underprivileged+girls+in+the+U.S.+and+Latin+America.
Aiden Vens

Luciana Dahdah, a freshman studying political science and Spanish, grew up in both Guatemala and Arizona. Also a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, she hopes to start a non-profit business that would support underprivileged girls in the U.S. and Latin America.

Behind her warm smile and chic vintage-denim clothing, freshman Luciana Dahdah has a unique passion for fashion, travel and change.

Born in Guatemala City, Dahdah lived there for 10 years before moving to Mexico. By the age of 13, she moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where her passions further flourished.

“Moving so much has helped me grow,” Dahdah said. “I think that’s why I love traveling so much, as well. My mom and I travel together every summer to a new place and it’s such a cool learning experience, and that’s why I’m really excited to study abroad a lot during college.”

With a father from Guatemala and a mother from Mexico, Dahdah remains in touch with her Hispanic roots, but she found transitioning to life in U.S. difficult at first.

However, over time she felt that her struggle actually empowered her education.

“My fear was getting called on during class to read out loud because I wasn’t comfortable speaking English,” Dahdah said. “Then I started taking more Honors English classes and it was definitely a challenge, but it helped me get to where I am today—to applying and getting accepted to the Honors College.”

Dahdah is currently seeking a degree in political science and Spanish, and a minor in fashion. She said her ultimate goal is to work for the United Nations, particularly with women because she has seen her own cultural differences and wants to give back to her community in that respect.

“I am very passionate about giving back to the Latino community because it’s where I am from, and especially now with all the recent politics and stereotypes,” Dahdah said. “I wanted to be a voice and an advocate for Latino women and children.”

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Dahdah said she originally wanted to pusue a career in fashion, but recently decided politics would offer her more humanitarian opportunities.

“It just kind of hit me last year that I wanted to give back, and I saw political science as my gateway,” Dahdah said.

Dahdah took advantage of every opportunity to get involved in what she loves, from joining the Spanish Translation and Interpretation Program on campus to being to part of Global Goals, a movement through the U.N. and the Global Citizen Organization.

“I’m really passionate about furthering education for women—I believe that once you have a good education, you can pursue all your goals,” Dahdah said. “If I didn’t have a good education or speak both languages or have the good experience that I’ve had up to this point, then I wouldn’t be as motivated to give back.”

Dahdah said most Guatemalans tend to be extremely grateful, regardless of socioeconomic status. In the U.S., she said while many of us are also very grateful, we often overlook our inherent privileges.

Dahdah recently created a personal blog and used the page to share fashion trends, her travels and the movements she has joined.

“I share my college lifestyle and new trends, but I also want it to be an outlet for change,” Dahdah said. “Especially now, at the spot we are in politically, I just want it to be a positive page. It’s just a fun way to express my creativity because I feel like in politics there’s not really that outlet to express yourself fully with creative thinking. I can’t live without being able to express myself in a different way.”

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Dahdah strives to not only make change through politics, but also plans to utilize her creativity to fuel her philanthropic appetite.

She hopes to start a small non-profit company called Reaching For the Stars One Girl at a Time, which would sell shirts with stars on printed on them to students around campus.

“It’s a non-profit so the money that I get from it, 25 percent will go to buying more shirts and production, and the rest will go to the girls,” Dahdah said. “Either here or in other parts of Latin America, where they will receive the money and further their education, or buy things they need and just continue to be strong women.”

She intends to connect her company to her blog, allowing her followers to purchase the shirts directly from the website.

Dahdah said that figuring out logistics have been the most challenging part of establishing her small business, but her passion for helping others outweighs the intellectual hardships.

“I consider myself a very passionate person since I’ve been a little girl, and just seeing how women are treated, I just feel something inside and I want to do something about it,” Dahdah said. “After brainstorming and designing my logo, every time I see it I just get so excited.”

Dahdah also recently became a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

She particularly connected with its philanthropy, Building Strong Girls, and said seeing the members so passionate about giving back to women has served as real encouragement.

“I really felt at home with the girls, but their philanthropic mission, Building Stronger Girls, is all that I am about, so that’s when I knew,” Dahdah said. “It has really inspired me to continue my project with girls.”

Check out Dahdah’s blog at

www.lucianadahdah.com


Follow Lindsey Otto on Twitter.


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