Zinedine Partipilo (also known as ZP) and his family arrived in the United States from Venezuela just before ZP started his junior year of high school. Zinedine was embraced by the community at his new high school, and joined Model UN and other student organizations.
ZP exemplifies the core Sondheim values of service and leadership. He is pursuing a double major in Financial Economics (B.S.) and Political Science (B.A.) and he thoughtfully selects activities and organizations that foster his desire to help others and give back to UMBC and the surrounding community. Since hearing about UMBC and the Sondheim Scholars program as a senior in high school, ZP immediately decided to apply. He values the support from Sondheim program staff, the friendships, sense of community and connection among program students. Two of ZP’s favorite Sondheim events include a trip to Washington D.C. to learn about women’s suffrage and an educational policy panel discussion about Maryland’s Kirwan Education Commission.
ZP embraced the Sondheim Program’s service-learning experience. He and several student volunteers in his cohort served at The Esperanza Center in Baltimore during their freshman year. Working with immigrants with limited English proficiency to develop their conversational language skills, he connected with students of all ages and levels of education on a personal level. ZPs experience demonstrated he was not only able to give back, but also learn, grow and help other determined newcomers to our country reach for a brighter future. Service-learning at the Esperanza Center allowed Zinedine to return the favor of teaching English to others, just as he experienced and was extremely grateful for when arriving in the United States.
Zinedine’s commitment to the UMBC community is equally strong. He leads as Executive President of the Political Science Council of Majors. He is a dedicated member of the UMBC Mock Trial team, the highest ranked team in Maryland. ZP gives back to his Scholars community by serving as a mentor to incoming Sondheim students to navigate the transition to college, to answer questions about the program and connect with his fellow students.
Upon completion of his degrees, Zinedine plans to pursue graduate education in Economics (possibly at UMBC!) and then launch a career in public service.