2024 Salutatorian - Ziné Ebersohn

Majors: Psychology and Philosophy


Zine Ebersohn
Ziné Ebersohn
Majors: Psychology and Philosophy

Please share a little about your background — what’s your story?
I grew up in a small town in South Africa with parents who worked extremely hard to provide a life of love and opportunities for my brother and me. From a young age I have always been interested in listening to other people’s stories and I found my way to the stage and performing. After high school I got a scholarship to study acting in New York and that was the start of my scholarly intimacy with human behavior and the bigger questions that surround our existence.

Why did you choose CCNY? What brought you to CPS?

During the pandemic, I lived close to CCNY and would often go for walks around the campus. It quickly became a space where I felt a variety of emotions. I think most people who walk on campus immediately feel a connection with the visual environment of our school. The history that it’s clothed in. I chose to study at CCNY because I saw a school where I could learn in various ways. The fellowships, student body and academic faculty are different from most other schools. And then luckily one of my majors, Psychology, connected me with the CPS. This would be a life-changing connection. So, thank you CCNY for bringing me to the CPS.

What is your passion or purpose behind your studies at CCNY?

My passion has and will always be people. I think the reason I love my studies so much is because it allows me to be curious and to learn something new about human behavior every day. Mental health is what allows us to find healing for ourselves and our communities. The barriers that exist in mental health access are immensely frustrating. As someone who is open about sharing my own mental health struggles, I found it troubling how inaccessible healing can be. I want to do whatever I can to invest in mental health access or perhaps just to listen to the needs of people.

Where are you at in your career? How has it unfolded? And how has the Colin Powell School helped you along the way?
Graduating from the Powell School has not only allowed me to ask bigger questions about the world, but how to listen better. As an international student, the school became my home away from home with people in every department investing their time and energy in our success as students. Having the support of mentors and students who embrace the endless number of questions I have about the world is special. CPS helped me embrace who I am as an integral part of my current and future work.

What are your plans post graduation?

After graduating from the Colin Powell School, I hope to spend the first few months interning at an organization that works on mental health inclusion and policy expansion. I would like to advocate for resources that would help expand access to eating disorder recovery for people who cannot afford it. While submitting applications for graduate school, I want to learn, intern and volunteer as much as possible to further my knowledge on the structural inequalities that prevent access to mental health services. If all goes to plan, I hope to start my dual master's degree in psychology and philosophy. After that, I want to pursue my clinical psychology degree with a meticulous focus on the metaphysics of mental health healing and the obstacles within those structures.

What is your biggest accomplishment from your time at CCNY?

Participating in as much as I could has allowed me to get to know the CCNY community. I am proud to graduate from CCNY with a community of friends and mentors who truly impacted my view of the world. From theater to fellowships and mentoring I got to know the school and the community in a wonderful way. I showed up for Ziné on the good and the bad days and for every student that should be our biggest accomplishment.

Do you have any advice you could give to current or future students?

There is a community of people who are there to help you. You are not alone. To be yourself is the best thing you could be at our school. It is exactly who you are and the story you have to tell that makes our school what it is. Try something new, take a class that you never thought you would take. And most importantly, find moments to be a student, make mistakes and learn from them.

How would you describe CPS in three words?

Ubuntu, grit, unique

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