First-Year Leadership Opportunity (FLO) is an Associated Student program designed specifically for first-year students looking for ways to get involved with the Chico State campus and community. Each month one member is chosen by their fellow FLO members and peers as the person who has stood out and shown FLO’s core values. This month's FLO representative is Zion E Fozo.

What inspired you to get involved with FLO, and how long have you been a member?

I have only been with FLO for my second semester, but what inspired me to join FLO was a chance of increased knowledge and involvement here on campus. FLO has provided me with a ton of resources for campus life and beyond! I love the feel-good vibes of each meeting, and the slide presentations are always lovely to look through!

How has FLO affected or influenced your experiences here at Chico State?

FLO has inspired me to get involved more, it has encouraged me to check out a lot of AS Events. Truthfully, in the first semester I largely only participated in University Housing related events, rather than the events that FLO has inspired me to participate in. Thanks to them, I have learned about Camp Connect, had a blast at the Earth Day Festival, and ran in the AS General Election. FLO has given me a very positive outlook here, and has encouraged me to keep learning about on-campus events, both to help out in, and to join the fun.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience being selected as the FLO member of the month, and what it meant to you to receive this recognition?

I was not expecting to receive this honor! But it was a very pleasant surprise! I’ve been going through a few personal things I’d rather not get into, but receiving this selection tells me that I am valued here at Chico State. I come from a town ¼ the size of Chico, so for me, Chico is very large! Being recognized by name by so many people is so inspiring. It always makes me feel good about myself when people on-campus and beyond recognize me while I’m on one of my many strolls.

What have been some of the benefits or opportunities that have come your way as a result of being involved with FLO?

The main benefit is a supportive environment here on campus. Every time I leave FLO, I am of course, sad the meeting is over, but I am always happier than when I entered. I feel immense support from my fellow Flomies and from the facilitators. Especially with regard to the way I present myself. I feel nothing but supported when people compliment me on my appearance.

Some side benefits that are still important are my learning more about the AS. I am currently trying to get more involved within the AS itself, and while last semester wasn’t great for involvement, this semester, and next semester are all looking up for me with regard to the things I am doing.

How has your involvement with FLO impacted your personal and professional life?

I like to wear a Starfleet Delta from Star Trek, and a fun detail I like to throw in is I wear a number of gold “pips” (little gold circles) equal to the student leadership positions I hold here on-campus. FLO gave me my second, and taught me how to get my third pip. Just talking to people in the AS has gotten me to get to know so many wonderful people in the WLC.

FLO has taught me to let loose every so often, a meeting does not necessarily have to be 100% professional all the time, it has taught me how to ‘play’ in college. Which, embarrassingly so, is a skill I’ve neglected to tend to. Having a dedicated time each week to have fun is so comforting, especially on Wednesdays, the middle of the week, a little pit stop before the rest of the week is so needed.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting involved with FLO or a similar program?

DO IT! Oh my, when I first came to college, the advice I always received was “Don’t get involved in the first semester, scope it out” which may work for some, but not for me. I needed to get involved to prevent boredom. Just ask if you can get involved, and a lot of people are always happy to keep open arms to it. If you have Instagram, follow Associated Students, and other such accounts, follow any programs you’re involved in, follow your college, follow your major, and just learn as much as you can about events. If not for the free stuff, if not for the resume building, if not for finding friends, because they’re there. There are people here on campus who are paid to make sure you are having fun, which I believe to be a unique opportunity.

What are your goals and aspirations for the rest of your time here at Chico State?

My main goal is to continue my involvement and get more involved as the years go on. Especially with the AS, as I find their work to be so much fun. I want to continue what I’m doing well, being friendly and sociable, while also being dedicated and reliable. My goal is to be a better version of myself this year, to be able to reflect on each year and think “I outdid myself this year, I’m proud of myself.”

I use the pip system, I want 4+ pips on my collar with my Starfleet Delta, symbolizing my commitment to the future and to Chico State.

My final goal, which is a lot sillier, is to get more pictures of Willie and me, my rule is, every picture I take with Willie becomes my new Instagram Profile Picture, and I always enjoy the final product.

In your opinion, what role does recognition and appreciation play in building a strong and supportive community like FLO?

FLO is a very supportive community, doing the Good-Of-The-Group at the end of each meeting highlights the individual members of FLO, and their contributions to the group. Being recognized like this shows FLO’s dedication to highlighting each and every accomplishment its many members achieve. I am so grateful for that highlighting because often it can be the little victories that few other people celebrate that can be so crucial for making the week more manageable.

How has your participation in FLO helped you to grow and develop as a leader or advocate in your own right?

I have learned to celebrate people for who they are, to really get to know them, and their personal victories, and to cooperate. I have learned to be that light that some people need to get through a dark time. Being that figure can be so helpful, in ways that person may not know. FLO helped cultivate that part of me to be inspiring to others. I am so grateful for their work.

FLO’s contributions to my leadership style have been to make it more cooperative. Highlighting each member’s ideas, and the value they all provide. I have translated this to be more open to new ideas in RHA/CoCo, and I hope to continue translating this idea into future leadership roles. Boldly going together, where no one has gone before.
“Ad Astra Per Aspera” (to the stars through hardships.)

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for your continued involvement in FLO and the Associated Students, and how do you see this achievement fitting into that vision?

My goals are to be out there. This recognition already fits that goal, but to continue my work in the AS, continue my involvement here on campus, learn more about others, and help them be their best selves. I believe being recognized is a huge reason to continue that goal, by being recognized as FLOmie of the month, I am nothing if not grateful to my fellow FLOmies for seeing me in this way. I am excited to finish being a FLOmie for the rest of the year! Live long and prosper friends!

My name is Zion Fozo, I use they/them pronouns, and I am a first-year political science major. My future career interest is Federal Politics, I have always been fascinated with large-scale political decisions. But for more short-term interests, I am interested in helping people out in my community. I love volunteer work, and making my community a better place.