What does passion mean to you?

Passion. What does the word ‘passion’ really mean? The textbook description of passion is as follows: “A strong, extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as in love or hate”. However if you ask around, you’ll find that everyone has their own description of passion that relates to their own personal life, but that description will still center around the main concept of passion. For example if you were to ask me what passion means, I would respond: “Passion is directly related with happiness. If you’re happy with your current state of life, then you’re passionate in whatever you’re doing to keep that happiness.”

Digital art, specifically photography and video production, have always held a significant role in my life. My mom had bought a camera a couple years after I was born and I was always fascinated by it, taking pictures and recording videos whenever she’d let me use it. Then around age 13, I built my first computer. It wasn’t anything special, built with the cheapest parts I could find, but it helped me find my way into video and photo editing software. Over the next couple years I taught myself how to edit by recording videos of my friends as well as making short montages of the video games I played. When I entered high school, that’s when I realized this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. As I explored deeper into photography and video production, I discovered a lot about myself. Shooting and editing photos and videos was fun and all, but I found myself doing it because I enjoyed making people happy, and seeing the reactions from people when I showed them what I had created. Expressing myself through helping others express themselves is what brings me happiness, so based off of my earlier description, I know that it’s my passion. 

So what does the word ‘passion’ mean to you? How does your description of the word passion directly correlate with your life? I asked myself this every day until I could finally answer it. And once you’re able to answer it, it will significantly improve your quality of life. You will have a reason to do what you do and a motivation to keep doing it. 

Written by:
Christian Waite
Advertising Committee Student Leader of the VEP
Read more about Christian here: chrwaite.wixsite.com/website




Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
[email protected]

APRIL 13, 2020 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact is excited to invite high school and college students to join their online Informational Interviews every Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 4-5 PM. Passion Impact serves marginalized students in Portland Public Schools and is opening their tele-programming up to students across Portland. To join, students will need a computer or phone to sign up and to use Zoom. 

To date, Passion Impact’s Executive Director, Stefan Peierls has hosted each interview with Adrianna Davis, theHigh School Program Coordinator. Moving forward Kayla Phu, a Franklin High School Junior will be the leading interviewer.

Safety is paramount with Passion Impact, so each of their Zoom calls has a “Bouncer” to manage admittance, muting, and removal of any participant who does not abide by Passion Impact’s expectations. For students who have missed previous interviews, head over to Passion Impact’s Youtube channel to view their recordings.

“It’s my first time ever doing something like this. Getting to interview someone. I’ve always been the one being interviewed. So I’m excited for this!”

Kayla Phu, Informational Interviewer, Franklin High School Junior

April Informational Interview Lineup:

• April 1 – Equity and Inclusion Intern – Tamara Lash
• April 6 – English Technical Classroom Assistant call from Madrid, Spain – Nadia Rodela
• April 8 – Agriculture, Farming, Psychology, Nutrition – Catherine Nguyen
• April 13 – Software Engineer (Web Development) – Ben Scheiner & Ben Whitehead
• April 15 – Cultural Youth Services – Bryna Cortes & Ana Mendoza-Cruz
• April 20 – Engineering – Elaine Hung & Lindsay Higa
• April 22 – Law – Yahaira De Lara & Brian Falgiano
• April 27 – Tech, Mechanics, and Business – Dr. Kanika Agrawal
• April 29 – Healthcare/Hospital – Kim Izod & Dr. Marcos Villarreal

Meet the April Informational Interviewees

Register for the Informational Interviews

View previous Informational Interviews


Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.

For information: https://www.passionimpact.org or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241

Kayla Phu, Franklin High School Junior, Informational Interview Facilitator

Zac and Smart Roots Global

I met a guy by the name of Zac Ziebarth on Semester at Sea. His low commentator voice makes you feel automatically at ease and in awe, especially when his stories draw maps in your mind creating a vision of his experiences.

The day prior to leaving Austin, I had called Zac to surprise him with the news that we would be passing through Phoenix. Ironically enough, he was on his way to Austin to surprise me. It even turned out that the day we left, he rolled into town for a day. Gah! I was frustrated! So close to seeing such a great friend, but yet so far.

Then we broke down and spent some time in El Paso, which gave Zac time to return to Phoenix. Another surprise call to him was all we needed – he offered his place and a shower. Seriously, more than we could have asked. Aside from enjoying his air conditioning and clean water, we were compelled by the synergy that was created in his home. Zac is in the process of ramping up his organization, Smart Roots Global, which provided grounds for countless questions about both of our organizations and what possibilities lie ahead.

Smart Roots believes educated students possess the solutions to create a sustainable world. They will empower students with sustainability education by providing teachers with the resources, curriculum, and training resulting in a more sustainable world. He has a lot of obstacles in front of him with many people doubting his idea, but from our visit, his passion was evident. Zac is on his way to bettering the world. 

His goal is to implement his kits in classrooms in Kenya and Ghana by January in hopes of gathering feedback to refine the program. I know he is Africa-bound and will surpass his dreams – keep an eye out for this guy! Reach out to help  him if you believe in what he is doing: [email protected]