Hi everyone! My name is Farwah Zaidi and I am from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I am a third-year student double majoring in Health Science and Psychology with an emphasis on Behavior Analysis. After graduation, I plan on pursing a PhD in Clinical Psychology to work with children.
In my first year at UF, I joined the Study of Teen Opioid Misuse and Prevention (STOMP) Lab as a research trainee. I examined predictors of opioid misuse, such as depression or history of abuse, in justice-involved children. Through this experience, I gained a deeper understanding of what research is and how I can use my work to serve communities that are particularly marginalized.
Once I realized I was passionate about research, I became an undergraduate research assistant in the Pediatric Behavioral Health Lab. I became more familiar with research in psychology and what the UF clinical psychology graduate program is like. I’ve learned a lot from the current graduate students in this lab and work alongside them to recruit participants and conduct study visits for their various ongoing projects.
I also joined the Youth Risk and Resilience Lab under Dr. Joy Gabrielli as part of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Graduate School Ph.D. Preparatory Program. I have worked on a poster project examining barriers to independence that adolescents transitioning out of foster care face, which was presented at the Miami International Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference. With Dr. Gabrielli as my mentor, I was accepted into the BHS Honors Program to conduct my senior honors thesis on the relationships between negative life events, child maltreatment and placement disruptions in youth in foster care.
I envision myself working in the research field, studying underserved pediatric populations, including justice-involved children or youth in foster care. My goal is to understand and address risk factors for adolescent risk behaviors, such as substance use, specifically among these groups. I hope that as a future clinical psychologist, I could use my research interests to develop prevention and intervention efforts for high-risk youth populations.
Aside from my research experiences, I have also worked as a substitute teacher at Baby Gator Lake Alice for the past two years. I enjoy working with children from two months old to five years old, watching them develop and grow into being their own people. My role as a substitute teacher has strengthened my desire to specialize in clinical child psychology.
I am grateful for all the experiences I have had at the University of Florida and am excited to see what the remainder of my undergraduate career here holds for me. If you have any questions about my involvement, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!