Personal Growth, good vibes and self-resilience are some things that University of Central Florida students say they are most proud of and one student has set out on a journey to highlight this simple yet thought-provoking question.
Inspired by the famous photography page Humans of New York, Dominic Quiros, a senior film major, has set out on his own photographic journey beginning at the UCF campus.
Quiros originally started the Self Confidence Project as a part of a film project for one of his classes. The intention of the class project was to create awareness for an assigned film titled Best and Most Beautiful Things; a story about a blind autistic girl who discovers her true potential through self-love.
Quiros says that the context of the movie inspired this photography project in order to engage the UCF community in a positive way.
“A lot of people hold themselves back because they don’t feel good enough,” Quiros said. “This movie shows that you can overcome anything in life and I want to show others that they can too.”
The project, which can be found on the facebook page Domq Photography, currently features 200 photos of individuals and groups holding signs saying what they’re most proud of. The answers vary from light-hearted responses such as “my toes” as well as more personal responses.
Catilina Reusche, a junior health science major, can be seen holding a sign saying “I’m proud to have been resuscitated and resurrected,” revealing that when she was 14 she had actually been pronounced legally dead before being resuscitated.
“Life is precious and this experience showed me that,” Reusche said. “That is something I am proud of.”
The most popular photo to date that Quiros has taken features UCF student Sabiha Fazal holding a sign saying, “I am proud of breaking stereotypes… I traveled the world from Tanzania to England to New York…. to Florida AND I am proud to be an educated Muslim woman.”
“After I posted the photo, the likes and shares skyrocketed,” Quiros said with a laugh. “According to Facebook analytics, it reached over 10,000 people and has the most reach and shares.”
While the class assignment will end on Thursday, Quiros loves how the project has grown and plans to continue this project, possibly branching out to Orlando and the larger communities.
“I grew up a little more lonely then most, so I see this project as a way to spread a positive message to others,” Quiros said. “Usually when I ask people what they are most proud of, it causes them to have to stop and think but it also helps to show them how far they have come in life. You have done so much in life, why shouldn’t you be proud of yourself?”
Hannah Keen, a sophomore majoring in international & global studies who is also featured in the project said that favorite part of the project is it is very thought provoking.
“It may seem like a really basic question that can be answered quickly but in all honesty it is really not,” Keen said. “I really had to stop and think about what I had done in my life and what I was proud of.”
When asked about what Quiros is most proud of, Quiros said that he has had time to reflect on it.
“A lot of people have asked me what I am most proud of and I finally know my answer,” Quiros said. “However, I will be the last one to participate in this project and will answer it on Thursday, so everyone needs to stay tuned.”