Spotlight: One student out of 36,000

Michelle Nelson

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Gabe Zeladita, 21, is in the fraternity Phi Delta Theta, which is known for their philanthropic work with the ALS Association. Photo Credit: Michelle Nelson / Staff Reporter

Gabe Zeladita, 21, is in the fraternity Phi Delta Theta, which is known for their philanthropic work with the ALS Association. Photo Credit: Michelle Nelson / Staff Reporter

Fraternity life for Gabe Zeladita doesn’t involve hazing rituals or wild keg parties on campus. His fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, focuses primarily on philanthropy and community involvement.

Zeladita, a 21-year-old business management major, said he joined the fraternity because he had a lot of free time on his hands. He said he was looking to join a club or organization, but the Greek life appealed to him the most.

“Always be busy is kind of my mentality,” Zeladita said, clutching his skateboard. “It (the fraternity life) kind of appealed to me the most.”

The fraternity is heavily involved in philanthropic work such as the ALS Association, which helps people afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Zeladita said.

The fraternity raises money through fundraisers in honor of the baseball legend and former Phi Delta Thetas.

Zeladita said if it weren’t for his involvement in the fraternity, he wouldn’t have been exposed to philanthropic work.

In high school, Zeladita said he did community service but only because he was “forced to” in order to satisfy the graduation requirement.

“I did kind of get open to philanthropy and community service through the fraternity,” he said.

Some of the fundraisers the fraternity organizes include auctions, in which the members hold talent shows and auction off services, such as house cleaning or washing cars.

“Most people like to do dances because they’re not very creative,” he said.

Zeladita said he shows off his trombone skills in the talent show since he used to play in high school.

Zeladita works as a private tutor, which he said is the best job in the world. He tutors first through 12th graders in math and English.

Zeladita said he prefers to work with the older kids because it’s easier for him to relate to them.

“Younger people typically have very, very short attention spans, so I don’t tutor them for very long,” he said.

“The older kids are typically the ones I get along more, because they’re closer to my age. So, I can relate to them a little better, and make … I know this sounds cliché, but make learning fun,” Zeladita said.

Born and raised in West Hills, Zeladita, like a true Angeleno, is a Lakers fan. His favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers, he said as his chest swelled with pride.