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Interested in bioregional climate policy, Shayda works for an environmental justice nonprofit that tackles inequal access.

"Always be actively seeking out opportunities to grow your perspective, mind, and skills--and enjoy the journey of working on yourself! At the same time, be patient with where you are and the important goals you’re working towards."

Shayda Azamian
Class of 2014

@shaydaazamian

Hear I am speaking at a state hearing on the health and climate impacts of diesel truck pollution in frontline communities. The approval of the Advanced Clean Trucks Rule in June 2020 was made possible by decades of community building and advocacy in communities most negatively and unjustly impacted by industrial and vehicular pollution in California.

MILESTONES

My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.

Deepening in my faith community (the Baha’i Faith), which is very much centered around social action, and offers a powerful framework for what’s required to achieve to the social transformation we all seek.

Systematically reaching out to mentors to ask burning questions, and making that regular habit. Intentionally expanding your circle and making sure not to grow in isolation of others’ perspectives.

Graduating college and having no clue what I was doing next. Taught me how to face uncertainty and be patient with finding the right.

Leaving a workplace that wasn’t a good fit. We all deserve to work where we are valued and encouraged to sharpen your skills, leadership, and character.

Working at Inequality Media and with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, which deepened my understanding of public policy, labor economics, and the history of wealth inequality in the U.S.

Working at my current non-profit, the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, which has taught me the power of grassroots movements, community organizing, and capacity building.

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EXPERIENCE

Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway

DURING MY AOC CAREER

  • Junior youth leadership development, and community service (sometimes through NRHH, and also outside of AOC)


  • Student Task Force (human rights club at AOC)


  • Gay Straight Alliance student organization (at AOC)


  • Intern at district representative’s SCV office


  • Model UN (and MUN conferences)

DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER

  • Human rights research assistantships (within academic department at UCB)


  • Specialized senior thesis to explore a topic you’re interested in the most


  • Community work and service


  • Language courses (French, Farsi). So much gained here, beyond the practical skill of just using the language!


  • Leadership positions in student organizations and partaking in student life (Amnesty International, International Affairs Society)


  • Student Jobs (Operations Coordinator, Resident Advisor)

CAREER

What I'm currently doing/hope to do

I currently do bioregional climate policy work for an environmental justice nonprofit working to fundamentally shift the dynamics that have created the stark inequality that impacts California’s low income, rural regions. We work alongside the most impacted communities to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income, and place. After completing graduate school in the next several years, I plan to continue working in public policy and unifying local and regional efforts to advance environmental and economic justice.

ADVICE

How to maximize your AOC experience?

  • Advice #1: Take time to explore the questions that keep crossing your brain outside of the classroom, but are related to the fields you’re exploring. You’re likely starting to craft the ways in which you’ll help push your work in the direction it should be moving--or already are ;)


  • Advice #2: Creativity, cheerfulness, and love for others are necessary in every field, and multiply your impact. Be sure to nurture these as much as the conventional skills you’ll surely practice in school.


  • Advice #3: Always be actively seeking out opportunities to grow your perspective, mind, and skills--and enjoy the journey of working on yourself! At the same time, be patient with where you are and the important goals you’re working towards.


  • Advice #4: Have a strong sense of who your work is for. How is your professional work aiming to be a true, valuable service to others? Your answer to this question will keep you motivated and joyous in whatever journey you choose.


Undergraduate student
Combined Journalism & Media Screen Studies, Northeastern University
Undergraduate student
Mechanical Engineering, UC San Diego
Undergraduate student
Biochemistry & Cell Biology, UC San Diego