"I chose to attend Pace because of opportunities I felt would become available to me within Dyson and, more specifically, the New York Political Science Department."
– Zuher Ibrahim, Class of 2020

Zuher Ibrahim ’20, History, Political Science, is a future policy maker whose Pace Path involves advocacy on mental health awareness, sexual assault prevention, and education access.

Why did you choose to attend Pace?

I chose to attend Pace because of opportunities I felt would become available to me within Dyson and, more specifically, the New York Political Science Department. Once here, I was an intern during the fall 2018 semester with the Nobel Peace prize-winning International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a global civil society working to promote the adherence and full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).  This opportunity was available to me as a student in Professor Bolton’s class on Global Politics of Disarmament and Arms Control. I am also a first-generation student, and having the opportunity to attend a school of my choice has been a very humbling experience.

You are also a Title IX Ambassador in the Dean for Students Office, as well as organized the Out of the Darkness suicide prevention walk in April 2019.

My work in the Dean for Students Office as a Title IX Ambassador has been exciting because it is unlike any other job experience I have had before. I recently participated in a webinar with Mount Sinai on Sexual Assault/Violence Intervention (SAVI) and the New York State Department of Health, providing feedback for an upcoming statewide toolkit on sexual assault policies across all SUNY campuses. My role when organizing the Out of the Darkness walk was as Vice President of Active Minds, a club on campus dedicated to breaking down the stigma of mental health on college campuses. Organizing it took months of prep, and we tabled for weeks before the event to bring awareness to suicide prevention, statistics, and what can be done with just a $1 donation! After months of planning, promotion, and finishing the walk-in April, we raised over $8,700 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Outside of Pace, what internships have you had thus far as a student?

My first internship was as a College Transitioning Coach at the Student Leadership Network, where I assisted the Director of College Counseling in guiding over 100 students through the college application and financial aid process. I was later a Bridge to College Coach, in which, through a special certification, I ensured the quality of academic performance and attendance of more than 200 college students, post-deposit submission. This was an important task, as many high school students experience a “summer melt,” with over 40% not attending college due to missing documents, financial aid mistakes, etc. My most recent internship was at the NYC’s Mayor’s Office, where I managed email communications, letters, and 311 calls directly sent to the Mayor. In fall 2019, I will be a Campaign and Community Intern at DoSomething.

What would you like to do upon graduation/what are your career goals?

After graduation, I want to attend law school and have a career in politics, creating policies that will benefit low-income communities regarding education access across the United States, as well as overseas. I plan to open my own pro bono clinic for unfair cases, including cases for sexual assault, and build a foundation in my hometown in Ethiopia, with a mission of education access, especially for young girls.

What advice, if any, would you like to give to our current students?

My advice to current students would be to figure out what you enjoy, make it into a career, and advocate for yourself! You are in college in NYC, a place many would dream of, and should be exploring a career you enjoy with internship opportunities to rave about during your time as an undergrad. It is highly important to advocate for yourself - if you feel like something is wrong academically, physically, mentally, or emotionally, stand up for yourself and tell someone who can help you.

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