Intern Spotlight: Rangeena Salim-Eissa
Hi iACT family!
My name is Rangeena. Currently, I am a graduate student in the Master of Social Welfare program at UCLA and a new member of the iACT intern team.
As a member of the Afghan diaspora, I regularly reflect on what my parents and elders experienced as refugees and immigrants. Through their experiences, spoken and unspoken, I see the trauma of living through war in Afghanistan, the years of earnestly navigating the challenges of a new life in an unfamiliar land, away from all that was home. But above all, I am witness to a softness rooted in their deep understanding of human struggle. Through their guidance, they have instilled in me a resilience in the face of injustice, an ability for critical self-reflection, and a passion for compassionate service. All of which motivate me in my pursuit of social justice work.
Undoubtedly, many of my experiences have also been shaped by global events, their implications for global politics, and how they have directly impacted immigrant and refugee communities. Those experiences continue to remind me of how inter-woven our global community truly is, and the absolute necessity for change agents whose service is rooted in cultural humility. I feel it is crucial that my future work be grounded in and guided by a global, socially-conscious perspective.
As a Master of Social Welfare student at UCLA, I pursued graduate education with the intention of gaining greater understanding of the complex social issues facing communities on the local, national, and global levels. Previously, my work and professional development experiences included providing mental health services to young children and their families, working with a non-profit agency serving youth from under-resourced communities, student-led advocacy efforts aimed at meeting the needs of marginalized communities at UC Davis, and developing leadership training for young professionals. Moving forward, I view my professional development as continuous learning experiences, each new contribution widening my perspective.
As an iACT intern, I look forward to immersing myself in an expansive learning opportunity focused on centering the voices of those directly impacted by the global refugee crises. I am excited for the opportunity to learn about the implementation of iACT’s innovative solutions to a major crisis – solutions that are also deeply rooted in the cultural and historical contexts of each refugee community.
iACT because… “I firmly believe that to genuinely have a positive, long-lasting effect on the refugee communities we work with, we must move with intention and purpose and center their wants and needs every step of the way.”
iACT because “I believe I have a lot to learn about and create change”.
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