Meet Zainab Jafar, An Advocate Motivated by Oppression

September 9, 2019 – My name is Zainab Jafar and I am beyond excited to be spending my last semester of undergrad interning at Michigan’s Children! I attend Michigan State University (GO GREEN!) and I’m majoring in Global Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies. I intend to enter law school in fall 2020 to pursue immigration law to help families, similar to mine at one point, who have children in dire need of help.

I was born in Iraq, where my family was constantly on the run attempting to escape Saddam’s gruesome regime. I spent the first and most crucial years of my life in a war-torn environment where at one point, I believed that war, rape, and poverty was going to be the reality of my family’s life for a while. Little did I know that nearly five years later, we would be moving to America and have more rights and freedom than we could ever imagine.

Due to the fact that I am a first-generation college student coming from a political refugee family, I fall under multiple minority categories which make me that much more motivated to attain a higher education. To me, education is so much more than learning about math, science, and English. To me, it’s about how education expands my mindset, improves my character and makes me a better person— to better contribute to my family and community. For those reasons, I am excited to be able to use my experiences as a tool for me to help improve the lives of children in Michigan one policy at a time.

I am passionate about making the world a better and safer place for children, and thanks to powerful organizations such as Michigan’s Children, that is possible. My goal as an intern for Michigan’s Children will be to be the voice of unheard children in our communities who are enduring poverty, abuse (especially sexual abuse), substance abuse, and more. Although these conversations may be difficult for some, my goal is to raise awareness and encourage discussion about these crucial topics as that is the reality of many children’s lives whether we are uncomfortable with these discussions or not. Action needs to be taken! I plan on using social media to start discussions and raise awareness. Here at Michigan’s Children, I plan on working to create a world where children won’t have a childhood they have to recover from.

Zainab Jafar is a senior attending Michigan State University and plans to study immigration law after completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Global Studies with an emphasis on Women’s Studies.