Hi there! My name is Natasha and I live in the lovely Cleveland, Oh. While I’m technically a senior at Cleveland Heights High School, I spend my days taking courses at Case Western Reserve University through a dual-enrollment program.
My greatest passion is meeting new people and hearing their stories. I also love to travel, run, read and jam on my guitar. Much of my free time is spent working on political and social justice issues around the world.
I am a leader within the Cleveland branch of an international community organizing group, and I’ve also worked with community -based organizations in Chicago and Washington, D.C. I’ve volunteered on a number of political campaigns, and this summer I began an internship with the Ohio Democratic Party.
I am also a full-fledged Model UN nerd. I’ve attended local and state-wide conferences since 6th grade, and I currently serve as the President of my school’s MUN club as well as the Assistant Secretary-General of Ohio Model UN.
Participating in these programs has given me a deep appreciation for foreign cultures and global development, and inspired within me a passion for debate and diplomacy.
Several months ago, I used my MUN experience to help me craft a research paper on how to improve relations between the U.S. and South Sudan. My essay won first place in the American Foreign Service Association’s annual essay contest, and this summer I had the honor of traveling to D.C. to receive my award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I believe that the most important thing that set my essay apart from the others was my decision to focus on grassroots methods of development like education reform and micro-financing programs – precisely the kinds of initiatives that Girl Up works on all over the world.
Girl Up has been an incredibly important part of my life for the past several years, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to serve as a Teen Advisor for the coming year. Check out my video to learn how I got involved, and join me in helping girls across the globe!