Student Spotlight: Mariam Amireh

headshot of Mariam Amireh

What is your hometown, your pronouns, and your major(s)/minor(s)?

My hometown is Charleston, South Carolina. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m a double major in Communication and Sociology and a minor in International Studies. I am also the current recipient Skirt. Magazine Endowed Scholarship.

What areas/aspects of gender activism and/or advocacy for women and girls you find most engaging/interesting/what you’re most passionate about? 

I am very passionate about social justice and the empowerment of women, children, and minority groups. There is so much injustice in our world, a lot of which is targeted toward women and minority populations and perpetuated through systemic inequity. One way to combat these injustices is through education, which can help empower people with the confidence and strength that they need to be a part of creating positive change.

Tell us about any extracurricular work you’re doing (ex. volunteering/local activism), or any involvement you have on campus with clubs/organizations. 

I believe that education is the beacon of a brighter future. The learning process can be challenging, especially for kids that face language barriers, and I am committed to tutoring and mentoring elementary and middle school students to help them overcome this barrier and any others they might face. I have mentored students in Charleston and during my studies abroad, but I have become even more committed to this work as the pandemic has forced students to transition from traditional to online learning formats. Helping my students adjust to this new format while working on the skills and confidence they need to succeed in their studies is extremely rewarding. It allows me to help them gain self-confidence and realize that they can succeed in the classroom and in all aspects of their lives.

I also frequently volunteer in animal shelters and enjoy fostering kittens until they’re ready to be placed for adoption. The only downside to that is that I often get too attached to them!

What impact did your WGS course have on you? and/or: Why should every CofC student take a WGS class before they graduate? 

One of the first courses I took during my college career was Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. It turned out to be one of my favorites! I truly enjoyed it because not only did it present a foundation for a solid understanding of issues relating to women and gender, but it also gave insight into the structural and cultural origins of current inequity and injustice. In Intro to WGS, a variety of topics are presented through a multitude of perspectives, which leads to a broader, more well-rounded understanding of these important issues.

Every CofC student would benefit from taking a WGS course before they graduate because understanding how to navigate issues of gender and sexuality provides historical context and perspective on past, present, and future obstacles to equality. WGS courses also create productive spaces for students to have critical discussions on relevant social issues.

What are your plans and goals post graduation?

After I graduate, I hope to pursue a career that allows me to help underprivileged and underrepresented groups overcome the structural hurdles that restrict them from equal access to opportunities and resources. I’m really interested in finding a position within the field of communication, especially one that intersects with social work. While I am not totally sure where life will take me, especially during these unprecedented times, I am hopeful that my future endeavors allow me to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

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