January 27, 2020

Alumni Spotlight

 
 
 

Lia Mimun
2019 NCLA Alum
Senior at El Dorado High School, CA

 

This summer, I was fortunate to be selected as my school's American Legion Auxiliary Girls State representative, then as my state's ALA Girls Nation senator. Through the program, I had the opportunity to attend ALA Girls Nation in Washington, D.C., where we joined ninety-eight other ALA Girls State senators from across the country to participate in mock Senate sessions. We visited Capitol Hill and met with state senators and representatives to discuss local issues and share bills that we created as part of the program. I met with Senator Kamala Harris's chief of staff to present a bill my fellow senator and I had written on sexual assault kit reform, and I met Vice President Pence. 

The goal of our bill was to ensure protections for sexual assault survivors. The collection of a sexual assault kit is a traumatic experience that takes several hours, yet once collected, evidence can sit on a shelf for months or years, if tested at all. In addition, the system for tracking these kits is incredibly poor. My fellow Girls Nation senator and I chose to write our legislation to combat this issue. The bill had two sections, the first being a Sexual Assault Victims’ DNA Bill of Rights, modeled after California’s existing legislation. This bill of rights guaranteed the right of sexual assault victims to have a kit tested, obtain information on a kit, and to be informed of testing results. The second section provided categorical grants to implement reformative tracking and testing measures on a state-by-state basis, modeled after Michigan’s own system.

 

 
 
 

Kevin Botros
2016 NCLA Alum
Junior at Belmont University, TN

 

Participating in the Donald J. Weidner Summer for Undergraduates Program at Florida State University College of Law was an amazing experience. I was one of 60 selected students who shared the same passion for the legal profession. During the four-week program, I took two courses, First Amendment Constitutional Law and Legal Writing, which helped me to understand the environment and nature of a law school class. The program also presented multiple guest speakers who shared their knowledge about the legal profession, their careers in different fields, and general advice for law school. In addition, the program helped me to gain a better understanding of the law school admission process. I also had the opportunity to participate in a networking session where I met various attorneys, judges, and legal professionals in the Tallahassee area.

 

 
 
 

Anna Smist
2017 NCLA Alum
Junior at Yale University, CT

 

This summer I was a Mellon Native American Art Curatorial Intern at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in Norman, Oklahoma. I curated an exhibit called Misunderstood!: Indigenous Art and Poetry as Political Resistance that covers a range of artists and poets from 1849 to 2019 all coming from very different Native backgrounds. There are many references to U.S. legal policy in the exhibit either in the titles of the works, or the subject matter presented.  As a member of the Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma, I think it is important for Native people to represent themselves in art museums on our own terms so that we are not misunderstood.

 

   
 

Rida Zaidi
2015 NCLA Alum
Senior at DePaul University, IL

 

I work as an intern for the Office of Mission and Ministry through DePaul University in Chicago, IL. I assist with the Service Immersion program. As an intern, I’m responsible for developing itineraries and building relationships with partner organizations in cities and countries where DePaul students learn and work with marginalized communities. In the past, I have been part of the Los Angeles, CA Immersion to learn about homelessness in Skid Row. This experience was an extension of the work that I do with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) and informed ways the DePaul chapter can  continue to breakdown stigmas and pre-conceived notions about people who experience homelessness and to garner support in developing effective solutions to combat this issue. We have applied what we’ve learned about the factors that influence homelessness in Chicago and the personal stories of the people at CCH to address the issue from a policy perspective and to lobby bills, like the College Hunger bill, during the annual Springfield lobby day with members of the DePaul chapter and CCH.