Alumnae Spotlight – Young Alumnae Series: Vahini Shori DRC’22
Throughout the summer, Douglass will be celebrating recent graduates and young alumnae who exemplify Douglass excellence as well as the continuous network of alumnae support that flows into the College.
Vahini Shori DRC’22 is a recent graduate of Douglass who studied political science, minored in critical intelligence, and won the 2022 Douglass Dean’s Award. During her time at Douglass, Shori has been a shining example of mentorship to her peer community. She was active in The Public Leadership Education Network at Douglass and Knowledge and Power where she served as a Barbara Voorhees Mentor and had the opportunity to meet the Mothers of the Movement. After these transformative experiences, Shori dedicated part of her college experience to promoting and enhancing these programs for her peers. Perhaps most notably, she participated in the Global Village, a living-learning community that focuses on global gender issues, offers opportunities for travel, and encourages students to take part in service learning.
“The Global Village gave me the opportunity to learn and participate in community alongside my incredible Douglass peers. I also had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, which was something I could have never anticipated,” Shori said of her experience. “I credit the Global Village for fostering my commitment to educating myself beyond what we know here in the United States.”
For Shori, the deep impact of the program on her college experience ignited an interest in becoming a leader within the Douglass Global Village Community. As a result, Shori began her work as a Global Village Ambassador.
“As a Global Village Ambassador, I worked with staff and a number of other ambassadors to come up with programming for our Global Village community,” she said. “It was a very important and special way to bond and learn about the goals and opportunities Douglass was ready to provide.”
As a campus leader and Douglass graduate, Shori knows the importance of inter-community development and how to pay empowerment forward.
“I've had so many moments at Douglass that have given me focus, a network, and a sense of independence I hadn't known before,” she said. “Having lunch with so many alumnae and learning about their careers, attending conferences and workshops, and supporting other Douglass students in their own fields have all been such enriching and loving experiences.”
In the future, Shori will use the critical thinking skills, organizing experience, and social justice education she in part gained at Douglass to help make an impact on the world.
“I plan to work in ways that uplift communities and make our collective liberation more of a reality,” said Shori. “I credit this thinking to my time as a Barbara Vorhees Mentor in Knowledge and Power. Learning feminist theory from Black, Hispanic, and marginalized scholars of so many other identities made it clear that there is so much work to be done, and it is all work I know to be possible and important. I am determined to contribute to such a capacity.”
Continuing to guide and mentor Douglass students, and giving her leadership skills and talents back to the College, is also an important goal for Shori.
“As a Douglass student, I always appreciated the alumnae that were able to spend time with us or even donate to the programs that I found so enriching and life changing. However, as a younger alumna I know that I may not have the resources to do so yet,” Shori said. “I think I as well as younger graduates can contribute to this Douglass family by showing up and being present. Maybe that means attending a traditional event or two when we're around or even just keeping in touch with current students in ways of networking or checking in. I think it's important to show up in the ways that this community has shown up for us.”
“I committed to Rutgers on the day I toured Douglass,” she said. “It affirmed that this was where I was supposed to be, and the Universe, or whichever higher power brought me here, has only ever bestowed so much more grace. Everything I have done here, and everything I will do comes from a place, or opportunity, or person at Douglass. I look forward to giving to future generations of Douglass students!”
If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved in Douglass after graduating, please email email@example.com!