Inspired by IDIA & DRC
Nadia Bouajila DRC'18
Tomorrow’s leaders are shaped today, and right here at Douglass Residential College, women like Nadia Bouajila are putting in effort to improve the world for the current generation and those to come. A senior and political science major, Nadia is involved with the Institute for Domestic and Internal Affairs (IDIA), which runs a number of Model UN and Model Congress conferences for High School students and works actively at the Eagle Institute of Politics. Her interest in policy was sparked in high school, where she started her school’s first Model UN club: “the combination of interacting with complex international issues… and the challenge of confidently expressing my ideas in a room full of my peers was one of the besteducational experiences… the inspiration I felt being in the New Mexican state capitol building listening to my generation show passion and innovation was instrumental in my decision to study Political Science here at Rutgers University,” she says. Nadia hopes to attend law school after graduation, in addition to setting aside time to volunteer with the Red Cross, something she has done while studying abroad in France; the next two countries on her list are Greece and Tunisia.
Despite her own tremendous accomplishments, Nadia says the most fulfilling part of working with IDIA is “[experiencing the] transformation students make while attending these conferences… [I] get to see them grow from conference to conference and year to year. I had a student my freshman year in a Commission on the Status of Women committee who was quiet and timid… three years later that student was in my advances Joint Crisis Committee dealing with the proxy-war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen… [the students] let me know that their time as a delegate has shaped who they are, and they plan to take what they have learned into their studies in University and beyond. [It is] a pretty emotional and uplifting experience.”
Nadia’s appreciation of others’ success does not stop with high school students involved with IDIA, she enthuses that she loves being a Douglass woman because “[I am constantly] surrounded by women who are unapologetically driven, attune to the impact their success and advocacy has on the progression of equality and inclusion, and who are supportive of other women in our community. I am so motivated by what Douglass women have done, are doing, and will do and being a part of this community is a constant reminder that every step forward paves a path for girls looking to the future.”
For those looking to embark on a similar journey, Nadia suggests to “[learn] to lead through [your] strengths. We sometimes do the disservice of assuming there is one type of leader, a caricature we should strive to embody in order to move up the totem pole. The truth, I’ve seen, is that the best leaders play to their strengths.”
We all can learn something from Nadia, who is eager, informed, and giving. This Spring, DRC will be losing one of its many star students, but we know she will move on to accomplish even more amazing things and we’ll be supporting her every step of the way.
Written by Nijer Reaves DRC'21