Major: Political Science-Minor in Public Policy
School: University of California Berkeley
Sponsor: South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA)
Mariam Azhar is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, pursuing a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, she completed two years at De Anza College, serving as Chair of the Diversity & Events Committee. It was as a student government representative that she began to appreciate the value of working for the community through political office and developed a passion for addressing the concerns of minority groups. She believes that Muslims need to be more engaged in society both socially and politically in order to avoid being misunderstood and misrepresented. Accordingly, Mariam interned for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) where she organized various interfaith gatherings and reached out to state and local officials to engage with the Muslim community.
Mariam currently interns at the U.S. Pretrial Services Agency in the Federal Courthouse located in Oakland, which is an alternative-to-detention organization responsible for the investigation and supervision of federal criminal defendants. Here she works with court officers in guiding defendants, most of whom come from minority groups, to ensure they get the opportunity to improve their lives by providing them with the necessary resources like GED programs, employment assistance, substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling. Mariam plans to become a prominent voice for social justice, especially for the Muslim community, to prevent them from becoming marginalized and to allow them to prosper as a part of American society.
Mariam’s Message to Supporters:
I am extremely humbled to receive this scholarship and would like to thank the ISF Selection Committee for giving me the honor to be part of such a highly distinguished group of recipients. I would not have made it this far alone and insha’ Allah hope to give back to the community that has supported me by using my knowledge and experience to represent Muslims and other minority groups in the political arena.
Mariam graduated in 2013 and started law school at UC Berkeley in 2016. She works for the ACLU as a Paralegal.