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March 2018 - Emily Young

March 2018

Emily Young

BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); minor, German Studies ‘18

Hometown: Doenrade, Netherlands

Affiliations: European Horizons, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Young Life, Italianissimo

“I graduated from an international school in the Netherlands and thought it was 'studying abroad' to attend a university in the United States. My apprehensions lay in my belief that I was connected to America in passport nationality alone. I felt that it only made sense to remain in Europe, so I chose to attend Syracuse University and go to their campus in Florence. I came to New York the second semester of my freshman year and soon thereafter I felt compelled to attend the University Michigan with an understanding that I would have more opportunities as an International Studies major. I transferred to the University of Michigan as a sophomore, which is a decision I now recognize as one of the best I've ever made. The Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) has connected me with faculty and other students who have enriched my understanding of the international community and who have challenged me in my beliefs. Since coming, I have had the opportunity to intern with the State Department in Berlin, work on a photography exhibition in Sicily one summer, and assist in running a political campaign in New Zealand the following summer.

When I worked for the Labour Party in New Zealand I was a part of assisting several campaigns, one of which would elect current prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. Many Kiwis asked if I was there to change politics in New Zealand because I couldn't in America. Despite being a multi-party system, New Zealand is dominated by two major parties, and the right wing party had dominated for the last eight years. It was not likely that a left wing party would win, but it did. The success in altering the government has assured me of the possibility of massive change in politics for the better and women like Jacinda Ardern and MP Priyanca Radhakrishnan have taught me that there is nothing you can't do if you have a vision that captures the needs of a people.”

Future plans: “I will be graduating this upcoming April and will hopefully participate in a fellowship abroad or domestically in legal research. I have high hopes of attending law school and studying international, criminal, or immigration law. My interest in domestic law has increased (despite my study of international law) as I have developed an understanding of the brokenness in American legal and political systems. If you learn anything in a human rights class with PICS, it's that the U.S. is a huge offender. In all that I do going forward, I aspire to serve the public interest and increase diplomacy between the U.S. and other countries. Someone taught me a long time ago that if I don't care about seeking justice in broken systems, nobody else will either.”