Melanie Majeed, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa, is passionate about creating change and making the world a better place. When Melanie arrived at UNI as a freshman she immediately sought out ways to make a difference. She started by getting involved with the Black Student Union, Northern Iowa Student Government, Panther Connections and many other clubs and campus organizations. While participating in campus organizations Melanie found that there was discord on campus particularly in connection with minority students. In order to combat this, Melanie worked with campus administrators and department heads to create change. As president of the Black Student Union (BSU) Melanie made it her goal to reach out to the Cedar Valley to find out how BSU could make a difference. As a result, BSU now partners with the Job Foundation to work with minority middle and high school students offering mentoring programs as well as college and career readiness presentations. Melanie's great work on campus and in the community has helped her to continuously develop her skills, is improving her civic leadership abilities and is increasing her knowledge base in becoming a public problem solver.
My passion for diversity and inclusion has grown exponentially since being a student at UNI. After facing a series of racism and discrimination my freshmen year, I made it my job to fight and help change the campus culture of my community. My sophomore year I was elected to be the President of UNI's Black Student Union. In this role I was able to fulfill my passion in helping others and also educate the campus about my culture. I had the opportunity to meet many community leaders in the Waterloo area which has helped to connect the UNI and Waterloo communities. While serving in my current role as the Director of Diversity for Northern Iowa Student Government, I have had the chance to get out into the community and give back. One volunteer activity I have been able to do has been going to different schools in the community as a student mentor to help inspire and change the lives of others.