Mia Mckinney, a junior at the University of Montana, is an exceptional student having achieved many high-ranking awards throughout her college career thus far. Mia is equally dedicated to her work in the community advocating for social change, guided by a firm belief in education as way of addressing and deconstructing workplace inequality. She volunteers her time facilitating the YWCA GUTS! program fostering an environment in which young girls are encouraged to explore and discover their individual strengths. Mia also works with women students and faculty at SEA Change, a program at the University of Montana promoting a safe, empowering, and career accelerating learning environment for women. Mia interned at the UM Women’s Resource Center and created a podcast dedicated to exploring women’s perspectives on social issues. During this time as an intern, she also spent a significant amount of time registering Montana residents to vote. Mia’s academic record, invested work as a volunteer on campus and in the community, and her complete dedication and leadership in her academic field, exemplify the outstanding student and community advocate she is.
My passion for social justice began in high school. It is because of my early educators that I am who I am today. I wanted to expand on this passion I had discovered, so after seeing a flyer for the “Women’s Gender and Sexuality” program I knew University of Montana would help me develop my passion for advocacy. One way I have been an advocate in my new community is as a YWCA GUTS! facilitator. In my role I create a safe space for young girls to discover and use their strengths. I have also interned at the Women’s Resource Center, where I created a podcast interviewing a variety of women from the northwest region about social issues in their fields. Through my life I hope to foster a justice-oriented society. It is my firm belief that education is one of the keys to getting to the root of many social issues. It is through formal and informal education that I have deconstructed institutions that uphold inequality. It is with fact based, intersectional and accessible education that we will be able to act and change the inequality in our institutions.