I Survived the 2011 Earthquake and Hurricane!

In my first week in New York City there was an earthquake and a hurricane. As a native Southern Californian, my hopes are that this is not the precedent for the weather in the winter. My name is Zainab Ali and I am the Communications Chair for the Wagner Policy Alliance this academic year and a first-year student in the PNMP program.

I grew up in Orange County, California and attended the University of California, Los Angeles where I studied English and Public Affairs. In 2005, I interned for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s re-election campaign and later interned for an after school program working directly with elementary-aged and high school students. After graduation, I interned in Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa’s Office of Education where I worked on the Mayor’s education reform agenda and shortly after, landed a job working fifty feet away for LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program based in the Mayor’s Office and managed communications and public affairs efforts for the non-profit where I worked for nearly four years.

The confluence of these experiences coupled with my longtime passion for an improved public education system kept me focused on identifying where the weaknesses in the system were and learning new ways to improve and solve them. At Wagner, I hope to build the skills necessary to continue doing that work which is so critical to the future success of our children and country. I also have the good fortune of being a Bohnett Fellow, which not only has afforded me the privilege of attending Wagner but will place me in Mayor Bloomberg’s office next summer hopefully working on critical education issues.

I’m looking forward to the school year and to learn more about the interests and past experiences of my fellow Wagnerds. Please stay updated with us on Facebook and through this blog and hopefully we’ll see you next Tuesday at our Welcome Social!

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