This post is written by Natasha Kieval, STAND’s 2014-2015 national Student Director. Natasha is a rising senior at Tufts University.
The genocide and mass atrocity prevention movement is not something I’m new to – throughout my high school and early college years, I had been involved in Amnesty International, Tufts Against Genocide, and international work in Rwanda. However, STAND has proved to be an incredibly unique and wonderful organization in this movement.
Last summer, I was STAND’s Programs Intern. From day one on the job, I was hooked. As I was immediately welcomed into the community, given “work” like going to hearings on the hill, and taking breaks to watch Beyonce music videos- I knew STAND was one of a kind. Interacting with STAND staff and students continually challenges my thinking, pushing me forward to become a better, more considerate, thoughtful advocate while maintaining perspective and sanity in what can be a difficult position. Not only that, but this community shows unbelievable dedication, love and friendship for one another, and does all this with a positive attitude and great jokes (well, corny ones).
STAND’s achievements are many, and I don’t need to list them here, as it would take far too long and most of you are aware of them. So I will just end by saying that I am so honored to be given the opportunity to continue to work with STAND students, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the coming year. My vision for STAND involves well thought-out, developed programming that consists of long-term goals met by shorter term actions and action points. I hope that as we develop this programming, you will make your voice heard. STAND is first and foremost a community, and I hope together we can create a stronger, more effective student voice.