Nishat Tabassum

Nishat’s passion for volunteerism and public service started in high school when she participated and volunteered for the All Stars Project, an organization that provides free programs to inner-city youth and their families across the United States. Through that experience, she became curious about effective positive social change and was selected for the Colin Powell Fellowship for Leadership and Public Service during her undergraduate tenure at City College of New York (CCNY). This helped her understand how well-designed and ineffective policies impact the development and advancement of people, especially those that are the most marginalized.

Her professional history focused on youth and community development both in the United States and abroad. She launched headfirst into her professional career with a staff role at the All Stars Project and worked behind the scenes by ensuring the legacy of the same professional youth development program she participated in as a teenager ran efficiently for the next generation. She was also recruited by a mentor to work at CTZNWELL, an advocacy organization that fights for the democratization of wellbeing. Here she took a central support staff role that included research, programming and systems administration. These positions provided her with insights into the mechanisms for social change and public service that she was eager to pair with her interest and studies in international development. In 2016, she was invited by Peace Corps to serve as a Youth Asset Builder in rural Morocco and spent 2 years in Akka, a small desert town. There she fostered relationships with local leaders and teachers to partner on joint community projects. Among the 13 projects she spearheaded, or co-led, was a new middle school library and several youth programs on English-language learning, life-skills, environmental conservation, fitness, STEM, and the arts.

Most recently, Nishat served as a Constituent Liaison for New York State Senator Jessica Ramos in Queens district 13. In her role, she was responsible for engaging with constituents and connecting them to appropriate resources and referrals based on their needs. Her work helped her better understand how federal, state and local agencies work to serve people’s needs. This also revealed how important civic participation is in holding governments accountable by demanding that we live in a society that is equitable for everyone, regardless of one’s identity.

Nishat graduated from CUNY City College of New York with a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Development.