“I want to use my passion for advocacy and for policy to create change.”
Name: Emma deZarn
Hometown: Culver City, CA
Education: Culver City High School
Passions and Interests: Passionate about politics, especially foreign policy
Transformational Experience: India: Service in the Himalayas (now Service Through the Lens™)
Making an Impact: Serving as the only non-college age intern for the Human Rights Watch in the Children’s Rights Division
Emma deZarn jumps out of her comfort zone with a sense of ease and purpose that many people twice her age can’t quite grasp.
It’s no wonder that Emma is a shining example of what a young person can do once she’s been exposed to a new place and culture, and the endless new possibilities that come with it. So when the opportunity arose to go abroad with Global Leadership Adventures on a trip to India, she jumped at the chance. And that gung-ho spirit paid off in spades.
My trip to India completely altered my life’s path. After my trip, I discovered a newfound passion for politics and foreign policy that I had not previously been aware of.”
As Emma reflected on her time with GLA, she noticed that what really awakened in her this passion for foreign policy was the juxtaposition between what she experienced in India, and the realities of life back home in the United States.
Observing the many cultural differences from the United states caused me to develop a much deeper respect for cultural difference, and made me realize how important mutual cultural understanding is in the movement towards world peace, and human equality in the global community.”
Emma pointed out that when she returned home after her program, she “realized [her] privilege… and what a privilege it is to live here [in the US].” She recalled how jarring it was to see the different approaches to education in India compared to what she was used to in California, and how the “readily available” access to education in the States isn’t something you find so easily in rural India.
This journey led Emma to the Human Rights Watch, where she interns in the Children’s Rights Division. There, she works with a team dedicated to ending life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders in her home state of California.
She’s also the only intern on the team who’s in high school.
When asked why she chose to do something so unique for someone her age, Emma explained it was partly the influence of her time working with children in India with other teens who share her passion, and also a part of her background being on the stage as an actor-in-training.
Having stage experience and not being afraid to present myself to others allows me to be a better activist.”
As she put it simply, “I want to help youth around the world get a fair chance.”
And yet Emma is not resting on her laurels. She was recently accepted to the foreign policy immersion program at Georgetown University this summer, and she wants to be a human rights activist for causes that matter to her throughout her life.
Her grandest ambition of all is something best told in her own words:
My goal is to one day serve as a foreign policy advisor in the House of Representatives, or as Secretary of State. I have become far more motivated to assist in the betterment of the global community, particularly through legislation, and I become increasingly determined to achieve this goal every day..”
Knowing Emma, we’re absolutely certain she can achieve it.
Program Emma attended:
- GLA India: Service in the Himalayas (now “Service Through the Lens™“)
Curious about exploring your own GLA adventure? Check these out:
- GLA India: Service Through the Lens™
- GLA Peru: Service in the Sacred Valley
- GLA South Africa: Social Entrepreneurship Initiative™
- GLA Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope™
Contributed by Brett Scuiletti