Student Spotlight: Kareena Salvi C’23

Kareena Salvi C’23

What attracted you to Drew?

I was attracted to Drew because I envisioned myself taking advantage of the opportunities the school provided.  I knew I could apply what I learned in the classroom to the real world and create an impact on people’s lives for the better. It also gave me flexibility with my majors and minors.

Did you know what you wanted to major in when you started at Drew?

I knew I was interested in political science but there are so many aspects of working in government. At first I was torn between political science, pre-law, or international relations and possibly minoring in environmental studies and sustainability.  I knew I wanted to help people with civil rights issues so I was leaning more toward political science as a foundation for my future ambitions.

Have you done any internships?

Senior year of high school I worked with Congressman Frank Pallone from the 6th Congressional District of NJ on the Youth Advisory Council but I have not done any formal internships since I’ve been at Drew.  I’m trying to continue my relationship with the NJ Student’s Sustainability Coalition as they focus on environmental issues. The discussions revolve around environmental issues within NJ, including the lead water crisis, banning plastic, power plants and fracking.

Can you talk a little about the Drew Roosevelt Institute which you co-founded with a friend?

The Drew Roosevelt Institute is a part of a larger organization but it’s a new club at Drew. My friend actually started the Drew Roosevelt Institute, and  fortunately I am able to be part of the organization as a Co-Head. We empower Drew students as emerging progressive policy makers, researchers, advocates, activists, and organizers. We try to recognize groups that have been historically underrepresented and denied political power.  It has so much potential to demand and bring about change.  Our goal as an organization is to plant this consciousness in the minds of our students.

Why is dance and choreography important to you?

I am a dancer at Drew and I am currently a choreographer for the Fall Dance Show this semester. I aim to create dance pieces that explore social justice activism. My recent dance piece, performed remotely in the Spring, was about ICE and the immigration system in America and how underrepresented voices and their experiences should be emphasized more. Incorporating social justice in my art is really important for me!

Out of the Box Theatre and Dance Show: 

  • Kareena’s Dance Presentation: Time 00:51:14 to 01:02:15
  • Kareena’s Dance Video: Time 00:59:14 to 01:01:54

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

Cassandra Worthington, Drew alum C’16, is the Membership Manager for the Food and Water Watch organization.  She taught me about the relationship between politics and policy.  We talked about climate change when she came to my class, but she also helped me understand how activism, and fighting for justice as a whole, takes a long time. It’s important to learn how to talk to everyone so you can frame your policies to help people, especially underrepresented voices. Cassandra also helped me understand that it takes time to realize what you love, but that Drew provides so many opportunities, including involvement in clubs, and the ability to create new clubs, to help you represent students and also demand change within the administration.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

The issue of Human rights as a whole means the most to me because it’s a major issue in international politics. With the U.S. I would say civil rights specifically because I would like to help protect people from these policies that exist in our system today that discriminate or have a loophole (and infringe upon their civil rights).”

What advice would you give students who are just starting out?

Talk to everyone.  Try to understand people’s backgrounds.  Differences are key components in understanding what you want to do.  You can learn how other people are living and experiencing life.  Get out of your bubble.  Also, take time to figure out what you love and do it.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

After Drew I would like to aim for a Master’s Degree in International Relations so I have more knowledge in U.S and International Politics.  My ambitions are leaning towards maintaining my social justice activism, becoming a human or civil rights lawyer or a congresswoman.

Fun fact you would like to share?

I love to dance, my favorite style is hip-hop and tutting. I’ve been dancing since I was a child.

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