Husky 100

August 3, 2020

Where are they Now: Emina Dacic

During my undergraduate career I used the passion I cultivated throughout my youth to find ways to give back in a whole new setting. I made it a norm to consistently volunteer with multiple organizations that focused on improving the conditions of marginalized communities—whether it is low-income individuals, refugees, or even those serving life sentences behind bars. I wanted to explore the many ways in which communities in Washington are suffering and the avenues through which change can and needs to occur. Starting with volunteering at the ROOTS homeless shelter during my freshman year as a result of an experiential learning requirement for an English class; to volunteering as a tutor for youth incarcerated at the King County Juvenile Detention Center in alignment with an Honors class my second year; I began unraveling the questions I had in my mind about devastating circumstances affecting our youth. Similarly, I was granted an undergraduate community-based internship as the first pilot program with the Carlson Center. Within this program I was chosen to intern with the City of SeaTac where I got to participate and observe recreation programs, interview government officials, and create a final website product that addressed the reality and all the issues in the City of SeaTac/ Tukwila area. This program allowed me to develop deeper connections within my own community and give back, while also gaining a fuller understanding of the city-based issues I had previously been living within.

At the end of my senior year at UW I graduated with college honors, receiving the most prestigious award in my major—The Stromberg Award for Academic Excellence and Commitment to Social Justice; this award I believe ended up with one of my Professors helping me find work. I had the privilege of learning human rights from Professor Mayerfeld both in his class and an LSJ [Law, Societies, and Justice] study abroad program in Italy. He connected me with the executive director of the Channel Foundation, an international women human rights foundation that was seeking a part-time executive assistant. I jumped at this opportunity and was hired in October 2017. At the Channel Foundation I worked directly with the executive director and over 40 international grantees to address issues of women human rights by funding intersecting streams of the global movement for gender equality. Several years later, I am still working for the Channel Foundation part-time while in law school—to this day it has changed my life in ways I am unable to express.

Frankly, being chosen for the Husky 100 has meant so much to me. My life has been filled with hardship, and I always knew that I would have to work that much harder to succeed in the world because of it. Sometimes, it has felt lonely and isolating to be in the spaces of higher education when it seems as if no one else like you exists. What the Husky 100 does is recognize the students at the UW who are truly putting everything they got into this experience—for me, this has meant carrying all the things I have learned during undergrad, the connections I have made, the adversities I have overcome, and translating them to positively influence my current education and career at UW Law and beyond. Being [a] Husky 100 has meant a great deal to me, and I truly believe that this recognition has allowed me to reflect back on my life, my struggles, and the commitments I made to my community every step of the way. I will always be so grateful for the IJ for taking a chance on me; for allowing me to experience the many different opportunities I’ve had the privilege of engaging in.