Creating an inclusive space where everyone can flourish and grow
Sana Karimi is a UC Davis undergraduate in the College of Letters and Science pursuing a B.A. in sociology and a minor in community regional development. She works at a research lab on campus that studies the effect classroom environments have on students with autism. “My research experience and interest in education has sparked my desire to improve and expand the type of subjects taught to students,” she says. “As an avid learner in all areas of personal development, I hope to bring this field of study into the education system.”
Karimi is a student of Taekwondo, a certified open-water diver, a reader and lover of nature.
What’s important about your field of study—and where do you hope to take it?
Sociology functions as a theoretical but also applicable study of how the world works in patterned ways. It is a necessary field because it trains you in perceiving those forces that exercise undeniable influence over your everyday actions and behaviors, but yet remain largely invisible to us. I hope to explore and widen the field of environmental sociology, specifically in relation to the environmental injustices that regional and overseas communities face in light of unsuccessful policy and practices. Considering environmental decline is an imminent issue, I want to bring this field of study into a high school setting to teach and inform younger generations.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about my collaboration in researching autism-based teaching strategies because it illuminates how learning does not operate through a one-size-fits-all approach. Through my internship at Acacia Counseling & Wellness, I am learning valuable lessons about how learning disabilities and exceptionalities can be worked with instead of against to improve learning. I am discovering that all individuals can excel and succeed with the right tools.
What was the most important thing you learned during EQUIP?
EQUIP taught me the importance of using networks for career opportunities and advice. I learned the value of being courageous in sharing what you are passionate about because speaking about what lights you up will more than likely resonate with someone else. This was one way that I learned to grow my network.
What is the most unexpected advice you received during the program?
The most unexpected advice I received was about an idea that I had heard before but never fully sponsored or believed in. EQUIP taught me that it does not take a genius to create something of high value, but instead dedication to the process and grit to push oneself beyond the mundane. We are all capable of being an entrepreneur, in some form or another, if we apply the right tools and empower the creator inside us.
What is the most important thing you discovered in EQUIP?
That your everyday experience is the living, breathing database that can provide you with answers as to what needs fixing in the world. The problems that you or your loved ones encounter daily, and the aspects of life that you are unsatisfied with, can serve as a starting point for creating a meaningful service or product.
We are all capable of being an entrepreneur, in some form or another, if we apply the right tools and empower the creator inside us.
How will your experiences help you to change the world?
My internship experience at Acadia has informed my view on the importance of education for individuals of all colors, capabilities, backgrounds and orientations. I want to create an inclusive space where everyone feels safe and comfortable exploring their passions and professional interests, whether that be through being a teacher or working in the community as a social worker.
In the meantime, I want to continue pursuing a higher education in hopes to deepen my understanding of society and to learn the ins and outs of how to be a successful educator.
How will your experiences as an EQUIP Scholar shape your professional future?
EQUIP has instilled a stronger sense of agency in me—I play a more active role in my professional pursuits and activities as opposed to passively doing them. I believe that my professional future will benefit from this because EQUIP has taught me to regard my opinions and ideas as valuable input to a company or business. A critical mind will benefit me when pursuing a professional job because I will be able to offer improvements or solutions.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you?
Being a member of EQUIP has been a meaningful professional and personal experience. I would recommend students in all academic disciplines to consider applying. It offers you the space and tools for immense personal growth that will help you succeed in not only college but life itself.