Miriam I. Wahid

Hometown – Salisbury, NC
Undergrad – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Environmental Engineering
Current – Leadership Academy Policy Fellow, Greenlining Institute

An activist and future scientist, Miriam Wahid cites her perspective and passion as her most formative traits. Miriam’s parents, home community, and educational experiences have shaped her worldview and guided her towards her future plans.

Born in Salisbury NC and raised by two hardworking parents, from a young age Miriam was taught to value perseverance and diligence. Because of the personal value her parents place on education, Miriam and her older sister were both afforded the opportunity to attend a quality school in a neighboring county. At Cannon School, Miriam has had the opportunity to discover and cultivate her passions. As one of the only minority students from a low income background at her school, diversity quickly became a passion of hers as she navigated her school’s community. As president of the diversity leadership committee, she works to change the culture of her school, and hopes to foster an environment that is more accepting of minorities and others who fall outside of the school’s primary demographic. She is also the editor in chief of her school’s newspaper, a member of Science Olympiad, and the president of the Envirothon team, where she has been able to compete and place highly at state contests, educate middle school students on environmental science topics, and work with the faculty sustainability committee to shape the school’s environmental goals and initiatives.

In the summer before her senior year, Miriam was selected as one of eighty students to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program, which helped to solidify her career goals. During this six week academic intensive program, Miriam began to see engineering as the best way to combine her passions for science and diversity. Deeply passionate about environmental justice, Miriam hopes to increase access to scientific technology and give representation to the environmental challenges that affect underserved communities as an environmental engineer. Miriam believes that issues of climate change will intensify socioeconomic and racial injustices, and wants to ensure that her work helps to create a fair and sustainable future for those populations. Two other scholarship-based educational summer programs, based in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, helped to confirm Miriam’s dedication to solving environmental inequalities.

Having been a beneficiary of her high school’s great education and outreach from programs like MITES, Miriam also believes in reinvesting her education into the communities that helped to shape her. She has worked as a reading tutor for a local preschool and in her future hopes to encourage more minority women in her hometown to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Miriam has been recognized as a member of her school’s Cum Laude honor society, is a National Merit finalist, and has won state writing competitions in both English and Chinese. In her free time, Miriam holds a part-time job and enjoys hiking in the North Carolina mountains, quilting, gardening, and playing guitar. After graduating Miriam plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she hopes to major in environmental engineering.