Farah takes her learning of global affairs beyond classrooms at Penn. Raised in California speaking Spanish and Arabic, Farah had a natural curiosity for cultures around the world. Though she always knew she wanted to be a U.S. diplomat coming into Penn, Farah also found courses and opportunities that expanded her passions and broadened her pursuits. A Political Science major concentrating in International Relations, Farah’s minor in Middle Eastern Studies sprung from her Arabic courses she took to fulfill Penn’s language requirement. A Communications course entitled “Communications, Politics, and Journalism” taught by renowned American journalist, Albert Hunt, inspired Farah to pursue a master’s degree in foreign affairs and journalism, and to consider a career as a foreign correspondent.
Farah’s travels around the world and studies at Penn culminated in an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Her work in the Public Diplomacy Section of the Embassy included leading global advocacy projects on youth entrepreneurship and teaching in the English Access Program for underprivileged youth. At the Embassy, Farah also worked on the Turning Point Challenge, a project that promotes entrepreneurship in Spain by pairing local college graduates with visiting college students who can help turn innovative ideas into businesses. Last summer, Farah traveled to Japan to teach English at a high school in Tokyo. During her time at Penn, Farah also studied abroad for a semester in Ireland.
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Through recommendations by her Penn professors in the Political Science department, Farah applied her knowledge of foreign affairs in dynamic ways, both inside and outside the United States. Professor Eileen Doherty-Sill’s course on Human Rights inspired Farah to pursue an internship in the Populations, Refugees, and Migration Bureau of the U.S. Department of State to help track U.S. assistance in refugee communities.
Growing up, Farah pushed herself to step outside of her comfort zone and practice public speaking. Through Penn’s International Affairs Association, Farah helped organize the annual, second-largest Model UN Conference in the U.S., The University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference, overseeing the simulated debates and discussions. As her work-study job, Farah worked for Penn Athletics as a Sports Reporter, combining her background as an athlete with her budding interest in journalism. One of her favorite stories involved interviewing Olympic athletes at the annual Penn Relays.
As the culmination of Farah’s deep and versatile engagement with political affairs in and out of the classroom, Farah was selected to join the highly selective, Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, designed to prepare its cohorts for careers in the U.S. Department of State for foreign service.
This spring, Farah was awarded the Fulbright English Teaching Grant. She will begin her work in Argentina next spring teaching English to Argentinian youth.
A student athlete, Farah plays soccer for Penn’s Varsity team and coaches for Young Quakers Community Athletics, an afterschool initiative between the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships and the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics. Through the program, she’s discovered the many rewards of coaching and mentoring young players from West Philadelphia schools.