Fellow Spotlight - Zeenat Yahya

After working at a law firm for six weeks, Zeenat Yahya realized she wanted to do something different. She applied to work for IGNITE, and after serving as the California Program Coordinator, headed off to grad school to study Education Policy in Washington state. Zeenat wanted to stay engaged with IGNITE, so she transitioned into the role of Seattle Fellow in 2017. 

“I loved working at IGNITE and wanted to continue in the Fellowship world because it brought together my two passions, politics and education,” she says.  

With the Seattle Fellowship being a new position at the time, Zeenat helped to build a space for young women with political ambition that didn’t exist in the area before. “It meant a lot to be able to create that space for others so we can all have those conversations about being civically engaged while empowering each other,” shares Zeenat. 

The best part of being an IGNITE Fellow for Zeenat was meeting young women from all backgrounds who were united by their passion for creating change, as well as the chance to connect with women in politics. “I’ve always been political but wasn’t able to identify that when I was younger because I didn’t really see people like me in the realm. Getting to meet women in politics through the Fellowship made me feel hopeful.” 

Currently, Zeenat works as the Organizing Manager for an advocacy organization called Everytown for Gun Safety, where she develops field organizing strategies. “If it wasn’t for IGNITE, I wouldn’t have those foundational organizing skills that are necessary for my job,” says Zeenat.  

“If you’re interested in issues that affect women or learning how to organize your community, I think this Fellowship is a great opportunity for you to learn new skill-sets, build your strengths, and find a supportive community of like-minded people.”

Interested in becoming an IGNITE Fellow? Apply here