If there’s one thing Janna Ramadan loves to do, its talk. At home, with her mom and little brother, there is never a quiet moment.
Janna comes from a Middle Eastern background; her direct family lives in Jordan. When the Arab spring began in 2011, it was not only the first time Janna came into direct contact with politics and human rights, it was the first time her experiences mattered. At home she would see Arabic news channels and come into school the next day with “insider” information. That same year she started Model United Nations, debating the impact of illicit drug trade in Peru. Two completely different topics, but they were both rooted in politics and human rights and gave Janna a chance to speak. She was hooked.
Through the rest of elementary school, middle school, and high school Janna continued to do Model UN where she debated topics ranging from denuclearization to protecting World Heritage sites. It was at Model UN conferences that Janna learned how to become a public speaker (speaking in front of 400 people can do that).
It wasn’t until high school that Janna took her passions outside of committee rooms. Entering BLS in the ninth grade, she joined STAND/Amnesty International, where she coordinated a school wide Human Rights Day. On the BLS Equity Committee, everything from curriculum to the Exam School admittance process was questioned as Janna, along with fellow students, teachers, administration, parents, and alum, tried to improve the diversity and culture at BLS. Even as a Topol Fellow for Peace and Non-Violence, friendship bracelets and moth storytelling took on a social justice twist. Outside of school, she hosted a radio show for one year that focused on student experiences and voices around East Boston at ZUMIX. To Janna, the thread that held all of these activities together was the goal of improving the quality of people’s lives and experiences by sharing.
As a Ward Fellow this summer, Janna is working for US District Judge Patti Saris. In the court room Janna is learning how the Judge’s decisions prioritize helping lead the individual back to a lawful life and gain justice for the community or family affected. It is politics and human rights on a more legal level. After this summer, Janna will be taking a gap year before joining Harvard College’s class of 2023 where she plans on majoring in Government. She hopes that all of her experiences will culminate in her appointment as the US Ambassador to the UN, where she can speak on politics, human rights, and law all at once.