Co-Founder of G.I.V.E and Youngest Member of Virgin Galactic's Future Astronaut Program
Region: North America and the Caribbean; Asia; Europe
Field: Communication; Arts/ Humanities; Science
Profile: Zainab Azim, currently a university student, is an inspirational speaker and mentor who is dedicated to empowering young women to pursue STEM fields and space exploration. As an activist, Zainab passionately advocates for equal access to education for girls and women around the world. She is the Co-Founder of G.I.V.E. (Global Initiative and Vision for Education), which aims to provide access to quality education, especially in STEM, in addition to innovating a holistic 21st century educational model based on neuroscience, psychology, and learning science research to foster the creativity, curiosity, character, and innovation needed for solving the issues facing our world, instead of conformity.
Zainab is also the world’s youngest Future Astronaut to fly with Virgin Galactic, allowing her to fulfill her dream of exploring space while inspiring young women to fulfill their own. Zainab uses her platform to inspire and mobilize the global community. In 2015, she was invited to speak at the inaugural Space Girls Space Women Exhibition in Paris, France and she continues to work with the organization. In 2019, she was a panelist at the UN World Space Forum in Austria and other international conferences hosted by the Technological Aerospace Cluster and the 83rd Campionaria Generale Internazionale in Italy. As the co-chair of the 2020 World Affairs Conference, she has experience in bringing people together to gain a deeper understanding of current events while engaging with experts in their respective fields.
1. Continue participating in conferences and workshops as a speaker and mentor to encourage young women to pursue their passions in STEM, highlight the importance of investing in women and STEM education, and to empower the voices of youth and women of colour.
2. Collaborate with members of this network to connect young women interested in STEM and space sectors with mentors through virtual and in-person forums.
3. With the aim of G.I.V.E. being to provide access to quality education and innovating a holistic 21st century educational model based on neuroscience/psychology research, I have a few projects and planned activities in progress:
- Influenced by a research paper I wrote, I started working on a Documentary to create awareness on the issue of access to education and the problems within the schooling system itself by interviewing various stakeholders and experts in order to inspire people to organize and create change together.
- Virtual sessions to help interested parties set-up a G.I.V.E. chapter at their institutions to work towards developing STEM based solutions for access to education in developing areas and proposals on education reform.
4. These initiatives will not only help women have greater access to STEM fields, but even more so, it will give them the tools and skills to create those opportunities within their own communities, thereby supporting the Network’s objectives & values.