UCLA Labor Center

Meet Inesa Sargsyan, 2020 Dream Summer Graduate

Publish date: August 16, 2020

Placed with SEIU 721 for Dream Summer 2020.

Biography 

Inesa Sargsyan was born and raised in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. She moved to the United States at the age of fifteen and has lived in Los Angeles ever since.

From an early age, Inesa was very passionate about learning foreign languages, exploring different cultures, geographies, and closely following international politics. To further her interests, Inesa had intended to pursue an International Relations major in Armenia and become a professional interpreter/translator working in the field of foreign diplomacy. She participated in several United Nations, and other NGO, organized conferences and seminars in Armenia to become more knowledgeable of the field and have a closer look into the world of international relations and diplomacy.

After moving to the United States, she became even more passionate and curious about exploring the field of international relations. She discovered the wide scope of factors, professions, stories, and opportunities that the field has to offer. Determined to pursue a career in the field of international relations, Inesa completed her high school education in 2019 with High Honors and a State and District Biliteracy Seal. She also participated in the Math and Science Magnet program offered by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Inesa is now a sophomore at Los Angeles Valley College and is planning to transfer to a university next fall to study International Relations.

We asked Inesa: What was your experience with the Dream Summer fellowship like? 

“Working with SEIU 721, through the Dream Summer fellowship, has been a life-changing experience for me. This fellowship has been my first hands-on experience in public affairs. It has made me even more determined to pursue a career in the international relations field since the field largely deals with public affairs between individuals, organizations, politicians, and governments. During some of the events that we, the fellows, helped organize, such as the Mobile Workers Gig Conference and the Essential Worker Hearing, I was able to closely observe the ways that elected public officials address the issues and concerns brought up by their constituents.

Throughout the fellowship, I also had the honor of helping organize the nationwide Strike for Black Lives that took place amid the current racial and health crisis. The strike was definitely one of the highlights of my fellowship because it was a success with over 700 cars forming a caravan demanding justice for black communities. People were protesting systemic racism in the US and demanding living wages, benefits, and union rights for all workers.

Being able to observe a social justice action of that scale become a reality and to contribute to it has been monumental for me. The strike was the first major action, of such a huge scale and influence, that I had the opportunity to help organize.”

We asked Inesa: How has the Dream Summer fellowship helped you grow?

 “As part of the fellowship, one of our obligations has been to contact workers and inform them about upcoming actions and events organized by SEIU 721. Being able to have one-on-one conversations with workers, hearing their stories, and experiences has helped me become more understanding and empathetic of others.

Through the fellowship, I learned how to navigate difficult and challenging conversations in a professional manner. I also obtained valuable lifelong skills such as time management, leadership and organizing skills. These skills will help me achieve my career goals and future endeavors, as I continue with my journey in the world of Global Affairs.

I am incredibly grateful to have been given this life-changing opportunity to work with SEIU 721 and grow as a student, activist, immigrant, and future foreign diplomat.”

Learn more about Dream Summer here.