Zawadi was born in Kenya and came to America with her father at age 9. At Southeast Portland’s Cleveland High School, she excelled, taking rigorous classes, organizing events --including a poetry slam -- and treating everyone “with grace and respect,” according to one of her teachers.
As a winner of a 2017 Newcomer Scholarship, Zawadi is attending Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., where she is studying psychology and creative writing. She has developed a keen interest in the environment, thanks to her work on invasive species in Portland, and in helping immigrants overcome their challenges.
“I plan to fight and stand up for those who cannot fight for themselves,”