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“It was humbling to be on stage with all those world leaders.” — Karina Jougla CC’16
Major: Comparative literature and society
Hometown: Carpinteria, Calif.
Awards: King’s Crown Leadership Excellence Award - Civic Responsibility (2016), Alumni Association Achievement Award (2016)
Clubs: Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, Columbia Artist Society, Columbia Art of Living Club, French Cultural Society
As an undergraduate, Karina Jougla CC’16 devoted much of her time and energy to championing girls’ and women’s rights.
Jougla has been cognizant of gender inequality issues since she was 5, when she became a member of Girls Inc., a national nonprofit that works to empower young girls. In 2010, Girls Inc. nominated Jougla to be a National Teen Advisor with Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign to create awareness about the plight of underserved teenage girls around the world. She has since held various volunteer positions with Girl Up.
In June 2013, Jougla traveled to Moscow to represent Girl Up at the annual G(irls)20 Summit — an event that parallels the G20 Summit and mobilizes women and girls to increase global economic growth — where she led a workshop about child marriage. In September 2014, media entrepreneur Ted Turner, founder and chairman of the UN Foundation, ceded his speaking time to Jougla at a Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group event attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg; and the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame. Ahead of the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, she used the time to “highlight how securing girls’ and women’s rights depends on ensuring a sustainable future by addressing climate change.”
“It was humbling to be on stage with all those world leaders,” says Jougla.
A John Jay Scholar, Jougla spent last summer interning with the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, an effort to gather and study data to gauge progress since the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The previous summer, she was an intern at the Convergences World Forum in Paris, which brings together public, private and civil society actors who are committed to developing environmentally sustainable ways of ending poverty.
Jougla also was involved with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, a coalition of students, faculty and community members dedicated to divesting the University’s endowments from the fossil fuel industry. From her sophomore year onward, Jougla, who fondly recalls her father reading The Iliad and The Odyssey to her as bedtime stories, also was a resident adviser, a role she relished because it allowed her to “contribute to the feeling of a campus community.”
This summer, Jougla will be a Residential Teaching Counselor with the Girls Leadership program at Mount Holyoke College — a camp for middle and high school girls — as she continues to explore “long-term opportunities in the nonprofit girls’ and women’s rights space.”
— Nathalie Alonso CC’08