#SincePruSpirit │Social change scholar Kimya Loder, 2014
In 2014, we named Kimya Loder a State Honoree for her work inspiring preteen girls to dream big. The Birmingham, Ala. native created a business etiquette and goal-planning forum called “It’s Your World Change It,” helping young girls map out aspirations for their careers, education, travel and other ambitions.
Now 22, Kimya is building a remarkable life of her own.
The up-and-coming sociologist recently graduated with honors from Spelman College in Atlanta, where she worked with several charitable initiatives and started a new one. She’s interested in social justice, and the link between grassroots movements and trends in national identity; her studies have taken her to South Africa and post-Arab Spring Tunisia. Today, she’s living in Palo Alto, California, where she’s pursuing a sociology Ph.D. at Stanford University.
“Volunteering at a young age gave me a strong sense of responsibility for not only pursuing my own academic goals, but also engaging in meaningful work that can make the world better,” Kimya said. “I learned to empathize with the plights of others. I also learned about the importance of finding sustainable solutions to problems and engaging in dialogues about social justice issues.”
As an undergraduate, Kimya interned with the nonprofit center founded by former President Jimmy Carter and promoted civic engagement as a director with her student government. Another internship with the Atlanta Community Food Bank inspired her to start “Children’s Village Market,” a childhood nutrition advocacy program led by students and focused on underserved Atlanta communities.
Kimya’s advice to young volunteers: “Find something that you are passionate about, pursue it wholeheartedly, and use that passion to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Despite the fact that today’s social climate is tense and challenging, always believe in your power to make a difference. Your voice matters.”
For more updates on past Spirit of Community honorees, visit our alumni page.