From Velika Kladuša, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Des Plaines, Illinois
Nejra strongly believes that agriculture drives the world, and she knows we are always looking for that next meal. Knowing this, she wants to create change in the way we view, eat, use and produce food. She understands the challenges she faces in this growing world, but she is determined and passionate about her vision. Nejra is skilled in many different trades, from landscaping and gardening to carpentry and welding. She travels with her parents for work and she still spends every summer working in the yards and gardens of distant family friends to help support her family and education.
Being accepted to the University of Illinois has made the biggest impact on her life and especially her family. Her parents left Bosnia in search of a better life and now they finally see why. Nejra feels blessed to be in an environment that is so welcoming and friendly and also loves the drive and passion she witnesses daily. Being around motivated individuals and people of different backgrounds helps her feel accepted and pushes her to strive for a better future. She looks forward to the professional opportunities she will encounter and is excited to be interning this summer term.
In her free time she enjoys building and fixing things, sometimes even drawing out plans for practical tools and appliances that she hopes to create one day. From her mother, she has learned the art of cooking and enjoys creating new meals that are packed with nutrients but also lots of flavor. From her father she has gained the knowledge of traditional farming and loves the fact that in a polyculture, sustainable farm there is no waste and everything has a purpose.
Her advice for students is simple; eat real food, including fruits and vegetables, and do not forget to smile. What she wants more than anything in life is to create change that will benefit all of mankind, especially living creatures in generations down the line.