Amiwala is a daughter of immigrants and a rising politician. In 2018, she lost a primary race for Cook County Commissioner, but her parents' support did not waver. It was her first time running for office.
She said her family has been a continuing source of inspiration for her to move forward, especially her father, who immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan.
"I just want to do whatever I can to make them proud, to make them know that they made the right decision coming to this country," she said. "They made the right decision to move to Skokie. They made the right decision to raise their kids in an environment away from their family, their community, what they were used to because they wanted us to have a better life with more opportunity."
Our America: Women Forward | See list of local, national resources for women
In April 2019, she decided on her second run and this time, victory. She was elected to serve on Skokie School Board 73.5, becoming the youngest Muslim elected official in America at age 21.
"Be the change you want to see in the world," Amiwala said. "You have the power to make a difference in your own life, the lives of so many others in your community, and dream big!"
And she is; her dream is to one day represent the Chicago area in the U.S. Capitol.
"I would personally love to be in Congress one day. And to me, it would be the most fulfilling and gratifying experience," she said.
So with her faith and her family, she's still on her journey, traveling a road that may one day lead to a higher political office and a chance to serve others.
"I see that it's possible," she said. "I see that we're in this new generation, we have this new wave of voters, we have this new era of change makers, policy makers, that there's no reason why I can't do something like this."
"This is just the beginning for me," she added. "I've just gotten started."
"Our America: Women Forward" is special series celebrating women across this country through stories of their perseverance, resilience, triumph, hope, achievement, strength and power. We will break down the disparities that challenge progress and the systemic sexism at the root of it all. You'll meet mothers, daughters, sisters and friends; innovators, teachers, gamechangers, power players, explorers, athletes and everyday heroes. The stories will begin to air on Eyewitness News at 4pm on March 8 and will culminate in a one-hour documentary that will air Saturday, March 13.
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