From Oberlin to Colombia: Dylan Mehri ’18
After graduating from Oberlin in May 2018, Dylan Mehri is working as the international fundraising coordinator for a nonprofit organization called Niñas Sin Miedo (Fearless Girls) in Bogotá, Colombia.
Niñas Sin Miedo is an organization that aims to empower the young women of Soacha, a municipality south of Bogotá. The organization hosts large populations of displaced people in densely populated areas through support and educational programs. Niñas Sin Miedo primarily focuses on bicycling and community workshops; bicycling is a tool to teach girls strength and confidence, and community workshops provide a safe space to discuss topics surrounding sexual education and women’s rights.
After getting support from the Susan Phillips ’76 Social Justice Internship Fund last spring, Mehri started out as an intern with Niñas Sin Miedo over the summer, teaching English and coaching the girls bicycling program. He says that he really enjoyed his time in Colombia.
“My favorite thing about my work is interacting with the girls in Soacha and the team in Bogotá,” Mehri says. “Our mission is incredible and being able to engage with the girls we serve is by far the best part. They make me laugh, they make me cry, and they are inspiring young people.”
Mehri was promoted to international fundraising coordinator in August, and has since returned to the United States to register Niñas Sin Miedo as a nonprofit and increase the organization’s overall visibility. Since coming back, Mehri has returned to Oberlin twice to speak to classes about the organization and meet with Bonner Scholars. During his visits, Mehri inspired four current Oberlin students to join the Niñas Sin Miedo team to work on fundraising initiatives and digital media.
While Mehri was a student at Oberlin, he was a Cole Scholar and majored in politics and Hispanic studies. Outside of academics, Mehri played on the varsity football and club rugby teams, worked as a peer advisor in the Career Development Center, volunteered with El Centro in Lorain, and was an officer of the Oberlin College Democrats.
In the future, Mehri plans to learn Farsi, his father’s native language, and to enroll in an international relations master’s degree program. He remarks, “Long term, I'd like to develop a career in international relations, which could look like a lot of different things. I like to keep my horizons wide and far-reaching.”