AMANDA TESAREK

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Amanda Tesarek, 21, Best College Speech winner, originally hails from Superior, Wisconsin but has since settled in New York City. As a senior at Columbia University, she studies Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies and is learning to speak Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, and Farsi. She is currently in the process of writing a thesis on the role of dark money in Indian and American elections, which was inspired by her experience interning with the New York City Campaign Finance Board. Amanda is a captain of the Columbia University Mock Trial team, a member of America Reads-a volunteer organization that tutors underprivileged Harlem youth-and a founding member of the Constituting America Youth Advisory Board. After graduation, she hopes to travel to a country where she can practice one of the languages she studies and/or work for a few years before ultimately attending law school.