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Nami Island N Gatluak
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Nyamal Gatluak (she/hers) is a writer, advocate, and co-founder of the BalangNyal Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women and girls by ensuring their access to personal care products.

Nyamal's upbringing in Des Moines, Iowa, deeply rooted her in her local community. She spent her formative years actively engaged in volunteer work with local organizations, schools, and churches. Beyond her community involvement, she also explored her creative side, operating her photography business and participating in film and yearbook activities during her high school years.

Her unyielding passion for creativity and her commitment to making a positive impact prompted her to pursue higher education. Nyamal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship and Journalism & Mass Communication from Iowa State University. During her time there, she accomplished the following:

🔍 For two years, she served as an undergraduate research assistant, diligently analyzing factors influencing the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs utilizing crowdfunding campaigns.

 

📰 Her passion for storytelling led her to report on over 30 stories for the Iowa State Daily, covering a diverse range of topics, including arts and entertainment, diversity, sustainability, and equity.

✈️ She enriched her worldview by studying abroad at Korea University during the fall semester of 2021 and assumed the role of a global ambassador for study abroad programs on her campus, actively encouraging underrepresented students to explore international educational opportunities.

✨ Nyamal also held the position of Treasurer on the executive board of the Korean Language Club for a semester, showcasing her commitment to cultural exchange and community involvement. 

 

More recently, Nyamal completed her year as an Alumni Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State's Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. In this role, she worked to make educational travel accessible to underrepresented students in her community.

In addition to her advocacy and academic endeavors, Nyamal continues to build her nonprofit, the BalangNyal Foundation, with the goal of uplifting and supporting women by ensuring they have access to personal care essentials. Her efforts aim to support women and girls to recognize their potential and explore the abundant opportunities available to them.

Most recently, Nyamal served as a Regional Director for WorldStrides, specifically overseeing the regions of California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Through her efforts, she worked to support and grow partnerships in her region while making educational abroad opportunities available to underrepresented students.

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