NIAC Ambassador: A Leader within the Iranian-American Community
Los Angeles, CA— “A community of immigrants is always struggling with identity issues and its place in society. The key is to believe that we are making a difference and I do believe that with all my heart,” said Annahita Mahdavi, NIAC Ambassador.
Like many others, Annahita left Iran at a young age and lived first in Turkey, then Sweden before coming to the United States to pursue a career in psychology, with a specialization in immigration and related traumatic disorders.
“Over the past 11 years, a large part of my work and activity has been on a volunteer basis for the community, both Iranian and American. I do many cross-cultural lectures at universities and have found that the psychology of immigrants and their adaptation to the host society and acculturation issues have created many diverse forms of behavior,” Annahita said.
Annahita received her M.A. in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and is currently working on her PhD in international psychology with a concentration in crisis and trauma from the Chicago School of Professional Studies, School of Psychology.
“I have so much passion for what I do and I believe that my passion for service to my community has gotten me to where I am right now,” Annahita said. “I am a big believer in volunteer and community work.”
Through her role as a psychotherapist intern at a non-profit agency, Annahita strives to make educational services that focus on mental health and psychological services available to the Iranian community. In addition, Annahita is a leader within the Iranian-American community not only as a NIAC Ambassador, but also through another local non-profit, National Iranian American Professional of Orange County (NIPOC).
“We have many great activities and services that we offer the community, including cultural events and civic advocacy conferences. I plan to stay active in all my community work and be even more active in the future,” Annahita said. “Regarding the psychology of immigrants, an organization like NIAC is so necessary for our community to act as our voice and advocate for socio-political reasons.”
Annahita emphasized that it’s important for Iranians to be involved in different socio-political matters because it allows individuals to develop a healthy sense of identity.
“My advice to the younger generation would be to be proud of their heritage and get to know their history and culture, but also to get involved in the society and take advantage of organizations, like NIAC and NIPOC, in order to be pro-active on issues that can be essential to their future,” Annahita said.