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One of First Gen Z Women To Hold Public Office In US, Google Worker, MBA Student, How She Manages All at 26

At 21, Bushra Amiwala became the youngest Muslim woman to hold public office in the US
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Cottonbro Studios
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Cottonbro Studios

Bushra Amiwala became one of the first Gen Z women to hold public office in the US at age 21. Now at 26, she manages her responsibilities as a member of the Skokie School District Board of Education in Skokie, as a corporate employee of Google, and her MBA studies at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Amiwala recently shared how she manages it all in an exclusive with CNBC Make It.


Amiwala, born in Rogers Park, moved to Skokie, Illinois, with her family when she was nine. In high school, she participated in various clubs and the debate team. “It wasn't until I took an AP Government and Politics class in my senior year of high school that I became interested in politics,” Amiwala told WTTW in 2020.

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A post shared by Bushra Amiwala (@bushraamiwala)


Before her run for office, Amiwala worked with volunteering and nonprofit work. She then studied business at DePaul University and hoped to work for a big firm after graduation. However, she turned to serving in public office as a meaningful way to spend her free time. Despite being a Democrat, Amiwala interned for Senator Mark Kirk’s campaign in 2016.

It was one of Kirk’s staffers who encouraged her to run for office, and at 19 years of age, Amiwala launched a campaign for the Cook County Board of Commissioners while being a student at DePaul University.

The George W. Dunne Cook County Office Building | Getty Images | Photo By Raymond Boyd
The George W. Dunne Cook County Office Building | Getty Images | Photo By Raymond Boyd

She faced a lot of challenges, as she was very new to politics. She felt her youth was always something she had to overcompensate for and according to Amiwala, there was a hyper-focus on her identity as well.

“People always talked about how ‘She's the young Muslim woman’ or the ‘young Muslim teen running for office.’ With that, no one knew my name – even in articles,” Amiwala said in the WTTW report.

She failed to win her first election in 2018 for the Cook County commissioner. However, she kept going and six months later, she ran for the Skokie School District 73.5 Board of Education. She won the election and bagged a seat through April 2023, becoming the youngest Muslim and the first Gen Z woman to hold public office.

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A post shared by Bushra Amiwala (@bushraamiwala)


She won her second term in 2023, a position she will hold until 2027. Now 26, Amiwala has a career that realizes her love for business and politics.

Amiwala now balances her public responsibilities with a full-time job as a solutions consultant at Google and her MBA studies. She shared one approach with CNBC Make It that helped her manage things.

She keeps reminding herself that she doesn’t need to put 100% in everything she does and she can achieve a lot with spending less of her energy. She said her job at Google is between the hours of 9-5, and her office role is a part-time volunteer role, where she attends a couple of board meetings a month.

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A post shared by Bushra Amiwala (@bushraamiwala)


She also relies on her calendar app and has now a personal trainer to schedule things like her workouts and meals. Apart from that she has recently started centering her day around prayer as well.

“That allows me to take 2 to 5 minutes to check in with myself, reflect, and calm my mind,” she told CNBC Make It.

She says these little lifestyle changes have helped make a big difference in saving time and managing her schedule.