After earning her undergraduate degree in Biology and teaching high school biology for several years, Mehjabeen realized that there was a disconnect between the research being conducted and how it was applied to real-world policy issues. This is what prompted her to pursue a Masters in Environmental and Energy Policy; after graduation she interned with the Environmental Initiatives office at Dakota County where she worked alongside a GreenCorps member who inspired her to join the program.
As a MN GreenCorps member in 2017-2018, Mehjabeen served with the city of Edina, working on green transportation issues. She created a plan to make the city's vehicle fleet more sustainable and designed a matrix to quantify the benefits of the different aspects of Living Streets. The highlight of MN GreenCorps for Mehjabeen was being able to design and execute a project from start to finish. “I came to the GreenCorps Program with several years of previous work experience, but this program is unique in that it really allows you to have ownership of the project,” Mehjabeen says.
Mehjabeen advises GreenCorps members to take full advantage of the professional development opportunities both at the host organization and at conferences and meetings. She also encourages members to be proactive in building their networks and connecting with people at organizations whose work they are interested in. “I had informational interviews with people working in the environmental field at all levels in Government and at non-profits, and this really helped me determine where I wanted to end up.”
Mehjabeen currently works at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as a Mobile Source Specialist. In her position, she works on reducing pollution from mobile sources such as cars and trucks. Some of her current projects include doing outreach for the state’s diesel anti-tampering program, coordinating the electric vehicle display at the State Fair, managing a grant that will reduce pollution from high-emitting vehicles in environmental justice areas, and working on transportation planning air quality issues with other governmental entities. “I am using the skills and knowledge I developed as a Minnesota GreenCorps member every day at work, and I collaborate with many people who I first met during my term of service!”