New York, NY
At age seven, Shadia attended a kids’ conference on Superfund sites. There she learned about Love Canal, a nearby town that was synonymous with toxic waste. She also learned that New York’s Superfund was going bankrupt. Shadia spent the next nine years trying to remedy that fact. She joined Kids Against Pollution at her elementary school and became a national spokesperson for the cause. Year after year, Shadia lobbied to restore Superfund, but every year, the legislation failed. Undaunted, Shadia looked for new ways to promote the issue. One year, she set up a lemonade stand outside the state Capitol and donated the profits to Superfund, capturing media attention. Finally, Governor George Pataki signed legislation to refinance the state’s Superfund, as Shadia and her fellow lobbyists looked on.