University of California, Los Angeles
Office Placement: CA State Senator Curren Price
Wajenda Chambeshi was born in Lusaka, Zambia, and attended St. Edmund’s High School where he graduated with Honors. He was accepted at both the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University and ultimately chose the latter where he pursued an Accounting degree. In 2003, in search of a new environment, he moved to a rural area and began working for the international non-governmental organization (NGO), Right to Play. During his tenure at Right to Play, Wajenda coordinated various sport, training and child development programs for the benefit of local Zambians and Congolese refugees at Kala Refugee Camp. He also oversaw administrative functions and liaised with other NGOs and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Recognized for his leadership capabilities, Wajenda was selected to serve on the Child Labor Protection Task Force led by the International Labor Organization under the Zambian Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development. In 2008, Wajenda returned to Lusaka where he served in the Accounting Department of World Vision and earned his National Accounting Technician Certification from the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants.
In 2009, he moved to Los Angeles, CA, and married Ivory Rose Parnell, whom he met in Zambia as a co-NGO worker. Since moving to the United States, Wajenda has continued to serve in leadership roles and pursue his education. As an intern for Kito International, he helped design a training curriculum to facilitate economic opportunity programs for Kenyan street youth. He currently serves as Vice President for the immigrant support group, Zambians in California Association, and as a Board Member for non-profit, Youth Environmental Network. Continuing his educational pursuits, he recently earned his Associate Degree in Economics from West Los Angeles College where he earned the Cum Laude distinction and was a multiple Dean’s List Award recipient. In the fall, he will attend UCLA to obtain a BA in Political Science. He is a recipient of the UCLA Scholarship Recognition Award.
Wajenda is committed to serving the community and addressing the needs and concerns of the underserved. To this end, his long-term goals include being a public servant to stimulate economic development and empowerment in Zambia. In his spare time, Wajenda enjoys cheering on the Arsenal Gunners, dancing to the latest Rhumba hit and staying updated on current events on Al Jazeera.