Manvendu Navjeevan

Pittsburgh City Programs and Their Impact on Income Mobility

navjeevanI was born in New Delhi on October 2, 1996, on what would have been Gandhi’s 127th birthday. For the first two years of my life my family lived in India, before moving to Singapore and later San Jose and southern California after my sister, Vidhu, was born. We eventually settled in the southern San Francisco peninsula, where we’ve lived since I was in fifth grade.

In middle school—in spite of puberty, society anxiety and preteen obnoxiousness—I met a couple of my closest friends, realized a love for stand-up comedy and developed a standing addiction to mobile games. An avid reader, I picked up “The Age of Turbulence” by former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan the summer before I started high school. Though I’m sure I didn’t fully understand the book, I remember being fascinated with Greenspan’s descriptions of his work in economics. This sparked an interest in economics that continued throughout high school, where I discovered a love of public speaking and became involved in Model United Nations and the debate club. These activities strengthened my interest in economics as many of the issues discussed in both clubs had to do with economic policy.

After reading books like Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” and participating in conversations leading up to the 2016 election, I’ve become more cognizant of how inequality shapes our culture. When choosing an honors thesis topic, I decided to explore how we can take action on a local level to combat inequality. I hope that through this work we can shape policy that will allow people to lead better lives and focus on things that are more important and fulfilling than just getting through the day.

Learn more about my project.