Chelsea JacksonComment

Neha Husein

Chelsea JacksonComment
Neha Husein

Neha Husein has personal stakes in the fights against distracted driving and white feminism, and she knows what winning each battle is going to take. She turned to technology to help her work towards putting an end to accidents caused by distractions such as texting, and she uses her own voice every day to ensure inclusion of all around her. Who knows what she’ll take on next?

Age: 22
College: Southern Methodist University
Majors: Human Rights & Marketing
Expected Graduation: Spring 2019
Website, Twitter, Personal Twitter, Instagram, Personal Instagram

You founded Just Drive after you were rear-ended by a driver who was texting. How has your organization grown since you first started it?

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Failure does not necessarily mean you were unsuccessful, it means you have room to grow.

Distracted driving needs social change and investment in innovation. While doing research on diversity and inclusion at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, I found my voice as a human rights entrepreneur. Something needed to be done about distracted driving and I was going to be the one to do it. Rather than negative reinforcement, I wanted to focus on rewarding people for doing something right which resulted in the creation of Just Drive. Upon my return to SMU, I entered my idea into business plan and pitch competitions to earn some seed money to begin development. Since then, I have hired an amazing app developer and two wonderful employees who have helped develop Just Drive as we prepare to launch! I attended the Red Bull Launch Institute Competition where I had the opportunity to present in front of Red Bull executives, members of the Austin start-up scene, and venture capitalists during South by Southwest. Unaware of what to expect, I printed 50 copies of my resume on the nicest paper I could find and practiced my elevator pitch as much as I could. It always started the same way: “My name is Neha Husein, a junior at SMU majoring in human rights and marketing.” What I quickly realized was that it was no longer about me as an individual; I was representing something bigger than that. No one wanted my resume. They did not want to hear about my work experience or GPA. I was my company and its brand and I had the ability to make real social change.

Where do you hope to see Just Drive expand in the coming years?

My vision for Just Drive is to create an educational program that teaches young drivers the dangers of distracted driving in an engaging, interactive way. I imagine myself working on expanding Just Drive beyond the United States. Distracted driving takes the lives of people in every country, and this can be simply prevented through Just Drive. Beginning with getting over my own fear of driving, I will continue to advocate for the right to life with dignity and safety.

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Walk us through some of the decisions you had to make when you started to organize Just Drive. Were there any particular challenges you had to navigate during the start-up process?

The most difficult part of the start-up process was time management. I quickly realized how hard it was to balance school, extracurriculars, my job as an RA and Just Drive, but when you’re passionate about something you make time for it. I also learned to accept failures and shortcomings. As someone completely new to the business, I recognized where I had knowledge gaps and turned to my support system to help me along the way. I had little to no coding education, so I hired an app developer. I knew nothing about starting a business from scratch, so I turned to my mentors and professors who were much more seasoned. I have accepted the statistic that 90% of startups fail and often have to remind myself of the goal of Just Drive: to raise awareness and prevent distracted driving accidents. Failure does not necessarily mean you were unsuccessful, it means you have room to grow.

...true feminism is intersectional.

Walk us through some of the decisions you had to make when you started to organize Just Drive. Were there any particular challenges you had to navigate during the start-up process?

The most difficult part of the start-up process was time management. I quickly realized how hard it was to balance school, extracurriculars, my job as an RA and Just Drive, but when you’re passionate about something you make time for it. I also learned to accept failures and shortcomings. As someone completely new to the business, I recognized where I had knowledge gaps and turned to my support system to help me along the way. I had little to no coding education, so I hired an app developer. I knew nothing about starting a business from scratch, so I turned to my mentors and professors who were much more seasoned. I have accepted the statistic that 90% of startups fail and often have to remind myself of the goal of Just Drive: to raise awareness and prevent distracted driving accidents. Failure does not necessarily mean you were unsuccessful, it means you have room to grow.

Beyond Just Drive, you’re also a human rights activist and a proponent for intersectional feminism. How does your personal definition of feminism help you to make decisions in your personal and professional life?

Thank you for clarifying that true feminism is intersectional. My personal definition of feminism revolves around inclusion. The term feminism is thrown around so much these days that its core meaning can be misconstrued or lost in translation, making it easier for it to be dismissed as a “bad word”. I realize that equality for one person doesn’t necessarily result in equity for another. My career lies in an industry where glass ceilings and biases come out to play, and I live as a brown woman in a society that still hasn’t quite found its footing in diversity and inclusion. Feminism is my stronghold for how I treat my fellow students and peers, and how I interact with the groups I lead on campus.

Whatever self-care looks like for you, it’s important to take those moments for yourself in order to stay motivated and grow.

How do you keep yourself motivated in your professional and academic endeavors?

Entrepreneurship is about learning, failing and growing, not necessarily in that order. I stumbled into my new love for entrepreneurship towards the end of my undergraduate career and want to continue with that in a more structured way. I stay motivated by concentrating my energy on things I am passionate about and letting go of things that don’t add value to my life. That is definitely easier said than done, but life is a journey and no one way is the best way. Could I have said more clichés in that sentence? But in all seriousness, burnout is real. Especially with human rights work. It is important to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Self-care is not always chocolate cake and face masks, but it can be. Whatever self-care looks like for you, it’s important to take those moments for yourself in order to stay motivated and grow.


Chelsea is the Health Editor and How She Got There Editor for Her Campus. In addition to editing articles about mental health, women's health and physical health, Chelsea contributes to Her Campus as a Feature Writer, Beauty Writer, Entertainment Writer and News Writer. Some of her unofficial, albeit self-imposed, responsibilities include arguing about the Oxford comma, fangirling about other writers' articles, and pitching Her Campus's editors shamelessly nerdy content (at ambiguously late/early hours, nonetheless). When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is probably drawing insects, painting with wine or sobbing through "Crimson Peak." Please email any hate, praise, tips, or inquiries to cjackscreate@gmail.com