Help an Afghan Girl Go to School
Organized by: Nilab Nusrat
Hope you had a wonderful summer!
Thank you so much for your donations toward my college education!
With your support, I just finished my second semester at college with a few great achievements. Most importantly, I did really well in each of my five classes: microeconomics, college writing, Intro to International relations, Arabic writing and Arabic conversation. I did great on my finals and maintained a grade point average of 3.7!
In the past semester, in addition to my involvement with Drew University’s Philanthropy Ambassadors’ and Civic Engagement club, I and some of my friends also organized an event called “Behind the Bars,” to raise awareness on campus about the prison population. We intended to focus on the public perceptions of prisoners and the difficulties ex-offenders face in the reentry process. The event was held on Tuesday, April 14th at 7:00-9:00 p.m. on the Drew campus.
Our event was a great success. We had a variety of experts who volunteered their time to participate in our panel discussion and share their knowledge with us. Our speakers were Charlotte Morrison, senior attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative, John G. Koufos, Program Development Specialist/Reentry Manager at the Jersey City Employment & Training Program, Jonathan Bell, vicinage chief of probation officer of Morris/Sussex, former Morris County Prosecutor, Robert Bianchi and ex-offender, Jameel-Al-Mansur.
I went to Afghanistan for my summer break; my first time back since coming to the United States four years ago. I was a full-time intern at the Women for Afghan Women’s Family Guidance Center for two months. I worked on the administrative side of the legal department and also helped with the reports.
Working at the WAW’s Family Guidance Center was an enriching experience. I learned a lot about human rights work on the ground in Afghanistan, the legal system, and about report-writing. It meant so much to contribute to the work of rebuilding Afghanistan, and I hope to contribute much more in the future. It was also wonderful to see my brother and sister succeeding in school and to spend time with them.
I am looking forward to starting my sophomore year at Drew in a few days. I am registered for five classes: intermediate microeconomics, comparative political systems, intermediate Arabic, colloquium on non-profit and alternative economy, and economics of the third world.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to get a great education! You can rest assured that I will put the education I am privileged to be receiving (thanks to you) to the best possible use and make you proud of me.
With gratitude and love,
Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to get a great education! With your support, I just finished my first semester at college where I made lots of good friends, enjoyed all of my classes and got involved with several clubs. Most importantly, I did really well in each of my five classes: macroeconomics, college writing, sociology, Arabic writing and Arabic conversation. I did great on my finals and maintained a grade point average of 3.6!
I’ve decided to double major in international relations and economics. The courses look very interesting and will provide me with skills and knowledge that I can apply in any country. I am also planning to minor in Arabic.
I am also involved in Drew’s Feminist Union and the Philanthropy Ambassadors. I was also recently elected to the board of the Civic Engagement club to represent my class. The Civic Engagement Program works collaboratively with community organizations and other institutions to provide Drew students with the opportunity to volunteer and help communities around them.
Another thing that I am quite excited about is my winter break internship at Women for Afghan Women. I will be working on a girls leadership curriculum and also help with their tutoring program.
Drew University has turned out to be a wonderful choice for me! In addition to your support, they have been extremely helpful in every respect. Thank you so much for making my dream come true!
Dear generous friends who have supported me,
In these past few months, while I was struggling to raise funding for college, I learned again the importance of friendship, kindness, and generosity. With donations as small as $10 the total is now over $19,000! Thank you so much for your support and love!
Today, I want to share good news with all of you. I've recently been accepted at Drew University. Drew is a great school and has offered me a larger scholarship than Agnes Scott.
I also received other donations including a pledge of $10,000 a year from a wonderful woman in California who has been so generous to me ever since my arrival to the U.S. All of these donations plus the scholarship from Drew means that I am much closer to be able to effort college in the United States.
It is amazing how quickly life changes. Six years ago I was living in prison with my mother. On Sunday, June 8th, 2014, I graduated from the Putney School. I am actually a little sad to leave because Putney was not only a school for me; it was my home and the Putney community was my family. Thank you so much Putney, for supporting, loving, and embracing me! I will miss you all next year! Putney, you will always be a part of me!
I also want to thank Drew University for being so generous and kind to me. I visited Drew on June 2th and loved it! The people I met at Drew were extremely kind and welcoming. I am so excited to start my college education in September as a freshman at Drew. I believe Drew will be as perfect a fit as Putney was for me!
I will be spending my first two months of summer with my wonderful Putney host family that never let me feel like I was away from my family. I will spend the time reading and writing to improve my English so that I am as prepared as I can be for college. I will also be working on the maintenance crew at the Putney School to earn money toward my college expenses. For the last month of summer, I will be doing an internship in the office of a New York City Councilman.
One of the miracles in my life has been the generosity of friends and strangers. Thank you for standing with me! I promise to work hard and make good use of your gifts! In the future, because of your generosity, I will be able to advocate for those who don’t have anyone to support them.
Thank you so much for helping my dreams come true! I will keep you posted on my progress, a progress which you helped make possible.
My name is Nilab Nusrat. I am 18 years old. I was born and raised in Afghanistan, and am currently a scholarship student at Putney School, Vermont.
I came to the United States through Women for Afghan Women -- they found me in Kabul women's prison. I was there because my mom was arrested for a crime she didn't commit, and in my country, kids are thrown in prison with their mothers. This organization took me in, gave me an education and taught me that kindness exists in the world.
Because I was bold and outspoken, I was chosen to come to New York to speak at the organization’s 10th anniversary gala in 2011. I talked about my personal struggles and the work of Women for Afghan Women and received a standing ovation from the entire audience which included Gloria Steinem. With the help of Women for Afghan Women, I interviewed at The Putney School in Vermont and was awarded a three-year scholarship. In January 2012, my life was transformed---I was a sophomore at Putney.
I have had an amazing experience at Putney. I have maintained a 3.7 GPA and have taken all kinds of classes from History and Economic to Precalculus and Jewelry making. My need for financial aid is immense (I have no financial support whatsoever). I have been accepted at Agnes Scott College, a private all women's college in Atlanta providing excellent academic opportunity and support. They have generously offered me $19,000 in financial aid, but I will need $30,000 more to go there. Financial aid for international students is very scarce, and I am lucky to have this offer. And I have no other options except to give up my student visa and go back to Afghanistan.
From a very young age, I had strong views and was full of questions. While I was lucky enough to go to school in Afghanistan, girls were not encouraged to speak up, ask questions or share ideas. In the United States, students are encouraged to ask questions. Here, in every class I take, and in every conversation outside class, I can debate important issues. Thanks to the education I am receiving, I am learning to back up my opinions with facts and logical arguments. Studying at a school with such a diverse student-body is teaching me about the struggles of people for their rights all around the world.
If I go back to Afghanistan now, I know I won't be able to continue my education. I'll be married off for sure. And my dreams will become dust.
I am hungry for education -- in my senior year, I have enrolled for as so many classes that I have school from 6:30 am to 9 pm! I am committed to serving my own homeland once my education is complete. My goal is to become a lawyer or politician and change laws that are unjust. Just as women helped me, I wish to help other women and children who have have no one to help them.
Please help me raise the money I need to go to University in September, and make my dream come true.