Voices of Hope

Photographer

Growing up in Afghanistan, Fatemeh Ahmadi moved every couple years, her family bouncing from one house to another. The University of Mary Washington junior, who never imagined she’d attend a university in the U.S., spent last spring break giving another family a place to call home as part of a Habitat for Humanity trip. “I come from a third world country where we’ve lived in rental houses,” Ahmadi said. “I understand how hard it is not to have a roof of your own on top of your head.” Now, she is the first person in her family to attend college.  Ahmadi and Afghan native Maryam Yousufzai, also a junior, are receiving full scholarships through UMW as part of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, known as IEAW. The largest program of its kind, the IEAW has a mission to “create Afghanistan’s future women leaders through education and career guidance.” Since the launch of the program more than a decade ago, the initiative has given an education and a voice to more than 85 … [Read more...]

Building Global Leaders

Tanzania_Homepage

  In a small village in Tanzania, Mama Anna teaches local children from a makeshift classroom in her home. She greets everyone in the village by name and always looks for ways to help others, even in the face of her positive HIV diagnosis. “As a leader, she is innovative, compassionate and committed,” said Meagan Holbrook, a 2013 graduate of the University of Mary Washington. “Those three traits enable her to do great things in her community and allow others to benefit from her talents.” Holbrook and eight UMW students traveled to Tanzania in July as part of a faculty-led study abroad program. The 14-day trip, led by Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy, was the culmination of last semester’s “Cultural Leadership in Tanzania” leadership seminar course. “I think in America sometimes we lose sight of what community means and what family means,” Holbrook said. “In Tanzania, even when people may not have had the time or the resources, they welcomed us into … [Read more...]