Kyrgyzstan Alumni Update by Meerim Nurlanbekova

Meerim holding a "We Can Do It" Rosie the Riveter sign.

It is so unbelievable to realize how much a few months in our lives can change a person for the better. After Global UGRAD, I have returned to my home country as a completely different person. I was ready to embark on challenging journeys and implement impossible ideas. One success leads to another. I am grateful to Global UGRAD for starting this chain of little triumphs and being a starting line in my life.

My desire for personal development and education led me to apply for one of the best scholarships my home university offered each semester. I was so lucky to have become one of the three finalists of this program, who got the chance to study and do an internship in Manhattan, NYC.

Being a women’s empowerment enthusiast, I chose to intern in women-related organizations. I ended up interning with Foreign Policy Interrupted (FPI), an organization launched to create a platform for female foreign policy experts from all over the world. My primary duty is to compile a list of articles and opinion pieces written by female journalists and experts. Every Friday, FPI sends out a newsletter containing information about foreign policy news amplifying women’s voices and creating a meaningful conversation for all of us. In a world where men speak louder, we want to balance the volume of the conversation and bring more female voices to the center of the discussion. Different voices improve performance. The world needs more of us, as women, to speak up and act stronger! Upon returning to my home country, I am excited to run my own project dedicated to empowering women and girls across Kyrgyzstan.

Happy Women’s Day! Here’ss to more remarkable triumphs for equality!

By Meerim Nurlanbekova, Global UGRAD 16-17 at East Tennessee State University


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