The Initiative brings entering freshman students to the US one month before the start of their respective college orientations for a full immersion English language (ESL) refresher, an introduction to principles of critical thinking, academic research methods and college writing, and workshops on what to expect on campus and in contemporary American culture, traditions and trends. Students are given further instruction on The Initiative's vision and mission, core values and program requirements as well as how to create one-and four-year academic and professional roadmaps to help them chart a course for their critical role in The Initiative’s mission.


Fereshta Noori (Smith 2017) and Razia Hussaini (Brenau 2018) in Rhode Island

The Initiative advances Afghanistan's future women leaders through New Student Orientation, US Undergraduate Education, Summer Internship in Afghanistan, and Leadership Academy programs.


The Initiative also supports select student and alumna initiatives which serve women's and children's health and education in Afghanistan.


The Initiative applies rigorous candidate search and qualification criteria to identify women of outstanding academic potential and demonstrated commitment to public service who are encouraged by their families to study abroad. The Initiative partners with leading US colleges and universities to provide undergraduate degrees. The Initiative provides international and domestic transportation, medical insurance, computers, books and supplies to round out participants’ college costs of attendance as well as our required Summer Orientation, Summer Internship in Afghanistan and Leadership Academy programs.


The Initiative requires students to return home each summer to pursue service opportunities and internships to ease their country's immediate skilled labor shortage. This program requirement ensures students maintain close ties with family and community as they build their resumes in anticipation of permanent employment in Afghanistan after graduation. Students pay forward their talents, time, and education as they pursue summer employment opportunities in government ministries, large corporations, as well as local and international NGOs.


Students’ undergraduate education and summer internship experiences are augmented by The Initiative's weeklong annual Leadership Academy in Washington, DC, a capstone experience of workshops inspired by The Initiative’s mission and core values led by nationally and internationally recognized experts in their fields. The series includes lectures on leadership principles and empowerment; media and communications; as well as workshops on academic and professional road-mapping and resume and cover letter writing. Special emphasis is given to the areas of diversity and inclusion to give the women in our program, who represent a number of politically polarized ethnicities in Afghanistan, an opportunity to create a supportive network which will sustain them throughout their lives and careers. Students have the opportunity each year to interact with leading US academics, journalists, policy- and lawmakers to speak on behalf of Afghan women.


Leadership Academy 2016

Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

Mursal Hamdam (Montclair State 2012)

Airokhsh Faiz Qaisary (Juniata 2014) in Mazar-e-Sharif