Fereshta Noori Receives 2018 Kobra Ahmadi Memorial Award for Academic and Leadership Excellence

Generous annual cash award honors the life and accomplishments of Kobra Ahmadi (Randolph College 2010)

WASHINGTON, DC - May 17, 2018 - graduating senior Fereshta Noori (Smith College 2018) was presented with the third annual Kobra Ahmadi Memorial Award for Academic and Leadership Excellence by His Excellency Hamdullah Mohib at this year’s Annual Afghan Dinner and Awards at the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted by Ambassador Hamdullah and Lael Mohib and sponsored by Ms. Shahin Mafi and Dr. Christine Warnke.

With this award The Initiative honors the memory of Kobra Ahmadi (Randolph 2010). At school, Ms. Ahmadi was member of the Muslim Club, International Pan-World Club, Club Asia and the Economics Club. After graduation, Ms. Ahmadi worked for Oxfam International and the United Nations Development Programme where she managed two major portfolios on Justice and Human Rights as well as Anticorruption and Transparency. In 2011, Ms. Ahmadi was awarded the Chevening Scholarship to pursue the MSc Public Policy at University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, which she completed with distinction in October 2012. Ms. Ahmadi’s life ended tragically one month later during a business trip to Tehran when the car she was in was struck by another vehicle.

To honor Ms. Ahmadi’s life and her exemplary academic and professional accomplishments, The Initiative recognizes a graduating senior who like Ms. Ahmadi demonstrates the leadership qualities and dedication that empower women and men to work towards creating lasting peace and prosperity.

Recipient of this year’s award, The Initiative’s 101st graduate, Fereshta Noori, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science with Minor in Architecture from the prestigious Picker Engineering Program at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts on May 20, 2018. Fereshta was born and educated in exile in Mashhad, Iran, and returned with her family to Afghanistan where her father is a university teacher at a private university in Kabul. Before entering The initiative’s US Undergraduate Education program at Sweet Briar College, she was a management trainee at the Kabul Serena Hotel and a human resources assistant at Afghanistan Holding Group.

Fereshta transferred to Smith College her sophomore year when Sweet Briar College threatened to close its doors due to financial hardship. Undaunted, Fereshta transferred to Smith College and then began paying forward the US undergraduate and leadership training she received from The Initiative through its Summer Internship in Afghanistan program as a student mentor in The Initiative’s New Student Summer Orientation program, as an architecture trainee at Omran Holding Group, working on the Portal Project at Turquoise Mountain Institute, and as an AutoCAD designer at Afghan Wireless Communication Company.

Fereshta recently received accolades for her work with the Mill River Greenway Committee as part of her Capstone Project at Smith College where her team collected and analyzed data to conceive and communicate to their community an optimum bank protection alternative.

Previous Recipients of the Kobra Ahmadi Memorial Award for Academic and Leadership Excellence:

2016 Wasima Shinwari (Russell Sage College)

2017 Madiha Samadi (University of Pennsylvania)

Shortly after graduation, Fereshta returned to Afghanistan where she hopes to begin work as an environmental control systems design engineer very soon. In her spare time she will be working as a volunteer at the prestigious Moraa Educational Complex as she considers further master's level education abroad.

Congratulations, dear Fereshta!

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