Shams is one of the girls that we work with here in Lankaran. She is amazingly ambitious and really sweet. She was one of the student leaders at the summer camp I did last summer, and now, she has been given a great opportunity to study in the US. Here's some more info she wrote about herself. If you are willing, interested and able, she and I would both really appreciate your financial support! THANK YOU in advance! :)
"My name is Shams Alizada and I am FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) alumni of 2008-2009.
I am 18 years old, and live in a small city in Azerbaijan called Lenkoran. I have three older sisters, and I currently live with my mother. I lost my father 4 years ago and this was a very challenging period in my life. My mother is a single parents and she works as a schoolteacher. I had to overcome many challenges by myself. I failed a few times, but failures did not stop me. I got more encouraged and succeed a lot.
I graduated High School, and got accepted to Lankaran State University on a full scholarship. That same year I into the FLEX program, and went to study in the USA. Studying in America taught me a lot. I learned how to overcome challenges and interact with different kinds of people. I improved myself, experienced different culture, and I shared my own culture with others.
Recently I was informed that I have been awarded the Iacocca/U.S. State Department full-tuition scholarship for Global Village 2010 in the amount of USD 6500. The program’s purposes is to increase business and industry knowledge, enhance leadership and entrepreneurial skills, and develop global and cultural networking among the participants.
Earning this scholarship has been one of the biggest successes in my life. It will influence my future career in the business field. I live in a rural area where most people rarely accept female leaders. The most suitable jobs for females are being doctors, teachers, and nurses. We have very few women who work in the business field, and most of them do not have educational backgrounds in this field. Mostly males have business opportunities in Azerbaijan. This program is giving me a great opportunity to get more educated in the business field and to be able to organize new international projects in the future. It will influence the plans I have made for the next five years and my whole life. Five years from now I will have graduated from university. I will apply to study for my master’s degree in international business in the U.S., because U.S.A. is a democratic country and has an improved educational system. I see myself as a highly educated person with great professional and personal skills. I will apply my gained knowledge in my country, realize international projects and be able to bring innovations to my country. By that time female leaders will be more accepted in my country. I want to be a role model for them.
The Iacocca/U.S. State Department full-tuition scholarship for Global Village 2010 I had mentioned above does not provide travel and meals expenses. The airfare ticket will be approximately $1700 and the cost of meals and personal expenses is estimated between USD $900-$1600 during the six-week program. So $1700 for ticket and $1000 is for meals, which is a total of $2700. I need this money by May 15th. Unfortunately my family and I cannot afford to pay this amount of money, since my mother gets paid 160 AZN each month and I get a stipend of 34 AZN from my university for getting good grades. I really need the support. I hope you can help me achieve my goals. Any amount would be appreciated.