The people I’ve met at Bucknell and the disciplines that I’ve learned in class have opened a door to a whole other world for me
"I've always been a management type of person. I love to manage big projects, especially those that are service oriented. At my high school in Afghanistan, where I grew up, I organized a club of my classmates to go out twice a week to pick up the trash outside my school. Although I did not know about managing for sustainability at the time, I definitely had an interest in it.
"When I came to Bucknell, I started taking management courses, and my interest in both sustainability and service work grew. In my Managing for Sustainability 200 course, we had a 'Science in the Community' project in which we delivered a presentation to an audience we thought was challenging or did not agree with what we presented. My group and I went to a local nursing home to speak about climate change. Members of the community started off disagreeing with what we were presenting, but then were willing to learn more and change their minds, which was really great to see.
"I think the coolest thing I've done so far is starting the first braille library in Afghanistan with the support of Bucknell. My older brother is blind, and it's hard for disabled kids in a war-zone country to get access to the things they need. I reached out to an organization called the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund about building the library. When the project was approved, I began researching what a braille library would look like. I used what I learned from Bucknell's Management 101 course, from organizing steps to take to writing business plans, to begin building the library. We did everything. We built the furniture and the cabinets for the books. And because the very few braille books available in Afghanistan were outdated, we got the books from Iran.
"Because I was working for a nonprofit organization while building the library, I was not getting paid. The Bucknell Public Interest Program gave me a $3,000 stipend, which was truly amazing. The people I've met at Bucknell and the disciplines that I've learned in class have opened a door to a whole other world for me. I could not be happier to be here."
Yasameen is from Kabul, Afghanistan.