Dilanur is a molecular biology student from Alanya. Eda is an electrical engineering student from Urfa. Fatma studies at the Medical school and is from Batman. Gül, a political science graduate student, is from Urfa. Nevruz is a psychology major and is from Şırnak. These young women all have diverse backgrounds and are interested in differing fields and career paths. Yet, they have two things in common: they come from underprivileged communities and they want to make a difference in Turkey.
Last year we had the pleasure of meeting these incredible young women through a project created under TPF’s roof, initiated by Günay Aksoy: Educat8 Empowerment Program. Educat8 Program was created with a mission to provide opportunities for hardworking women. Five young women with excellent academic standing from low-income families were selected to spend a month in NYC at a language program.
When they were selected for the program, they couldn’t believe it was real. Eda’s mother thought it was a dream and had difficulty understanding why people whom they’ve never met, wanted to take care of her daughter in NYC. All five of the young women traveled outside of Turkey for the first time. They practiced English with volunteers, met with professionals within their study areas and broadened their horizons.
“I used to think I would work as a doctor from 9 to 5 in a hospital. But now, I have bigger dreams. I’d like to come to the U.S. for my specialty and make a medical discrovery. I want to be more than a doctor. I want to be able to make a change” says Fatma, on how much participating in this program changed her perspective on life. Gül knows firsthand how a person’s life can be touched through providing opportunities. She’d like to reciprocate the favor and promised that she would donate to a women empowerment project with her first salary after completing her PhD.
When asked what would they like to do in the future, they all gave us one answer: They’d like to pay it forward. They want to be successful in their areas of profession and do their best to transfer their knowledge to the younger generation. They all want to continue their studies in the U.S. to get the best education but they don’t want to stay and pursue their careers in the States. They want to go back to Turkey no matter what, and contribute to their country’s future. They want to change someone’s life just like this program changed theirs.
There are many women in Turkey with an amazing potential who can’t dare to dream big. We all have the ability to remove these barriers. If you are a believer of random kindness, join our efforts to build a brighter future through providing opportunities. Take a look at Educat8 Program’s page to see how your contribution will make an impact.