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Freshman AUAF Student a Winner in World Bank Group’s Youth Summit Competition

8 December 2016

Mr. Shoaib Mehryar, a freshman at AUAF, led a winning team at the competition for innovative education programs at the World Bank Group’s Youth Summit 2016, held 14-15 November in Washington, DC. The theme of the Summit was “Rethinking Education for the New Millennium.” A component of the Summit was a competition to recognize innovative programs on education. Mr. Mehryar represented the ROYA Mentorship Program, an initiative in Kabul that he co-leads.

The ROYA Mentorship Program, which was established in June, 2016 and is currently helping nearly 100 underprivileged students to take private English classes and develop computer skills. Each student has a sponsor who pays $12 a month for their class fees, books and weekly internet access so that students can communicate with their sponsor by email and become familiar with technology. They also match students with a one-on-one volunteer mentor who serves as a role model and motivates, encourages and supports the student.

ROYA Mentorship Program was selected from 875 proposals and 103 countries to be one of six finalist teams to participate in the Youth Summit Competition at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. Over 400 participants representing 75 nationalities attended, all with one aim – to make the world a better place to live.  As team leader, Mr. Mehryar pitched their program in front of the Summit attendees, a panel of expert judges, and 12,500 viewers around the world watching via livestream video. His pitch can be watched at http://live.worldbank.org/wbg-youth-summit, starting at 1:13 on the video.

The winners were announced four hours after the presentations were finished. Mr. Mehryar recounted the announcement of the results: “I heard the announcer shout, “And the co-winners are…. ROYA!! Where are you ROYA?!!” I can’t describe the happiness that I had in my heart at that moment. I was so emotional because I knew that the whole ROYA family won and we brought hope and smiles to all of them, especially our students.”

ROYA Mentorship Program will now go to the International Council for Small Business - ICSB 2017 World Conference in Argentina. Mr. Mehryar states “I have great hope for the ROYA Mentorship Program and look forward to replicating it in other parts of Afghanistan.”

Mr. Shoaib Mehryar is a freshman at AUAF, planning to major in Business. He chose AUAF because he considers it the best university in Afghanistan. His future plans are uncertain, but he is determined to continue in all his efforts to serve his nation and help the underprivileged people in Afghanistan.

AUAF is proud to count Mr. Mehryar as one of its students and warmly congratulates him on his outstanding work to encourage education in Afghanistan.