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Returned US Summer Sisters Exchange students share their inspiring experiences

Returned US Summer Sisters Exchange students share their inspiring experiences

The Summer Sisters Institute offers unique educational experience and mentor promising young Pakistani female students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

ISLAMABAD — Young Pakistani female students, who recently participated in the Summer Sisters Exchange Program by United States, now aim to serve as community leaders in their respective regions and fields.

Students were warmly welcomed by U.S. Embassy and iEARN Pakistan at a welcome-home ceremony in Islamabad.

Around 19 female Pakistani students were part of Summer Sisters Exchange Program 2016 and spend their cummer at U.S. universities, including Harvard, American University, and Smith College. The students, ages 15 to 18, spent the summer studying science, leadership and international affairs.

“The U.S. Embassy sponsors this program because all children – no matter their gender or their economic background – have the potential to develop into community leaders and deserve a quality education,” said U.S. Embassy Deputy Cultural Affairs Officer Maureen Mimnaugh. “I look forward to seeing the participants in this program inspire other students in their communities and implement their new leadership skills.”

The Summer Sisters Institute, launched in 2013 by the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council, aims to provide a unique educational experience and mentor promising young Pakistani female students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Since 2013, a total of 42 Pakistani girls have participated in this exchange program.

“Exchange programs like Summer Sisters are intensive, structured, and powerful,” said iEARN Pakistan Executive Director Farah Kamal. “Through this program, students develop lifelong friendships and gain knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion to make the world a better place.”

“Summer Sisters was the best summer of my life,” said 2015 program alumna Kainat Kanwal, who attended American University’s Community of Scholars program. “I especially enjoyed the opportunity to do community service alongside my American friends, and I used my new volunteering skills when I came home to set up a hygiene camp for mothers and children in Sialkot.”

The Summer Sisters Exchange Program is one of many exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Every year, more than 1,300 Pakistanis travel to the United States on academic and professional exchange programs.

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