Receiving the prestigious Global Explorer Scholarship from John Cabot University has been a dream come true for me. Growing up in post-9/11 Afghanistan meant I had to endure many of my country’s dividing conflicts and stagnation in terms of progress. Because of the generation I grew up in, being accepted to one of the best American universities in Italy was a shock and a wonderful surprise. I love looking back at the progress I have made, and the journey that has led me to John Cabot University.
I still remember my first day of elementary school. It was the first “Back to School” day in 2002, just after the Taliban government was ousted. Students attended classes in “schools” set up in anything from tents to mud rooms, truck containers to brick buildings. For the next four years–until fourth grade–I attended classes in a tent. There were days when our school time would coincide with violent battles taking place among warring parties. It is no exaggeration when I say that at times we had to risk our lives in order to receive an education.
Completing 10 years of education under such difficult conditions, becoming an ASI (Afghan Scholar Initiative) scholar, and subsequently being admitted to Woodstock School, an international high school in India, was nothing less than a victory for me. In 2015, I left my home and my family for the rural Himalayas to join Woodstock for 11th grade. Upon my graduation from Woodstock in 2017, I was faced with a mix of confidence from this achievement, and anxiety about my future waiting for me back in Afghanistan. This truly shaped my quest to aim higher and to continue reaching my goals.
During the Fall of 2017, I enrolled in the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) for a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration. Although my time at AUAF has enabled me to understand the importance, and fragility, of policy-making and the power of politics in my country, I have realized that it is also important to understand how politics, policy-making, and policy implementation occur internationally. I had a desire to participate in programs outside my country in order to reflect upon my own experiences, share my insights with others, and learn from others’ experiences. I felt that the only way I could realize these goals is by attending a university with a solid Political Science program, such as John Cabot.
As I applied to JCU, I found many courses that I felt would contribute to my journey of achieving my noble objectives. John Cabot’s Political Science curriculum includes Modern Political Theory, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, and The Political Economy of Globalization. I believe these rigorous courses will help me gain the skills and knowledge to contribute to society and the international community in today’s political climate.
Moreover, I believe that John Cabot promotes inclusiveness and encourages engaged learning in a changing global community. By joining this wonderful environment, I aspire to grow and become a perceptive, insightful, and compassionate individual so that I may work toward improving the global political landscape. I can’t wait to get to the city and university of my dreams!
Mohammad Fayaz Yourish
Class of 2022
Political Science Major
Hometown: Parwan / Kabul, Afghanistan