Graduate Degrees at UW Oshkosh for Future Women Leaders of Afghanistan
Women are in the forefront of positive change in Afghanistan. A priority of the highest order is to provide world class graduate degrees to Afghan women of demonstrated potential. Oshkosh native and UW Oshkosh alumna Bethany Lerch worked in Kabul for 16 months until June 2016. She proposed an initiative to offer graduate degrees to qualified Afghan women, an enterprise that seeks to develop the expertise and leadership skills of candidates through a two-year Masters experience at UW Oshkosh.
“able to” began with a pilot student in September 2016. It hopes to grow by 1-2 students per year thereafter. Candidates must maintain passing grades and fulfill UWO’s graduation requirements. Most importantly, candidates must commit to returning to Afghanistan to share their skills and help others.
Known informally as the Afghan Education Project, “able to” is supported by multiple community organizations. UWO has reduced tuition fees to the resident rate, a host-family will assuage living expenses, and UWO’s Office of International Education will facilitate immigration and enrollment needs. For financial support, the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation facilitates tax-deductible donations.
On Friday, 20 October, 2017, able to’s founder appeared on the podcast, “Hacking the Red Circle,” speaking about able to, gender integration in Afghanistan, and the importance of helping others: