First Person

First Person: From Sindh to D.C. – A transformational professional exchange experience


By Prem Sagar

It was a rainy, grey August day when my flight landed at  Dulles International Airport.  ‘Here we are’, I thought to myself.  After a rigorous selection process spanning multiple months which entailed working out travel arrangements and resigning from my job, and I had finally arrived to start my new role as a fellow of the Atlas Corps—Emerging Global Leaders program for mid-career professionals.  As I looked to the grey sky, I thought about how tough the experience had been just to get to this point; these nine-months were going to be even more so, but I was up to the challenge.

With colleagues from Care International

With colleagues from Care International during the conference preparation

The Atlas Corps program is aimed at mid-career level professionals who are selected for a fellowship with a U.S. organization for the entire duration of the program. 

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Alumni News Reunions

AJK Annual Reunion: A Celebration of Active Community Service


By Rimsha Ali Shah

The stage was set for the 5th annual Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) chapter Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) reunion.   Over a hundred attendees filled the room from all over AJK, including Mirpur, Bhimber, Neelum and beyond, all gathered in the chilly November weather in Muzaffarabad.

Lubna, a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (KL-YES) alumna and Tayyaba, an International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) alumna kicked off the event-packed reunion by official welcoming their fellow PUAN members and acknowledging their achievements and continued commitment to community service in the region.

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Alumni News Alumni Success Story Grants

Communicating Through Cricket

“Strengthening Ties Through Sports and Community” participants are all smiles at the Saidpur Cricket Grounds.

By Rimsha Ali Shah

Why are sports important?

When it comes to the most popular sport of Pakistan, cricket, the answer is easy.  From late-night street matches, to amateur championships, to the prevailing craze during the official season of the T20s, test matches and the World Cup, cricket is the sport that connects communities in and outside of Pakistan.

Goldman Sachs Project Artemis alumna, Shah Rukh, capitalized on the connecting power of cricket in her second activity of her grant project series: “Empowering through Sports,” by organizing a day of cricket training camps between Pakistan youth and New York Police Department (NYPD) officers. This cricket day activity,

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Program Announcement

Program Announcement: Applications Open for SUSI 2016


12208383_10153369157643621_5634205615221260534_nThe U.S. Embassy invites students to apply for the six-week long summer exchange programs, Study of the U.S. Institute for Students Leaders at University of Massachusetts and Study of the U.S. Institute for Student Leaders on Women Leadership at University of Kansas.
The program is open for students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program with one semester remaining.  Students must fall between the ages of 18-25 to be eligible to apply for this exchange program.  Deadline for applications
is November 29, 2015.  For more details and application form,
please visit:

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Alumni News My Exchange Experience

My Exchange Experience: Mehwish Riaz Shares Her Thoughts


Mehwish Riaz-01-01-01

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Alumni News Alumni Success Story

From Small Time Farmer To Big Time Producer in Pakistan

Alvi (PK) Horticulture 229

Alvi may not be a household name in Pakistan yet, but he is starting to gain a reputation in his home province of Punjab, and across the country. He’s not a politician, and he isn’t known for his financial prowess – he’s known for his bitter gourds. In one short year, Alvi has revolutionized the way farmers across Punjab are growing this staple crop by using organic and low-cost measures that increase plant yields and fruit quality.

“My door is always open and my cell phone is always ringing,” Alvi jokes about his new-found popularity. “I’ve trained the farmers in my small village, and even had a farmer from a neighboring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa come and learn from me.”

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First Person

First Person: Borderless Thoughts by Sidra Saeed


By: Sidra Saeed, IVLP 2013

“We share the same blue print of life”

I have always been interested in getting to know more about Pakistan’s two neighbors, Bangladesh and India.  The reason behind this is very simple: we share the same history – a history that with passage of time has turned us more hostile.  Visiting these neighbors never gave me the feeling of being away from Pakistan.  The young generation of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh not only want to know more about each other, but also have a great urge to work together.  The border politics, unfortunately, have never made it easy for dreams to become reality.
While participating in TedxSecunderabad in Hyderabad as a speaker, I had the chance to be in India for the very first time in my life…

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Alumni in the Press Alumni News Alumni Success Story Grants

From Concordia to K2: CCI Alumnus Leads Volunteers For Eco-Friendly Tourism Drive


By Rimsha Ali Shah.

It is not possible to encapsulate the breathtaking magnificence of the savage yet grandiose K2, and the majestic centerpiece of the Karakorum mountain range – Baltoro Glacier – in words.  For adventure tourism enthusiasts from Pakistan and beyond, the Gilgit-Baltistan region, and the Baltoro Glacier and K2 basecamp specifically, provides a sneak peak of the haunting paradise that rests at an altitude of 28,251 ft.

Shamshad Hussain, a Community College Initiative alumnus from the region, through his alumni small grants project

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First Person

Opening Doors of Opportunity: Internship Program Brings Together Media Students


By: Ummul Baneen

As an ICFJ alumna, I have felt that the doors of opportunity are closed for many students of mass communication in Pakistan.  As part of the ninth cohort to attend an exchange program in the United States specifically designed for journalists, I realized that our youngsters were in dire need of training, similar to the opportunity I had at CBS 4 while on my exchange visit.  This is why, on my return, I initiated a six week internship program at SUCH TV for students of mass communication in Pakistan.  This initiative is modeled after the ICFJ program so that students in Pakistan may benefit from a global training.

Since its inception on June 27, 2015, the internship program has catered to a diverse group of students of media studies and mass communication from different universities including:

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Alumni News Alumni Success Story Mentor Program PUAN POST Reunions

Islamabad Annual Reunion: An Evening of Inspiration, Passion and Leadership

  • Islamabad Annual Reunion: An Evening of Inspiration, Passion and Leadership

By: Rimsha Ali Shah

The tweets were pouring in by the minute from all over the world, each accompanied by #PUANISB15. For many alumni, the PUAN Islamabad-Rawalpindi Chapter’s annual reunion was their debut at the largest gathering of exchange alumni from across the twin cities.  For others, the evening brought forward memories made in a bygone era.  It was for everyone, an evening to connect with the newly returned cohort of alumni, buzzing with the energy and passion to work for their community; an evening to reconnect and recharge by learning about the fantastic projects that were being undertaken by the senior alumni; and an evening to engage and get inspired by the enthusiasm of 600 exchange alumni.

What makes this meet-up a must-attend is the versatile group of people in the PUAN Islamabad-Rawalpindi Chapter…

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