A chance to escape your circumstances

Najib Afghan

Child Refugee

I’m the son of a cobbler and a loving mother from Afghanistan. I was severely injured in a Taliban missile attack and lost my 13-year-old brother. However, I received a tremendous opportunity when I was awarded a fully-funded place at Stowe, which allowed me to follow a different path to the one I was originally on. It was made possible because of one man, my friend and great mentor, Jerome Starkey, an Old Stoic, who approached Stowe. He happened to see the explosion and came to my aid. Maybe Jerome saw a Stoic in the making; he said to me afterwards that I had the mix of courage, charm and intelligence that defines Stoics!

This opportunity changed my life entirely. My education at Stowe gave me confidence, friendships, new perspectives on the world and a chance to really make something of my life. It enabled me to go on to university in the United States where I graduated last year with a Business degree. I am now hoping to do a master’s in Business Management, with a focus on the IT sector.

Thank you to all of the Stowe community for giving everyone a chance of a great education no matter what country you're from, your religious beliefs or how much money you have.

There may be many Richard Bransons or Henry Cavills out there with big dreams and ambitions but it is great people like Jerome, who put his reputation on the line for me, and institutions like Stowe that make those big dreams come true. Someday those dreamers will think forward and donate to help even more dreamers like me who otherwise won't be able to afford the great education and network Stowe has to offer.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Stowe and what it has allowed me to achieve in the last ten years.