I'm the son of a cobbler and a loving stay-at-home mom from Afghanistan where I was severely injured in a Taliban missile attack and lost a 13-year-old brother. But I had the tremendous opportunity to get a full scholarship at Stowe and choose a different life to the one I was given.
It was made possible because of one man, my friend and great mentor, Jerome Starkey who approached Stowe. He happened to see the explosion and came to my aid to find medical treatment in the United States a few years prior. 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. Had I remained in Afghanistan my future would have been very uncertain, but 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 hoping now to do a Masters in Business Management, with a focus on the IT sector. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Stowe and what it has allowed me to achieve in the last ten years.
Thank you to all the Stowe community for giving everyone a chance of a great education no matter what country you're from, or 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.