Pakistani Students Views about Community College Initiative Program

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The Community College Initiative (CCI) Program is designed to support young professionals at accredited U.S. community colleges for one year of non-degree study. This program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Northern Virginia Community College as a member of the Community College Consortium. CCI Program is providing opportunities for individuals to develop leadership, professional skills and English language proficiency, while studying at a community college in the United States. The program also provides opportunities for professional internships, service learning, and community engagement activities. This year 40 Pakistani boys and girls are selected for CCI grant in different fields like Agriculture, Applied Engineering, Business Management and Administration, Media, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Public Safety (Rescue/Disaster Management Services) and Early Childhood Education. What they think so far about United States and CCI? To get the answer of this question, read their views:

Qasim Khilji – Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, Arizona

PDO CCIP IslamabadI am a student of Business Management at SCC. What I am missing the most about Pakistan is Pakistani food. I just started eating American food, it is good but when I compare it to Pakistani cuisine, then it is just tasteless. I am also missing food made by my mother. I am passionate about my field of study and would like to share what I really I want to do after CCIP. ”I feel that many organizations in my home country are not progressive enough, they can’t give a world class corporate culture to their employees, so here in America I want to experience all aspects of making business successful and will give my community understanding of ‘basic’ language of business, clear business vision, clear go-to market strategies, corporate governance experience, business innovation, corporate social responsibilities, consumer respect and much more,”

Habiba Hussain Qazi – Valencia College, Orlando, Florida

Habiba Hussain QaziI am from Chakwal Pakistan. I am honored to be selected from the small city of Punjab. I didn’t get the opportunity to study in best Universities of Pakistan. After graduation, it was very tough time. I thought I am nothing just a useless person but one thing always motivate me I have to do. If I will give up I will never succeed and I did.

I love the saying of Erma Bombeck; When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’. I want to pursue my career as a successful entrepreneur; I would say a “Ladypreneur”. In Pakistan, Women are still facing discrimination in the work force. I want to offer them best opportunities for economic expression through entrepreneurship. I believe entrepreneurship plays a significant role in the prosperity of economy. I want to empower them so they can contribute in economic growth of Pakistan. After the completion of CCIP, I want to motivate and training women in Pakistan, so they can come to know how they can start their own businesses on small scale.

Therefore, I am here in Orlando Florida. I am missing Pakistan, obviously it’s my motherland. I am missing Pakistani food. I am sorry to say I can’t eat American food 😉 It’s really difficult for me. I cook Pakistani food every once I get chance, present to American people and the love it. Its bit spicy for them but they love it. I am also discovering the hidden talent of cooking in me, now I know I am a good chef too.

Sarah Naqvi – Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wisconsin

Sarah Batool NaqviHi, this is Sarah Naqvi from Karachi, Pakistan. I have got the opportunity to study at Fox valley Tech. I am studying early childhood education. When I applied for this program I wasn’t very much sure that I will get a positive reply from the USEFP but I not only got the call, I was selected for the program too. After finishing this course, I would like to go back to my country where I will setup a small library for kids. I will conduct workshops there for teaching kids English language make them love their books. I will work more on concept building rather learning topics without knowing anything about it. I will train parents about how to help their kids and develop their language skills. Here in America, I miss my home country’s food a lot because Pakistani cuisine is so delicious. I love the rule of law and discipline here. People are so courteous and loving too.

Shafat Ullah – Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona

Shafat UllahMy name is Shafat Ullah. I belong to Peshawar, Pakistan. Currently I am studying at Mesa communitu college Arizona. I would like to share a couple of things, which are What Pakistanis think about the people of the US and how they really are? And what I learnt during my stay in the US.

1. What Pakistanis think of the people of US?
Prior coming to the US, I was told by many people in Pakistan that people of the US are so proud, harsh and racists. They would look down upon you. Be mentally prepared for being insulted. In reality, when I landed on the Phoenix airport, a bunch of the best people were waiting to receive me and welcome me with high esteem. My host parents Bill Peschka and Ann Peschka are so loving and caring. They never let me feel even for a moment that I was away from my country.

2. My Learnings:
Volunteerism is one of the most valuable assets of the US. Students are offered extra points in schools by doing volunteer activities. I would like to suggest it to the concerned bodies of primary, middle, high schools and colleges in Pakistan to introduce volunteerism in the educational institutes and make it a part of the curriculum. Student may be assigned the task to clean the streets once a week by offering extra points in their grade so that it will not only save the finance the national exchequer but also it will create a sense of patriotism among the students. Students who clean their country with their own hands will not only avoid throwing trash in the streets by themselves, but also they will stop other people to do so. It will change the minds of the people about the country which will lead to massive positive change.

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Qasim is an accounting and auditing professional in Pakistan, where he graduated from University of Peshawar with a degree in Commerce, majoring in Accounting. Qasim came to Arizona at the invitation of the U.S. Department of State in their Community College Initiative Program. This program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Northern Virginia Community College as a member of the Community College Consortium. Qasim has more than four years experience in the social sector, specifically, working in donor-funded projects with various international organizations and UN agencies like the World Food Program, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and National Education Foundation of Pakistan, among others. He independently began operations of a small business incubator. Qasim's dream is to become a social entrepreneur and serve his country internationally and domestically.

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