The Internship that Lead to Shaking Hands with the President

By Hameed Haqparwar


As an International Student at the Florida State University (FSU) with a Fulbright scholarship grant and summer Intern at Franciscan Action Network (FAN) in the United States, I feel honored to be part of very important and interesting advocacy efforts being made by FAN and other humanitarian and advocacy organizations in Washington, D.C. My nearly one decade of work experience comes from the particular field of monitoring and evaluation of International Development programs in Afghanistan mostly funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Studying in a graduate degree program in the United States and simultaneously attaining work experience from this summer internship at FAN in the field of public relations, immigration issues, advocacy and direct communication and coordination with both the United States Federal Organizations and as well as Congressional organizations such as the Senates Offices in Washington, D.C is giving me a completely different perspective that is significantly adding to my previous skills and knowledge.

As part of my internship assignments at FAN, in addition to several fascinating meetings and hearings I have attended at the House of Representatives and Senate Offices over the past couple of weeks, I attended President Obama’s speech event at Georgetown Waterfront – Key Bridge on July.01.2014. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to attend President Barack Obama’s and had the great pleasure of shaking hands with him following his speech!

Obama hand shake small to Janine

Many thanks to the world’s most prestigious Fulbright scholarship program, my school (Florida State University) as well as my summer internship at FAN in Washington, D.C. for paving the way for achieving this phenomenal opportunity! It is hard to describe the emotions and thoughts running through my head for shaking the president’s hand believing that I might be the first International Student, at least from Afghanistan, to be blessed with this lifetime and invaluable opportunity. Nonetheless, I have always believed that the United States is the true “Land of Opportunity”!

While I am very proud of myself and tremendously thankful to my family especially my loving parents, I’m also grateful to all those individuals and organizations who have significantly contributed both in my personal and academic life to help me achieve many of my goals that I would not have been able to accomplish without their generous support and encouragement.

Click here to watch a video of the event–including the handshake!

Published in: on July 7, 2014 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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