The Red Thread Foundation for Women is proud to announce our award recipients for the 2021-2022 academic year! Our winners are chosen from a pool of highly accomplished applicants based on written essays explaining the impact of their international background, academic and career goals, and recommendations. Our award winners are truly impressive, demonstrating academic excellence, community leadership, a desire to excel, and a commitment to improve the world around them.

As a witness to the need for high quality healthcare professionals for and from her community, Ashly will enter the University of Washington this fall to major in Pre-Health Sciences; her ultimate goal is to become an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. Ashly moved from Mexico as a young child and has first hand experience on the challenges of immigrant experience. Despite these challenges, Ashly says “These moments of pain, and having to overcome so many hardships have made me into the person I am today. A strong, independent and driven scholar with dreams of making a difference.” During high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Technology Student Association, and Debate Club.

Fiker will begin her college experience at Barnard College, where she plans to major in Urban Studies with a specialization in Environment and Sustainability. Growing up in New York as the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, Fiker got early exposure to the varied ethnic groups within Ethiopia – an exposure that helped her understand “those carrying a hyphenated identity” like herself. While still in high school, Fiker started to research the impact of climate on local communities, using location-specific information to project ecological changes. She also served as co-president of her school’s Students of Color Committee and co-organized her community’s Juneteenth Rally in 2020.

This coming fall, Nazira plans to attend Barnard College, majoring in Human Rights and Anthropology. She was raised with both American and Uzbek influences, and her immersion in different cultures led to a genuine appreciation for cultural diversity and curiosity about identify formation and culture performativity. In addition to her studies, Nazira also co-founded a mobile college navigation app that helps first-generation low-income students to overcome systemic barriers that prevent them from going to college. Looking toward the future, Nazira hopes to become a humanitarian diplomat within Central Asia.