Shaheen Hosts Afghan All-Girls FIRST Robotics Team, Presents Them with Congressional Record Statements
**The Team was initially denied visas to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, D.C.**
**Senator Shaheen’s office contacted the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on their behalf to urge approval of their visas**
Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Hassan with the Afghan robotics team
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the only woman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hosted the Afghan robotics team in her Washington D.C. Senate office. Shaheen met with team members Lida Azizi, Somayeh Faruqi, Rodaba Noori, Fatemah Qaderyan, Kawsar Roshan, team sponsor Roya Mahboob, and their coach Alireza Mahraban, as well as Lael Mohib, wife of Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States Hamdullah Mohib. Shaheen presented the team with Congressional Record statements that honor their achievements and their determination to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, D.C.
“This team has become an inspiration for young women across the globe, especially for those in developing regions who face barriers to education and opportunity,” said Shaheen. “It was an honor to meet and thank these young women in-person for their perseverance in overcoming the many hurdles they faced in coming to the United States. During our meeting I expressed how proud I am of them, welcomed them to our country and encouraged them keep pursing their dreams. These brave young women have shown what hard work, creativity, and resolve can achieve.”
When the all-girls robotics team members were denied U.S. visas to compete in the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington, D.C., Shaheen’s office contacted the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on their behalf. Shaheen has been a longtime supporter of efforts that promote STEM education and programs like FIRST Robotics since her days as New Hampshire’s governor. In addition, Shaheen has been a staunch advocate of global women’s issues and promoting girls’ education worldwide, introducing the Keeping Girls in School Act to help address the unique barriers adolescent girls in developing countries face in accessing an education.