2019– TEXAS (DALLAS REGION)
Frishta Nasari is a senior at Emmett J. Conrad High School in Dallas. Frioshta fled war and persecution in Ghazni, Afghanistan at the age of 13. After living as a refugee in Sri Lanka for two and a half years, she and her family were resettled in Dallas by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). As a result of her journey, Frishta missed a year and a half of school and was forced to restart her education as a freshman at Emmett J. Conrad High School. As the first in her family to attend high school, Frishta felt immense pressure to pave the way for not only herself, but for her four younger siblings. Frishta took great strides to catch up with and even surpass many of her peers. She managed to skip a grade, positioning her to graduate a year early with a distinguished high school diploma. Despite the obstacles, Frishta excelled at her studies, but quickly discovered the tension and misconceptions about refugees. Determined to find a solution which could engage individuals personally with the refugee experience, she teamed up with the IRC to lead outreach sessions at the IRC's office, local churches, and universities. Speaking to individuals ranging from high school students to retirees, Frishta educated listeners on the lives of refugees and displaced peoples, dispelled myths about U.S. immigration, and shared her personal journey of fleeing Taliban rule. Frishta hopes that with this knowledge, people will be able to work together for a more unified, diverse, and accepting community. Since Frishta began volunteering, the IRC has seen dozens of individuals and groups engage in their work of helping to welcome new refugee families to Dallas.