Firuza Gulayozova

International Research Exchange Fellow

As an English and Humanities Teacher and Counselor in Khorog, Tajikistan, Firuza assists youth and adults in overcoming challenges related to conflict and tolerance among the younger generation.

Firuza joins YES Institute through the International Research & Exchanges Board’s (IREX) Community Solutions Program. It is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders working in transparency and accountability, tolerance and conflict resolution, environmental issues, and women and gender issues.

She has developed skills in listening to the problems of young people and helping them find solutions themselves by preparing activities to overcome social problems and educating youth about different languages and cultures.

During her four-month fellowship in the United States, Firuza hopes to learn more about the important role education plays in facilitating dialogues that have youth express what they are dealing with in their lives. She also aims to develop her skills in community leadership, communications, and inspiring others to be their best.

Upon returning to Tajikistan, from the Community Solutions Program, Firuza plans to establish a non-governmental organization focused on helping youth to overcome stress, and to aim towards the future through participation in various camps and activities.

Why did you choose to be a Fellow with the International Research Exchange’s Community Solutions Program?

Beside teaching at schools as a volunteer, I have participated  in activities and events like youth summer camps and other social events. It gave me the chance to see myself in a different role – as a leader and facilitator.

The Community Solution Program (CSP) is one of the programs that will help me develop my leadership skills, as well as allow me to learn from other leaders coming from different countries. In addition, working with different organizations and gaining experience in the U.S. is another great opportunity for me.

What inspired you to choose YES Institute as your host organization?

Youth need support from a person they can trust in order to find solutions for their problems. YES Institute already works on a lot of the youth challenges I am interested in. In addition, YES Institute provides educational courses which are very relevant and helpful for what I want to accomplish in my community.

The world is changing so rapidly, and we can better learn and prepare ourselves for it. So far, I have learned many new ways of looking at the challenges we have in Tajikistan. I hope to gain more knowledge by participating in all their courses and experiencing the dialogues in the community.

What do you hope to accomplish during your four months here in the United States, with YES Institute?

I would like to observe and see what kind of issues youth face in the U.S and particularly here in Miami. I want to see how YES Institute addresses these challenges. I would also like to improve my skills in different areas, from computer applications to public speaking.

Name a peak experience in your life. What happened?

Being with YES Institute in Miami, Florida! I would have never thought about being here in a million years. Everyday I learn something new and I am thankful that I am part of this group, and part of such a knowledgable team.

What is something you hope people know about you?

I want to be the best teacher I can be. I want to bring positive changes to my school, society and to the world that we live in.

Before today I only saw two solutions to arguments: either we agree, or I ‘prove my point.’ Now I can open space for real conversations and relationships.

Amanda, teacher

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