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At the roof of the world, I saw how language could bridge two cultures.

Discover how a veteran’s experience and love of language are empowering him to connect communities that are worlds apart.

Rocket Fuel

  • Before

    The doors to my life as a linguist opened wide during my military career when I passed the Defense Language Proficiency Test with flying colors. I learned Persian Farsi, Dari, Pashto, and even Balochi. I went to Afghanistan where I brokered conversations between civilians and Afghan National Army officials—conversations that could change the fate of building new village bridges or safely completing evening patrols. I got out of the military a week before my classes started at Columbia.
  • Present

    I’m now continuing my Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on Turkish, with incredible exposure to global scholars and advisors who challenge me at every step. My peers and professors recognize me as a scholar and a veteran. I’m immersed in a new journey, attending World Leaders Forum events on campus, even meeting the ambassadors who helped bring peace to Iraq. I am also contributing to a thriving veterans’ community, volunteering with Team Rubicon for Sandy relief efforts.
  • Future

    My next pursuit? Studying Turkish through the Critical Language Scholarship program, which will enable me to live in Turkey—the country where East meets West.
  1. Before
  2. Present
  3. After
Watch My GS Experience
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