Get Inspired: Meet Our Three Courageous Scholarship Recipients
We believe everyone should have the opportunity to not only discover what inspires them, but learn how to harness that inspiration to drive their future success. As a leading technology company, we understand we have a responsibility to provide these opportunities, especially to underserved minority groups, which led to the establishment of the NetDocuments WorkInspired Scholarship Fund earlier this year.
Thanks to employee donations and a corporate match, we were able to raise over $47,000 toward scholarships, enabling us to award three outstanding individuals with $10,000 scholarships and paid summer internships in our inaugural year.
We received well over 1,800 submissions, detailing inspiring stories and impressive accomplishments. Of the applicants, 10 finalists were selected, with three receiving the Work Inspired scholarship: Anysia Boozer, Ashis Dhakal, and Nouran Salih.
Each of these impressive individuals have overcome numerous challenges throughout their life and embody what we believe working inspired really means. Using their challenges to drive their success, each of these recipients has made significant impacts on their families and communities.
Read on to learn more about Anysia, Ashis, and Nouran’s powerful and unique stories, and what has inspired them along the way.
About Anysia: Anysia is from a small town in Cartersville, Georgia, where she’s lived with her mom and two siblings while attending Cartersville High School. She loves school and learning, as it simply comes naturally to her. She’s always surrounded herself with those who inspire her and share her passion for a strong work ethic, which has created a healthy competition that pushes her to be her best.
Anysia, you told us that you have been mindful to surround yourself with people who push you to be your best. Is there someone specific who has inspired you to work as hard as you have?
I am most inspired by my mom. She is a single parent who has raised me and two other siblings. She always pushed me to perform at my best, and I believe I did—and continue to—because of her belief in me.
Another person—or group of people, rather—are women (especially women of color) in STEM positions! Growing up I would always search for them when visiting doctors, dentists, or even my science and math teachers. Their success stories have made my dreams seem within reach. Knowing that they have gone through some of the challenges I face, and overcame them, is absolutely inspiring.
That’s amazing! It’s wonderful to hear you had such terrific role models. Are they part of what inspired you to continue your education post-high school?
Yes. No one in my household has graduated from college. After seeing how hard my mom worked and engaging with other amazing women, I’ve always known that I could accomplish more in life than what I was presented with, and the best way to achieve my dreams would be through an education.
We’re glad to hear it. You’ve been working hard to prepare yourself for years and already have numerous accomplishments. Which ones are you most proud of?
Graduating high school, and completing my first semester of college, with a 4.0 GPA has been an incredible accomplishment. But it was a special honor to serve my community during a project I created back home called Cartersville Feeds the Need. The members of this club purchase, prepare, and deliver meals to the local children’s shelter and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Simply wonderful. We’re so excited to have you join us in the summer with that work ethic. Can we ask what you hope to learn during your internship at NetDocuments?
I would like to gain valuable advice on what it takes to get ahead as well as helping me develop the knowledge and skills I need to succeed.
About Ashis: Ashis is from Nepal where he lived in a refugee camp, facing poverty and hunger daily. Inspired by his grandpa who always told him to study before bed, he had strong values instilled in him at an early age. Ashis has seen struggle and adversity first hand, and is using his personal experience, wealth of knowledge, and lessons along the way to create a better future for his family and community.
Ashis, your story was one that stood out among the applicants. Would you mind sharing it with us and how your experiences have inspired you to continue forward?
Dueto ethnic cleansing, my family fled Bhutan for Nepal. We were forced to live in a refugee camp where poverty and hunger were daily challenges. I did not have access to clean drinking water, fresh air, electricity, or a decent home. I had to sneak into the forest to get wood for fuel to cook our food. Police patrolled the woods and I knew if I were to get caught, I would be in jail. Getting a good education was very hard in the refugee camp. When the lantern's energy turned off, so did homework time. My baba (Grandpa) always told me to study carefully before the lights turned out. Our lifestyle gave us limited options: either remain in poverty and become sick or escape to a better life.
I became driven by the values ingrained in me by my family: being responsible, giving back to the community, and gaining as much knowledge as possible.
Through weathering adversity, I have come to understand that death is an inevitable loss, and life is a cherished possession. I know time must be used wisely and never wasted. I have accomplished my academic successes through hard work, patience, and determination. I have learned that the keys to freeing myself from poverty, adversity, and suffering stems from helping those in need and gaining knowledge through higher education. I did not become the person that I am today without stepping on stairs laid by others and by personally climbing over the obstacles of poverty, discrimination, lack of education, and lack of medical care. I will take advantage of the opportunities before me to better my future, family, and community. I know that with education, impossibilities become realities. My baba’s lessons push me to work non-stop while the lantern of opportunity shines on my life. I am determined to persevere through adversities, succeed, and be the person my Baba would be proud of.
Thank you so much for graciously sharing those experiences with us. Was there anyone you looked to during these and later times that helped you keep working towards future success?
As a child growing up in poverty was very harsh. I didn't have the right resources in front of me and I went through deep struggles during my time in the refugee camp, before I migrated to the United States with God's help and the people around me. I'm inspired by leaders like my parents, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, and my community back home in the refugee camp. These people have taught me the core values of leadership and have inspired me to work hard in life and to always give back to those who are in need.
That focus on leadership and hard work will definitely take you far. As you thought of your future, what inspired you to further your education?
Coming to the U.S., I was amazed by how people lived: a reality I only dreamed of in Nepal. The inequity between the two countries—knowing how many people died or lingered in wretchedness simply because they did not have food, shelter, adequate medical care, or access to education--dismayed me. I struggled, not sure what to think of all the excesses in my new world. I was shocked to see food wasted and surprised that students did not understand the value of their free education. Seeing my friends not value their free education at an early age made me work twice as hard as them. Ever since then I was inspired to pursue my education.
Those are some great insights, and a perspective we could all be more aware of. As you think about your years here in the U.S. are there any accomplishments you’re particularly proud of?
I attended two national Boy Scout Jamborees and spent a week at the Teton Leadership Camp in Wyoming. I served as Senior Patrol leader for seven years, mentoring other scouts from Nepal, Thailand, and Africa. I also served as Assistant Patrol leader and quartermaster in Troop 1524, earning fifty-eight merit badges. I organized and executed an Eagle service project at Jordanelle reservoir, marshaling more than thirty people to remove debris, rocks, and deadfall. I also coordinated with the organization cleaning, clearing, and cutting brush, trees, and rocks for a three-acre area at the Ross Creek campground, providing 750+ working hours of service. Getting my Eagle Scout, and working towards it for eight years, is something I'm most proud of.
We are so proud of you for all that you have accomplished and we can’t wait to get to know you better during your internship. What are you most hoping to learn when you join us this summer?
I believe the real value of dreams comes when we apply what we learn in life to solve problems that we face in our everyday lives, and that helping each other impacts the communities that are struggling most.
Through my mentors and friends at NetDocuments I want to learn about the application of diversity in a company setting and am determined to educate myself on where each staff is from.
I’m thrilled for the opportunity to connect and learn what it takes to work for a company like NetDocuments and am very excited to get to know everyone!
About Nouran: Nouran is 18 years old and from Baghdad, Iraq. Growing up, she moved often as her family searched for a safe place to call home, and has been passionate about creating a stable life for herself and her family. Influenced by her parent’s determination to create a better life their children, Nouran is determined to receive a law degree and provide the life her parent’s have worked tirelessly for.
Nouran, you told us you’re originally from Baghdad. Can you tell us more about your background and what brought you to the U.S.?
My family and I moved from our country in late 2015. It’s been an amazing experience living and learning new things in the States. I’ve grown mentally and have matured thanks to the experiences I’ve had here and abroad as we’ve traveled to numerous countries trying to find a safe place to call home. I’m beyond grateful to have the opportunity to finish my education here in the U.S.
We’re so glad to welcome you back to the States and have you here! Tell us, was there anyone who inspired you to keep moving forward as you searched for a place in the world?
My parents are a big inspiration in my life. Both of them received degrees in Iraq, but unfortunately, they did not transfer here. Still, they took a chance and fought for me and my younger brother to have a solid future. They both have worked tireless to give us the happiness they feel we deserve.
Your parents sound like amazing people. As you think about your education, what has inspired you to reach out for a higher education?
I have a goal of becoming the first in my family to have finished their education in the U.S. and build a career so one day I can reward my parents for all of the sacrifices they’ve made for me and my brother. I’m determined to attend law school and become a lawyer.
That’s very exciting, we can tell you would do well already. As you think back, what accomplishments have you been most proud of thus far?
Throughout high school I worked a full-time job to help support my family. And while that is a challenge alone, it was more challenging to do so while achieving high marks in my coursework. The simultaneous demands of school and work taught me just how tenacious and determined I could be.
I am also so proud of being multilingual. Throughout my time in the U.S. I have focused on becoming fluent in English, translating for my parents along the way and contributing to my success in University course work.
Those are some fantastic accomplishments. We are thrilled to welcome your tenacious spirit to NetDocuments! Looking ahead, what are you most excited to learn during your internship here in the summer?
I’m hoping to polish my communication skills through interacting with more experts to add to the education I’ll be receiving and round out my skillset.
Every member of our NetDocuments team is eager to personally meet with Anysia, Ashis, and Nouran during their summer internships. Each of them will have the opportunity to work in various business units to provide them an in-depth look at what it takes to run an industry-leading, worldwide company. Throughout the internship, mentors will be available to support them in harnessing their individual inspirations in ways that will drive their future success.
We can’t wait to see what they do.
Know someone who comes from an inspiring story, and is looking to further inspire others? Invite them to apply for our next round of scholarship awards for the 2022 academic year. Applications will be accepted beginning of Spring 2021.