Mission & Beliefs:
Open A Door aims to become a driving force in building female leadership in post-conflict countries.
What We Do
OAD helps women from post-conflict countries become forces for change by obtaining a college education in the U.S. and being mentored to believe in themselves and know they are equal to men. Backed by intensive support and guidance, scholars are transformed into confident, vocal, and empowered leaders.
Why We Do It
Many sources point to women as key to ushering peace, prosperity, and women’s rights in the developing world. Yet, repressive cultural attitudes and lack of higher education prevents them from challenging the system. Widespread change requires an influential number be given opportunities to gain the credentials and the personal confidence needed to defy the system they grew up in, and thrive as change-agents and role models.
How We Do It
We identify academically talented young leaders who have few opportunities, provide in-country SAT preparation, and pair them with 5-6 American professionals who guide them in applying for scholarships. After they win a scholarship, OAD funds all non-scholarship costs, their mentor team supports them emotionally and helps them launch their career when they return home.
Scaling our Model through SHE-CAN
We have helped 20 girls from Rwanda and Afghanistan win full scholarships to study in the US. While we are proud of our success, 20 is not enough. Across the globe, countries face an undeniable need for educated female leaders.
To this end, we recently introduced a new scholarship program called SHE-CAN: Supporting Her Education Changes a Nation. SHE-CAN works on a broader systems level by inviting universities and corporations to come together to fund scholarships that build a steady, growing pipeline of highly networked leaders into the same five countries. By concentrating the impact of the scholarships, over time OAD intends to build an ever-expanding cohort of world-class, educated women who together become powerful enough to influence the future of their country.