Mission Essential Personnel Announces Scholarships For American University of Afghanistan
Chantilly, VA – Mission Essential Personnel, LLC, (MEP) today announced creation of a scholarship program at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), that nation’s only independent, private, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational institution of higher learning. MEP’s gift of approximately $50,000 will provide full tuition, room, and board for six students at AUAF.
“Education is the centerpiece for lasting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan,” said MEP CEO Chris Taylor, who was elected to the AUAF board in July. “Developing nations need quality universities like AUAF to build infrastructure, fight ‘brain drain,’ and unlock human potential. MEP has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the people of Afghanistan and we look forward to strengthening it through our commitment to AUAF and its goals.”
Four of the six scholarships will be dedicated to former MEP linguists who have served alongside US troops, or their family members. Half of the scholarships will be reserved for women. Winners can choose either a two- or four-year course of study, though MEP encourages students to pursue four-year diplomas so they can prepare themselves more comprehensively and thus contribute further to Afghanistan’s economic, social, and political future.
“We are enormously grateful for MEP’s support for our financial aid program, which is vital to the educational plans of so many our students,” said Dr. C. Michael Smith, president of the university. “Without such support, relatively few Afghan families can afford the high-quality university education that will produce the country’s next generation of business, civic, and government leaders. In light of AUAF’s commitment to the education of women, it is especially significant that MEP has directed that half of these scholarships go to female students. This will be a significant boost to our efforts to recruit the brightest and most promising young women to AUAF.”
Funded by the US government and private donations, AUAF operates on the American liberal arts model, promoting enduring American values while respecting local cultures and traditions. All courses of study are taught in English and follow a liberal arts tradition. AUAF offers undergraduate degree programs, English classes, a college preparatory program, and professional development classes. Approximately 550 students are currently enrolled, of whom 20 percent are female.
“MEP reaffirms its commitment to the partnership with AUAF and recognizes the positive impact such an institution can have on a society,” Taylor said. “MEP has a vested interest in the sustainable development and success of Afghanistan, based in our personal relationships with our employees, their families, and their communities. By supporting institutions that develop local talent and build local capacity such as AUAF, MEP advances its vision: to enable human freedom.”
From its campus in the capital city of Kabul, AUAF offers undergraduate degree programs, English classes, a college preparatory program, and professional development classes.
MEP is a global professional services company that provides human-capital solutions and program support to government and corporate clients. Currently, MEP is the US government’s leading provider of translators, interpreters and cultural advisors, with more than 6,000 personnel in 13 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. In addition to language services, MEP provides intelligence support, training and technical services to the US Department of Defense, intelligence agencies and international development organizations. Regardless of a mission’s size or complexity, MEP finds professionals with the skills to support it.