Junior aids Iranian students after visiting local school


During winter break, Nicole Bahar ’18 visited a school in the village of Shemshak, Iran, where she taught English to elementary school students. Bahar has been working with Iranian kids since ninth grade when she held a shoe drive for students in Khorasan. Credit: Printed with permission of Nicole Bahar

Emory Kim

Inspired by her heritage and travels to Iran, Nicole Bahar ’18 will host a bake sale Jan. 23 to raise money for an elementary school in the Middle Eastern country.
During winter break, Bahar traveled to the Iranian village, Shemshak, which is two hours north of Tehran.

“[Shemshak is] like this very poor ski village where my mom actually grew up skiing and became a ski instructor during the Iranian Revolution,” Bahar said.

At the local elementary school, she spent five school days teaching English and playing games with the students. She also provided them with resources that are unavailable to the students, such as candy, toys and school supplies.

Bahar’s mother had been informed of the school by her friends who still live in Shemshak and was in contact with the school’s principle, inspiring her visit and her fundraising plans.

“Hopefully, this bake sale will be able to raise more money for buying computers,” Bahar said. “We already provided them with a few computers, but of course it would be nice if there were enough for the whole school.”

Although the project is independent from the Project Girl to Girl club, which aims to encourage girls to join STEM subjects by holding workshops once a month at Carpenter Community Charter School, student members of the club will help by baking and selling baked goods during break. Bahar serves as the club’s chief curriculum developer.

Bahar also hosted a shoe donation drive as a freshman at the Middle School for an all-girls school in the city of Khorasan. She was able to collect 120 donations for the school.

“I just think its one of the most amazing experiences because these girls and boys who have so much less than us and are living in a very oppressive country are so happy about life,” Bahar said. “They take every day like a piece of candy, and it’s so amazing how positive their attitudes are.”