Zayda, Aysha, and Fidan, Russia
As the Soviet Union was collapsing in 1990, Zayda, Aysha, and Fidan’s parents—Meskhetian Turks—were forced to flee from Uzbekistan to the Russian Federation. Yet they continued to be persecuted for their nationality and religion, never receiving citizenship or opportunities to work. In 2005, when the sisters were 8, 6, and 10, the family resettled in the States. Their mother is determined, loving, and the family planner. Their father, a construction engineer, has won state and national honors with his team in sheet metal skills competitions. The sisters distinguish themselves through scholarship and service. They are drawn to construction management, history and law, and nursing.
"Be helpful for yourself, your family, your relatives, your friends, and your community. This is how you are supposed to grow. Be honest. Value education. Respect other people, regardless of their religion or their appearance. It’s like the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do to you.'"