Atlas Corps celebrates its 15th anniversary! It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network of over 1,000 leaders from 104 countries and share stories on the global impact of our Alumni, Fellows, and Scholars.
Today we speak with our Alumna and a member of the Atlas Corps Board of Directors Nurangiz (Class 11, Russia, Host: Net Impact). Nurangiz currently works as the Alumni Volunteer Programs Coordinator at Central European University, where she engages the alumni volunteers through several amazing programs and volunteer projects.
Thank you, Nurangiz, for your continued work in furthering diversity through volunteer engagement and serving at the Atlas Corps Board. We appreciate learning about your advocacy work and your personal and professional growth. We wish you the best with this impactful work!
Name: Nurangiz Khodzharova
Home Country: Russia
Current Organization: Central European University, Atlas Corps Board of Directors
Role at current organization: Alumni Volunteer Programs Coordinator
Social Issues that you have worked with: Quality education, human rights, good health and well-being, migration and forced displacement
Tell us about projects you have worked on?
At Central European University, I am responsible for engaging our alumni volunteers and the global alumni network of close to 100 local chapters, as well as the Alumni Scholarship Program. Some major projects I have been involved in: developing and implementing the CEU Alumni Volunteer Engagement Program, managing the CEU Alumni Scholarship, and the Alumni Leadership Forum. You can find more information on these and other projects at alumni.ceu.edu.
Why is it important for you to work with education projects?
Central European University is a “crossroads” university where students from around the world engage in interdisciplinary education and address society’s critical issues. The University was founded in 1991 at the time of significant changes in Central and Eastern Europe. CEU promotes the premise of open societies and freedom of critical thinking.
CEU is one of the most densely international universities in the world. Its rare mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures creates an ideal environment for examining such “open society” subjects as emerging democracies, transitional economies, media freedom, nationalism, human rights, and the rule of law. It also brings multifaceted perspective to all aspects of community life.
Most importantly, CEU makes quality education accessible: more than 80% of our graduate students receive generous financial aid. As a CEU alumna, and someone who comes from the region, standing for open society, diversity, and access to education has always been my life’s primary goal. CEU’s values align 100% with my personal values.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional and personal accomplishments?
You can see there are obvious overlaps between CEU’s and Atlas Corps’ missions. I always honestly admit that my Atlas Corps Fellowship wasn’t a walk in the park—in fact it was much more challenging than I had anticipated. I didn’t fully grasp Atlas Corps’ contribution to my personal and professional life until after a year or so after returning back to my home country. At that point, I got a job with a major international NGO, where I found myself able and willing to contribute equally with a certain level of confidence that I had witnessed in meeting rooms in the US.
As an Atlas Corps Fellow, I had been exposed to concepts such as crowdfunding, human-centered design, the start-up ecosystem of Silicon Valley—all that helped me understand and keep up with cutting edge developments in social change and tech fields. Not to mention the diversity of the Atlas Corps network—I have tapped into it several times for professional advice and expertise.
In March 2020, I joined the Atlas Corps Board of Directors to help shape the future of Alumni engagement at Atlas Corps. Once again, this is a tremendous learning opportunity for me as it is my first time serving on a nonprofit board. I am honored and thrilled to be able to continue advancing the mission of Atlas Corps.
What is your favorite Atlas Corps memory?
By far, this is the President Obama’s second inauguration in January 2013. I also loved coming back to DC for a Global Leadership Lab Immersion (GLL) since I was based in San Francisco, which was a very lonely satellite location at the time. GLL allowed me to connect with other Fellows, with many of whom I have maintained a good friendship since.
What message would you like to send to individuals (volunteer, donors, Board of Directors) who support Atlas Corps?
Please continue supporting this wonderful community of global change makers. Together, we can make a difference, one fellow at a time!
On November 20, Atlas Corps celebrates 15 years of engaging social change leaders. Join us to honor our legacy of service with more than 1,000 leaders from 104 countries at the Atlas Corps 15-Year Anniversary Gala. We will convene friends of Atlas Corps from all sectors and regions of the world to reflect on 15 years of engaging social changemakers and inspire towards our future. Join to connect with our community, meet Fellows, and celebrate Atlas Corps!
Photo from the personal archive of Nurangiz Khodzharova