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2024 Women’s Summit guest speaker Annisa Jaghoori encourages students to persevere

Standing up on the podium in front of dozens of students stands a woman who is ready to share her story of extreme heartache and perseverance. An inspirational speaker, and the mother of one of our teachers here at County who has an interesting perspective about being a woman in today’s world took the stage and spoke about her story of adversity and rising above even the most seemingly impossible events. Annisa Jaghoori stood at the podium as a humble woman and shared a story that can make everyone in the room leave even more grateful for what they have than they came in with. 

Guest Speaker Annisa Jaghoori starts off her speech at the third annual LCHS Women’s Summit. (Brianna Martinez)

Coming from Afghanistan in 2001, she and her entire family started their journey in an entirely new country knowing almost nothing about what was going to happen to them. Some of the most basic tasks for us Americans were daunting tasks for her. “While my husband was somewhat familiar with the English language,” Jaghoori said, “mine was virtually nonexistent; all I knew were “yes”, “no”, and a few other basic words.” 

She already started her professional career back in Afghanistan, she was a registered nurse for 15 years and her husband was a hydrology engineer. Because of international regulations, her education was not credited here in the United States. “We started working as airplane cleaners at Dulles Airport, and I took English classes for adults two nights a week,” Jaghoori said. From having good, stable jobs, the Jaghooris basically had to start their lives over again.

After only a couple of years, more jobs, and five children later, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away shortly after. She was left to figure out life in an unfamiliar country with young and still dependent children without having much knowledge of what to do herself. Speaking at the podium, it was visible how much that hardship still weighs on her. “Sixteen days after his diagnosis, he passed on, and I was left with five kids,” Jaghoori said with tears in her eyes and a hoarse voice. She even audibly overcomes her struggles and continues to tell her story of perseverance. Her husband tried to offer as much support as he could in the time he had. “He would tell me ‘Don’t work so hard, focus on your education’. But what else could I do?” Jaghoori said.

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In her journey to attempt life as a single working mother, she studied to get her title as a registered nurse again in the United States and achieved her goal, something that she worked so hard to do. “At times, I felt like my body was present in class, but my mind was not; thoughts of all sorts would attempt to corner me, but I would not give in,” Jaghoori said. This was the catalyst for her to get her life back on track, even though nothing was ever really the same.
Her main message for young women from sharing her story was to persevere no matter what. No matter how unimaginable it may seem to keep going after such horrible situations, you have to think of the better outcome you will eventually come to. “Set yourself a goal and strive for it. You will face difficulties but those are the challenges that shape you and make you stronger,” Jaghoori said.

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About the Contributor
Brianna Martinez
Brianna Martinez, staff writer
Brianna Martinez is in her senior year at County. This is her second year on the newspaper staff and she plans to major in Journalism in college.

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