Shabana Basij-Rasikh is the co-founder of SOLA—School of Leadership, Afghanistan – a people-to-people, non-profit organization dedicated to furthering educational and leadership opportunities in Afghanistan for the new generation, especially women. Born and raised in Kabul, Shabana finished high school in the U.S. through the State Department’s Youth Exchange Studies program and went on to graduate from Middlebury College in Vermont. In addition to leading SOLA, Shabana's advocacy work on the importance of educating girls takes her around the world. She is a global ambassador for Girl Rising, a call to action seeking investment in girls’ education worldwide. In recognition for her work, Shabana was named one of National Geographic’s 2014 Emerging Explorers, and one of CNN International's Leading Women of 2014.