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2021-2022 Ketonia Perseverance Scholarship Winner: Basir Talayee

2021-2022 Winner Basir Talayee

Basir Talayee is no stranger to struggle. Raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, he overcame many things on his journey to study in America.

After witnessing a bombing while on his school bus, he knew even before the blood was washed from his clothes that he needed to find a safe place to study. He used Google Translate to learn how to apply for scholarships after convincing his mother to buy a computer.

Basir often would write his applications by the light of a candle due to power restrictions in Kabul. He had to explain to his teacher what a reference letter was and had to help him write it. When the Taliban took over in 2021, he helped his parent’s family escape Afghanistan and apply for Humanitarian Parole with the support of his teachers and Advocates for the Human Rights Organization in Minneapolis. 

However, his educational pursuits did not prevent him from giving back to his community. Basir was the founder of the first soccer program for girls in Afghanistan. He was also a teacher at Youth Mirror Association, an NGO dedicated to helping underprivileged Afghani students get a better education.

Ketonia is proud to extend The $1000 Perseverance Scholarship to Basir Talayee and wish you the warmest of welcomes to America. May your time here enrich your life, and may you continue to be a shining beacon of perse

Basir teaching soccer in his home country of Afghanistan

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