Project Title: FLEX Alumni Network Conference Project
Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan

11703415_10207838932960673_8341798322908464297_oFLEX alumnus Vadim Abanin ’09 (Dushanbe, Tajikistan/Tomball, TX) organized a two-day FLEX Alumni networking conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Forty-two alumni from across Tajikistan came together to participate in this networking and professional development opportunity. Senior and recently returned alumni shared knowledge, opportunities, and connections through a series of panels, speed networking events, and workshops to develop community service projects, including a mechanism for 11012621_10207838934360708_3621938900104734941_ocontinued mentorship among participants. The main priority of the FLEX alumni conference was to assist and encourage alumni to promote the concepts and values learned during the exchange program among their community through events and projects. The ultimate, long-term goal is to provide a mechanism for continued networking between younger and older alumni for professional and academic development, mentorship support, and project implementation. By providing guidance and mentoring, as well as a space for networking, the alumni community will foster ongoing collaboration.

11802525_10207838936080751_5223012047890621315_oUnited States Ambassador to Tajikistan Ms. Susan M. Elliott attended the morning session of the conference to welcome and greet alumni. The conference was split into two parts, where senior alumni held trainings on career skills and shared their professional experiences and the second part where young FLEX alumni presented to the group their project ideas and received advise on potential funding opportunities and how to reach out to funders.