Doctors for Healthy Communities (DHC) recently sponsored a Muhammad Ali Center event honoring Louisville Racing FC player Nadia Nadim and screening a documentary about her life. Attended by more than 100 students from Newcomer Academy (of Jefferson County Public Schools) on Thursday, March 23, the event was a huge success and inspiration for those in attendance.
Nadim is an Afghani refugee. When she was 9 years old, the Taliban killed her father. Nadim’s family was forced to flee their home. They settled in Denmark before coming to the United States. All the attending students from Newcomer Academy were immigrants as well, and they found her story very inspirational.
“I’m super excited for them to see my journey because I think it’s something they can relate to,” Nadim said. “They’re in the same position and it’s a good way just to connect with the kids again.”
Scott Wade, a Newcomer Academy teacher, explained why it was important for his students to hear Nadim’s success story.
“Every student in that room has some story that is unimaginable to us. Going without food, leaving their family, many kids are separated. They need role models. They need someone to say, ‘yeah, this is possible,’” Wade said.
Before the film, Newcomer’s Afghan Choir sang Nadim a song about their home country, hope, and despair about Taliban rule. One student who survived a Taliban attack also shared her story. Nadim’s message asked those young people to consider a brighter future.
“No matter how hopeless your situation is, no matter how hard the start of your life has been, don’t give up. You know it’s possible you can turn it around, just work for it. It’s possible because I’ve done it,” Nadim said. “If I can do it, you can do it too.”
DHC President Dr. Muhammad Babar was one of the speakers who welcomed Nadim. DHC also presented shirts to the students which featured the school logo and read “Dream Like Nadia.”
The event saw major media coverage from WLKY, WDRB, Wave3, and Spectrum News. You may also view part of Dr. Babar’s introduction on Youtube and the JCPS post with additional photos on Facebook.