ARLINGTON, VA – Since its inception in 1991, The Century Council has been steadfast in its mission to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. While much progress has been made by attacking these problems head on, it is also important to examine these issues in a larger cultural context. The Century Council is proud to be celebrating its 20th Anniversary and recognizes that the past 20 years could not have been a success without the support of remarkable individuals who encourage health, wellness, and a commitment to eliminating drunk driving and underage drinking.
As part of the 20th Anniversary celebration, The Century Council will honor 20 People to Watch. These twenty people have distinguished themselves through their leadership, ideas and commitment to the health and safety of our nation and the idea of a brighter future for America’s young people. Established in their chosen professions, or just starting out, these twenty people are ones we are excited to follow in the future.
Shamila Kohestani is entering her senior year at Drew University and will graduate in June 2012 with a major in political science and a minor in women’s studies. Ten years ago Shamila was beaten by the Taliban, deprived of any education from age eight to 13, and confined to her home in Kabul.
Shortly after the Taliban were removed from power, she began to play soccer. Her soccer involvement and position as the captain of the first Women’s Afghan National Soccer Team, led to receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2006 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. During that trip to the U.S., she had the opportunity to attend the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership program in New Jersey. While at the program, she met a teacher from Blair Academy who convinced the school to provide a one year scholarship to Blair, a leading boarding school in New Jersey. Her experiences and her education have prepared her to begin working toward her goal of being an effective contributor in the struggle to advance human rights for women.
“Start from zero. Try to reach your goals. Of course it’s hard, but if you don’t face challenges, I don’t think you can achieve anything easily,” said Kohestani.
“Shamila has overcome many obstacles during her life so far and is a shining example for others.” said Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council. “We look forward to watching her continue to inspire others to face their own challenges with the same courage and strength she has.”
The Century Council is proud to celebrate the innovative contributions it has made over 20 years and can attribute our success to the support, encouragement and commitment of people like Shamila Kohestani. The Century Council looks forward to continued progress in the fight against drunk driving, underage drinking and a safer and healthier America. Individuals who are making a difference will help all Americans move towards this goal.
About The Century Council
The Century Council is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA; and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia and chaired by the Hon. Susan Molinari, The Century Council is a leader in the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision making regarding beverage alcohol. The Century Council develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns and promotes action through strategic partnerships. Established in 1991, The Century Council’s initiatives are highlighted on its website at www.centurycouncil.org.