Alumni stories

Making a difference

Gantuya, known as the cheerful Ganaa among her friends and the alumni, is one of the most active and devoted members of the Mongolian U.S.G. Alumni Association (MUSGAA). Ganaa, a strong and active businesswoman who works for one of the most prominent busi-ness corporations in Mongolia, be-lieves in the importance and strength of volunteerism and community service.

"I believe that all exchange program students go back to their countries not only with academic advances, but also with deeper understanding about American culture and people, with inspiration to make changes to their life, community and country from what they have learnt while says Ganaa "because the unique ad-vantage of studying in the U.S. on Fulbright scholarship and at such a university as Williams College, is that you get a chance to explore the world just by coming to your classes and studying alongside students and scholars from all parts of the world". She says Fulbright orientation and enrichment programs bring together the bright and devoted scholars and these events teach one "to think out-side the box and motivate to want to do more.

Ganaa is one of the leading alumni who played a key role in the formation and promotion of the Mongolian State Alumni Association (MUSGAA).

She believes in the importance of sharing exchange experience and knowledge with the larger community and takes an active part in any activities for promoting international and mutual understanding.

Ganaa not only brings her excellent knowledge and education from the Williams College to the development of the business sector of her native country, but also works to promote in Mongolia such important social and democratic concepts as equal opportunities, community support and volunteerism that she has seen and admired so much in America.

Informed by her experience of having a disabled sibling, Ganaa has a strong passion for promoting an inclusive society for people with disabilities.

Gana's most notable contribution for strengthening alumni community was initiating and coordinating the English for Disabled project, one of the most notable and successful alumni project that brought together many alumni, American exchange students, cultural and educational nizing a highly successful English teaching and leadership camp for a selected group of people with physical disabilities.

She says "One of the reasons behind the general lack of understanding about the people with disabilities is the significant underrepresentation of their voices in society. These people do not have much chance to socially integrate due to lack of educational, employment and most importantly infrastructural barriers. For no public places and transportations that are accessible for people who use wheel chair." She believes that the key to change the current situation of the disabled in Mongolia is to empower the motivated members of the disabled community so that they can voice the needs and the interests of the disadvantaged. One of the main goals of the English for Disabled project was to open-up new opportunities for disabled youth such as taking part in U.S. government sponsored scholarships like Fulbright and thus enable them to fully take part in the development of the society in which they are living. In June 2010 when the U.S. Embassy, Wind Bird NGO and the Mongolian Alumni Association organized a Children’s Day event for 300 children with disabilities and their friends titled "Inclusive not Exclusive" Ganaa donated 50 t-shirts from her organization for the volunteers who worked at the event.

Ganaa is a definite example of how one devoted alumna can bring changes to so many people’s lives and motivate others to do the same.