Allow Afghani Girls Robotics team to compete in USA by July 16th

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I'm the father of three young men who participated in, and had their lives changed for the better by participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition through high school. We were so impressed by the goals and results of the program that my wife and I volunteer and it is our #1 charity. This is really a movement that seeks to make the world better by teaching young people to work and collaborate while competing, and to celebrate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).

Six Afghani teenage girls have been denied visas to the USA to pilot their robot in an international competition designed to show off the teams' design, construction, and programming skills while addressing the challenge of providing clean water for the world. The team is led by Roya Mahboob, Afghanistan's first female tech CEO.  A more complete report from Forbes magazine can be found here:

Tens of thousands of high-school and younger students participate in challenges building robots and competing with other teams from around the world in what has been described as "the Varsity Sport for the Mind."

A Global Challenge competition will be held 16-18 July 2017 in Washington, DC around the theme of clean water supply.  Teams from around the world will be arriving, competing, and cooperating. The Afghani robot has been cleared to enter the USA, but not the young women.  More info on the competition and the organization can be found at:

This petition calls on the US State Department to expedite review and granting of visas for the six young women and their coach, so they can have the experience of collaborating and competing with like-minded youths from around the world, and return with the spirit of STEM and FIRST to their native Afghanistan.

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