Nur Kose, a home-schooled 11th-grader, recently was named one of 10 national winners of the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship program, earning her $10,000 for college. In April, Gov. Jack Markell also named Nur an Outstanding Youth Volunteer.
Each of those groups praised Nur for a different volunteer effort.
The scholarship recognized Nur’s work raising money for wells in drought-stricken Africa. After meeting with the Zakat Foundation, an international Muslim charity organization, Nur learned she and her friends could pay for a well to be drilled in an area where water is scarce and clean water almost nonexistent.
“Kids in these countries are having to walk miles and miles just to get water,” Nur said. “And even when they get the water, it’s dirty.”
Nur rallied a group of friends and started seeking donations. She made online videos explaining the plight of those she was working to help and keeping donors up to date on their progress.
“Those videos were a big part of why she was able to get all that money,” said Nur’s mom, Nayma. “We were hearing from people from all over the place who were watching those videos.”
In the end, Nur and her friends raised enough money to drill 23 wells in countries like Somalia, Ghana and Kenya, providing easier access to water for thousands.
“She worked hard to educate the community, solicit donations and host bake sales to raise money for the purchase of new wells,” said a release from Kohl’s. “Thanks to her efforts and the support from her community, she was able to far surpass her goal.”
The well project is only one of Nur’s efforts. Markell’s office recognized her work helping students with writing and getting students involved in reading.
Nur herself is an avid writer. She’s penned a series of children’s books about an American Muslim family.
“They’re about being a Muslim in the U.S., but they’re just ordinary people just like anyone else,” Nur said.