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Daniel T. Connor

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Goshen, NY 10924
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Goshen grad making a difference in Afghanistan

Emily Conley Enright and her husband with Interact Club membersMay 9, 2012 - When Emily Conley Enright was a student at Goshen High School, she discovered her two loves: traveling and helping people.

"I was president of Interact Club and I loved giving back to the community," she explained. "I also traveled overseas for the first time as a member of the National Honor Society. Both were such meaningful experiences for me, and I immediately knew that I wanted to travel and help people as part of my career."

After graduating from Goshen High School, Enright majored in English and Spanish at SUNY Geneseo and then went to law school at SUNY Buffalo. It's there that she landed an internship in Pakistan, which helped solidify her desire for a career that allowed her to see the world and serve those in need.

Emily, a 2001 Goshen grad, is now living her dream as a cultural affairs assistant at the U.S. Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, on the border of Iran. She arrived in November 2011 -- three months after her husband, Tim, a political officer, arrived in the providence. She had previously traveled to Africa and Asia for her work, and will be in Herat until August 2013.

As a cultural affairs assistant, Emily works with grass roots organizations that help empower and improve the lives of Afghan citizens. She has led numerous programs such as teaching citizens how to use social media, coordinating toy distributions for orphanages and women's shelters, and collecting blankets for internally displaced persons who were forced to leave their homes due to conflicts.

A recent project that Emily spearheaded was to collect socks for the people of Herat. According to Emily, the buildings in Herat were built for the hot, desert weather; currently, it averages 90 degrees. However, it gets very cold in the winter, especially in the evening, and homes and offices don't have central heating and offer little relief from the colder weather. Both Emily and her husband wear several pairs of socks to help keep their feet warm -- especially since it is custom to remove your shoes before entering a room.

Emily, Tim and their colleagues couldn't help but notice that many of the men, women and children who they work with had holes in their socks -- if they wore socks at all. So she decided to begin a sock collection, which was taken on by members of the Interact Club at the Goshen High School. The club members collected several boxes of gently worn or new socks, and Emily has begun distributing them to orphanages, women's shelters and schools in Herat.

While home recently, Emily and Tim visited with Interact Club members Mihai Andreca, Nadejda Dimitrova, Jonathan Laskoski and Nicole Rountree to thank them for helping with her cause. She discussed her life and work in Herat as well the hardships that the people face each day.

“To you and me, socks are such a basic necessity, we don’t even think about it,” she told the Interact members. “But even the smallest things can make a huge difference.”

Emily plans to spread her sock project beyond her providence, where there is even greater need.

Photo: From left, Mihai Andreca, Jonathan Laskoski, Tim Enright, Emily Conley Enright, Nadejda Dimitrova and Nicole Rountree.

About Alumni Spotlight
This article is the first of a new series for the Goshen Central School District, titled Alumni Spotlight. This website series will feature Goshen graduates and the unique and wonderful things they've been doing since graduation. If you'd like to suggest an alumni to be featured in Alumni Spotlight, contact Public Information Specialist Christina Gore. Please note that features are selected at the discretion of the superintendent.