March 21, 2017

Leading by example: lawyer Tiffani Sharp

BMKF scholars take new role model to heart

International lawyer and social entrepreneur Tiffani Sharp

Last month, when BMKF scholars were invited to meet U.S. immigration attorney and social entrepreneur Tiffani Sharp, they didn’t know what to expect. Tiffani was visiting Kathmandu to launch a new project for Willow Tree Roots (WTR), the nonprofit she founded and directs to help women in developing countries gain socioeconomic independence through entrepreneurship. In Nepal, WTR is partnering with Shakti Samuha, an organization that rescues women and children from brothels and entertainment industry. The project will teach income generating skills — including tailoring, design, and business management — to women survivors of sex trafficking.

Tiffani graciously agreed to meet with BMKF law students and other scholars for a lively conversation about women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment, legal studies, the US constitution, Nepal culture, the BMKF scholar experience, and more.

“My assumption was that, because Tiffani is a U.S. attorney, she would be very strict, but I was wrong!” admitted BMKF scholar Anisha Gautam, a first-year student at Nepal Law Campus.

“Tiffani is so kindhearted and loving, and she abounds with positive thoughts. She even brought us a gift, which I love — copies of the U.S. Constitution. Tiffani supports so many vulnerable people, and she inspires others to follow the path of what they want. She’s a lawyer, an entrepreneur, and a mother, but she said that’s she’s a not a busy woman. We asked how is that possible? And she replied amazingly that no one is particularly busy! Time is in our hands and we all have the authority to utilize it.”

Willow Tree Roots is teaching entrepreneurship skills to Nepalese women rescued from sex trafficking.

Willow Tree Roots is teaching entrepreneurship skills to Nepalese women rescued from sex trafficking.

Other BMKF scholars also took Tiffani’s “never give up” message to heart.

Here’s what they said:

“Tiffani told us that there will a lot of ups and downs in life and that even if you are a successful person, some people will try to bring you down — but if you stay on your point and know your topic you will eventually win any battle.”
— Binita Devkota (law)

“Meeting Tiffani was a great experience for me and for all BMKF scholars. She even discussed health topics like HIV/AIDS, and explained in detail to me. Such a wonderful moment for me.”
— Prabha Bohara (nursing)

“No matter what, keep moving forward! That’s Tiffani’s motto and I will make sure to apply it in my life. We talked about lots of things, including the idea that as women, we are not less than men. If someone is trying to repress you, then say DON’T. Raise your voice as loud as you can. Let people know that you are women and superiority is your right as well. Be a loving human being. And give. The more you give, the more happiness you get!”
— Chadani Shrestha (business)

“Tiffani is a tough woman in my life! I learned so much and was inspired by her views and experience as a woman who works in different sectors and who inspire others to invest in women too.”
— Manisha Shah (business)

“We shared stories about women’s empowerment, cultural differences in Nepal and USA, and perceptions in each country regarding women. We also talked about the Constitution and other laws, and what it’s like to be a lawyer in the US. She never got tired answering our queries and did so with a smile. I admired this trait of her’s the most! She’s a passionate and loving person.”
— Saniya Giri (law)

International attorney and social entrepreneur Tiffani Sharp with BMKF scholars

International attorney Tiffani Sharp met with BMKF scholars to exchange ideas about women’s empowerment, U.S. law, Nepal culture, and more.