My pursuit of knowledge and excellence began in a poor farming family living in a remote village in Bangladesh. I finished my Secondary School Certificate examination from a village school, where few educational resources were available. After successful completion of my higher secondary school certificate examination, despite all the hurdles, the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), the leading engineering university in Bangladesh, granted me admission based on a highly competitive entrance examination. After working for two years in the software industry following the completion of my bachelor’s degree, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offered me admission with full funding. I am the first person who came to the USA for higher education in our local area which has a population of approximately 500,000. After completion of my master’s degree, I worked for two and a half years in the software industry and started my Ph.D. at UCR in 2016. My journey from a remote village to a capital city in an underdeveloped country, and then from a rural state to one of the busiest states in a developed country.
The hardships I faced in my studies to get admission at BUET encouraged me to help rural area students in areas similar to where I was born and raised. During the university holidays, I taught STEM-related courses and guided rural students on how to get admission to prominent universities in Bangladesh. I started arranging math Olympiads, quiz competitions, and speech competitions with the help of a local club during 2007-2009. Due to the inactivity of the local club, I co-founded the Education Foundation (http://efcharity.org) in 2010 with some of my friends. We started with fifteen rural area schools and seven volunteers on the team. Currently, we have more than forty volunteers working on the team. We cover approximately 20,000 students from 71 schools through our ten different programs.
The Education Foundation entered the 10th year in 2020. Currently, about 40 volunteers are working. Most of the members are public university students. Before 2016, we had donations only from some key members of the foundation. Now, we have a good number of friends and well wishers of the foundation who are supporting various ways to expand our activities. Without their continuous support, our foundation would not be where it stands now. Our activities would not have been possible without the psychological support of the school’s teachers. We are following the African proverb "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together". We have the dream to go far.
We are promoting students from rural and underprivileged areas through the foundation. We arrange yearly merit test exams, provide scholarships to bright but needy students for educational purposes, organize educational seminars, and conduct humanitarian works. We plan to create some good people who will continue to do the same things for the next generation. The Education Foundation is a platform where all good students can develop their leadership skills from our area. We formed the executive committee with the current university students. I believe that the actual development of our country will be possible only if the good people of Bangladesh can get to a higher position socially, professionally, and financially. Together we can develop a better community.
If you would like to know more about our foundation, please email me or give me your number to my team so that I can speak by phone.
Md Lutfor Rahman
Co-Founder, Chair. and Volunteer, Education Foundation
Ph.D. Candidate (4th year)
Computer Science and Engineering,
University of California Riverside,
Riverside, California, USA
Web: www.cs.ucr.edu/~mrahm011 EF: fb.com/EducationFoundationBangladesh