My Story

Sara Safari is an author, speaker, mountain climber, college professor and advocate for women empowerment. She was born in Iran. She moved to the United Stated in 2002 and continued her education in electrical engineering at UCLA. She graduated summa cum lauda in 2009. After working in large companies such as Broadcom and Raytheon, she realized her passion lies in teaching. When she started teaching at California State University Fullerton, she met the founder of the Empower Nepali Girls foundation. She decided to climb and summit Mt. Everest (29000ft) to bring funds and awareness for the girls who become victims of human trafficking or are forced into early marriage. Last year, during the devastating 7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal, she survived the avalanches on Mt. Everest and came back down to help the victims and families, 10,000 of whom lost their lives and 100,000 kids lost their homes. She received the award for The Global Citizen from United Nations Association in 2015. She is a board member and director of development in Empower Nepali Girls. She dedicated her book “Follow My Footsteps” to ENG. She is working on her Ph.D. In leadership and change.

In April of 2015 Sara Safari was climbing Mount Everest to plant the flag of her charitable organization empowering marginalized girls on the top of the highest point in the world. She felt strong and ready for the arduous climb after having spent more than two years training and preparing for the adventure. She was climbing the last few meters of the infamous Khumbu Icefall, the most dangerous part of the ascent, when a devastating earthquake rocked the country, killing more than 10,000 people, leaving more than 100,000 children without homes, and completely destroying Base Camp. For those stuck on the mountain, crushing avalanches and aftershocks collapsed the icefall, leaving the woman hanging on to the wall and ladder by her ice ax.

Unlike most of the climbers who attempt Everest for personal glory, this woman was risking her life in order to bring greater attention to the thousands of girls in Nepal who are trafficked into sex slavery or forced into early marriage.After a week, she was rescued in a daring helicopter landing, She found the girls in a devastating situation and doubled her efforts of fundraising to build back houses and schools in Nepal.

She was a neophyte climber who had given up her new hobby when she found the challenges and physical rigors too difficult. She wondered why anyone would subject themselves to such danger and discomfort, just to be able to say they stood on top of the world. She needed an incentive far greater than mere personal achievement and eventually she found that motivation in the plight of the girls she was trying to help.

She recently wrote an inspirational book about her life changing experience, spiritual redemption and a search for social justice called “Follow My Footsteps”. She is donating all the profit to the neglected and marginalized girls, to a non profit called “Empower Nepali Girls”.

Sara Safari

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