Name: Shirin Khaleghian

Room: Stardust II

Bio: My name is Shirin Rafati. I started working with young children 29 years ago. My first students were Iranian Baha'i preschoolers, including my niece, who were not treated with fairness and love in regular schools, because their families were members of the Baha'i Faith.

My major at university was physical therapy, but I couldn't finish my courses, because a so called "cultural revolution" happened in Iran in 1980. Since then all the Baha'i students have been denied access to higher education by the government. After a few years I continued my education in an underground university, *BIHE, established by Baha'i professors who put their lives in danger to help young students. I finished my studies in Baha'i Writings, English language, and Education.

I married to my husband, Navid 11 years ago. I have two step-sons and two step-grandchildren. I am grateful to have opportunities to work with children coming from different cultures, races and ethnicities. Everyday we learn something new together and I try to be first a good friend and then a reliable teacher for all of them.

When I am not at UCCC, I enjoy spending time with my family, supporting the Baha'i community in St. Louis and continuing my studies on Early Childhood Education.

*BIHE: Baha'i Institute of Higher Education

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