Empowering Student Achievement Through Gifts of Time and Resources
Assisting gifted students to achieve their ambitions is a critical component of the YAS Foundation work. A key component in this effort is empowering students who have special skill and talents; not by a systematic process but based on quality, character, and background. The mentorship effort includes think tank sessions, advising and making sure that students have all the tools they need to grow into a GLOBAL CITIZENS of the FUTURE.
George Leslie Borden-Senior Broadband Network Engineer
I’ve had many titles in my lifetime, Principal Field Engineer, Customer Documentation Manager, Senior Marketing Technical Support Engineer, Systems Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer, Documentation Consultant, Cable Modem Systems Consultant, and a few others. The few others were before LANcity and Rouzbeh.
I didn’t have a role model in my former jobs, like I had at LANcity in my leader Rouzbeh. Maybe I did and didn’t recognize it. I didn’t apply myself in my former jobs like I did at LANcity. I saw how work got accomplished watching Rouzbeh. I remember Rouzbeh told me two things, don’t toot your own horn. And when I asked him how come you’re giving me all this work, he said because you get it done.
In 1992 Rouzbeh trusted me to go on the road to test the NI10/E at a cable company in Tualatin Oregon. The NI10/E was the prototype cable modem, it was a 40-pound Ethernet Bridge. I had no customer facing experience. He created a monster. I began traveling around the world to places like Peoples Republic of China. I taught Cable Modem 101 at Qing Dao University. He sent me to Mumbai India to represent the LANcity Cable Modem.
And then my biggest honor was to represent LANcity at four of the biggest cable industry trade shows in the country. That was a part time job for me at LANcity. After Rouzbeh sold the company it became a full-time job. I designed all the cable modem demonstrations for Bay Networks, Nortel Networks, and Arris. That kept me working for the next eight years.
I left Arris in 2002, eighteen years later I’m still grateful for the opportunities and friendship Rouzeh Yassini has shown me. I got more out of our relationship than I could ever repay.
Rowan Ian Cruickshank-Brown University, Honors Degree in Literary Arts
I am a graduate of Brown University with an honors degree in Literary Arts. This past fall, my work in Switzerland lead me to visit my 25th country. I am working as a ski instructor but will soon begin a working scholarship at Le Collège International de Cannes in France and from there to the ATP Airline Career Pilot Program in Fort Lauderdale. It is my aspiration to become a commercial airline pilot, fantasy fiction novelist and engaged citizen of the world.
When asked where these aspirations came from, I answer that they came from my family, friends, teachers and mentors guiding me toward discovering the path that was right for me. While I have had many teachers in my life, I count myself particularly lucky for the mentorship of Rouzbeh Yassini and the YAS Foundation.
One of my earliest memories of Rouzbeh is the smiling face I saw when thanking him for the bunkbeds he purchased as a gift to my brother and me when our sister was born. Rouzbeh’s energy is one of cheerful wisdom. His presence is noteworthy and memorable and the contributions he makes to our lives can last a lifetime. All this I know from this memory and from the of guidance and generosity I have experienced in the 20 years since.
Rouzbeh has always been there for my family. He worked alongside my father to create DOCSIS and spread the modern day cable modem around the world, acting as an integral force in creating the interconnected world of the modern Internet age we live in and take for granted today. He has hosted my family on business trips, vacations and whims. Most importantly, he has helped my siblings and me to seek impactful futures.
Rouzbeh has engaged us with stimulating questions that broadened our minds, invited us to conferences and celebrations of culture through the YAS Foundation, and always, whenever called upon, made himself available to us in a professional capacity to provide advice. When I was feeling overwhelmed in choosing to which universities I would be applying to transfer, I reached out to Rouzbeh, who offered to speak with me the next day. He heard me out first and proceeded to ask exactly the questions I needed to answer to provide clarity for myself. With that understanding, I was in turn able to ask the questions I needed. In the span of a phone call, with the direction Rouzbeh shared, I was provided with the tools to make the decisions that would lead me to an amazing experience at Brown University, and, now, beyond.
It is amazing to think of the force that Rouzbeh and the YAS Foundation have played in the lives of people like my siblings and me. And, it is perhaps even more amazing to think of the differences we will one day make in the lives of others. For, it is not about changing the individual, nor the group, but changing the world.
Yasaman Dadruie-Masters Program, University of Essen-Duisburg
In 2014 I graduated with a Bachelor of Industrial Management from the University of Tehran. I started my job in Samsung ‘s office in Iran while continuing my higher education as a student in the Master of Industrial Engineering- Systems Engineering and Management program at Tehran Polytechnic University (Amirkabir). My main concentration was MSE’s strategic planning in turbulent environment based on fuzzy logic.
Managing work, completing my master thesis and learning the German language was a huge challenge, but I am a person who looks for challenges! My goal after graduating from my Masters Program was to attend the University of Essen-Duisburg in Germany, but there seemed to be little hope to peruse this path until the YAS Foundation stepped in to provide the strategy and mentorship over the course of 18 months. As a result, I was able to move to Germany and attend the University. Thankfully, my husband was able to join me and continue his education as well.
The multifaceted support of the YAS Foundation was key to lifting me up and supporting the continuation of my education and my husband’s. I am currently and gratefully perusing my second Masters Degree at University of Essen-Duisburg.
Kimia Fereydooni-Masters Program, Stanford University-Aeronautics and Astronautics,
Dear Dr. Yassini,
Please accept my deepest thanks to you and YAS Foundation in my senior year of college when I was a recipient of YAS Foundation scholarship. I studied mechanical engineering at UNH and got interested in aircraft design through my senior year. I got the most out of my experience at UNH by doing research and participating in extracurricular activities such as student organizations and on-campus jobs.
In my senior year, I was UNH Aerocats team captain, where we competed with other schools nationwide to build a remote controlled aircraft. We were fortunate enough to be supported by YAS foundation through our efforts, and are grateful for your support and mentorship along the way.
Right now, I am a first year master student in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. I am trying my best to get the most out of my experience at Stanford. Studying Aeronautics is definitely challenging as an international student from Iran, but I am trying everyday not to let that be a barrier for my future career and success.
Nadia Fereydooni-PhD Program, Georgia Institute of Technology-Human-Centered Computing,
Dear Dr. Yassini,
I want to sincerely express my gratitude and thanks to you and YAS Foundation for your generosity and continuous encouragement. I started my journey in the US five years ago as an undergraduate student at University of New Hampshire majoring in Computer Engineering. I worked hard to make the most of this experience through getting involved in various extracurricular activities. Among them was conducting research in Education, Augmented Reality, and Autonomous Vehicles, and publishing conference papers.
One of the highlights of my time as an undergraduate student was having your mentorship which has provided me with invaluable guidance and inspiration. I am now a PhD student in Human-Centered Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, conducting research in the field of Autonomous Vehicles with some of the pioneers of the field. I am also pursuing a minor in Public Policy to be able to be a part of creating a constructive relationship between tech and policies.
I have certainly come a long way since I started my journey, and still have a long way to go. I am determined to work towards making a better future for us all, and am proud to have you as a mentor along this path.
Emad Aghasi holds a B.Sc. (2012) in Business Administration from University of Tehran and a M.A. (2015) in International Business with a focus on marketing and branding from Technical University of Cologne in Germany. Having a long history as a teacher, he is currently a digital marketing consultant and trainer in the internet industry. His work mainly involves empowering teams and individuals, holding workshops, and training groups of talents on digital marketing and online advertising topics.
Dear Dr. Yassini,
I don’t even know where to start. All your (and YAS foundation’s) support and supervision in the last 8 years have given me the opportunity to grow, pursue my ambitions, and have the courage to do what initially seemed to be impossible. Your thoughtful mentorship, visionary leadership, and inspiring success story are great examples for me and many others to be our true selves, to stay the course and never give up, and to try to make this world a better place for future generations.
I’m humbled and grateful to learn every single day, spread love and positivity, and thanks to all you’ve taught me in the last years, empower as many citizens of this world as I can to follow their dreams. This not only is an ultimate goal of mine but also a responsibility and nothing could inspire me more than what you, Dr. Yassini and YAS foundation, stand for and try to achieve.
Mina Mehrdana holds a B.Sc. (2012) in industrial management from University of Tehran and a M.A. (2017) in International Business from Technical University of Cologne in Germany. She is currently an intelligent automation analyst in Gas and power industry. Her work mainly involves reviewing process using lean techniques and trying to use the latest automation technologies to create a smarter workplace, in which human errors are minimized and individuals can avoid unnecessary manual work and create more values.
Dear Dr. Yassini,
I thank you for that morning of Tehran’s autumn and the time you dedicated to talk to me!
Many people think money can be the only thing you may be able to help people with; But I disagree. It can be done by listening to people, hearing them talking about their concerns, showing them a better life than what they initially pictured themselves in. I will always appreciate what you did seven years ago by listening to me, for showing me the way, and encouraging me to envision something greater than what I could have wished for. You changed my life and I’d always be thankful for that.
I have also been trying to continue your way to help individuals; especially those who feel lost and I will try to shed more light and gift them candle to find their own way.
Melika Nouri-PhD Program, Arizona State University-Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacies
My name is Melika Nouri and I am a PhD student in Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacies at Arizona State University.
Receiving YAS foundation Scholarship for a 2-year Master’s Degree (2014-2016) empowered me to achieve my dreams, and for that, I am forever grateful for the kindness and generosity of Dr. Yassini.
Through years of education, I always dreamt of becoming a leader to create a sustainable change in my community, one that empowers those in less advantaged positions, and one that lifts up the next generation to make the lives of themselves and others a better one. In 2013, when I was preparing to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from University of Tehran, I could not see myself reaching that dream in the circumstances I was surrounded with. However, the gift of mentorship and support from Dr. Yassini changed my life.
With the help of Dr. Yassini, I stepped out of my comfort zone to seek education in the US, explore other paths to better recognize my own abilities, and started a new academic journey in English major with a goal to make a meaningful contribution to the bigger community. Without Dr. Yassini’s support and kindness, I would never have the courage to embrace this change, especially during the time that I did not believe in myself. That is the power of mentorship.
With his continuous support and advice, I started this journey to improve the education of future global citizens regardless of their national, linguistic, and cultural background; wherever that would be. Currently, I am in a doctorate program in Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacies and I am actively gaining experience in teaching, research, as well as taking on administrative roles within our department to prepare myself for the leadership role I have been dreaming of.
Dr. Yassini is truly a role model not only for devotion of his time to offer valuable mentorship to the younger generation but also for the faith he puts in his advisees and the endless kindness and patience he has with everyone. I am forever grateful for his support which not only put me in the right career path, but also changed who I am, how I view the world, and what I consider as my duty for mankind.
I am a graduate of Azad University in Tehran and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, I took a position with Irancell telecommunication company with the hope of eventually continuing my education in Germany, a country well known for engineering education. My higher goal is to work for a large automotive company.
I am also the grateful to be an indirect beneficiary of the generous support of the YAS Foundation through the mentorship and guidance YAS Foundation provided to my wife Yasaman Dadruie. Through the commitment of the YAS Foundation we are both continuing our higher education which is coming true. Now, I am pursuing a Masters degree from University of Essen-Duisburg, Germany in the field of mechanical engineering and my educational and professional goals are now a possibility within my grasp.
Inspired by her ground breaking achievements and advocacy for women in the field of mathematical sciences, Dr. Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard and Anousheh Ansari have established a graduate fellowship in honor of Maryam Mirzakhani, the indomitable, award winning Iranian American mathematics professor at Stanford University. Yassini and Ansari see Maryam as an embodiment of the contributions that the Iranian community has made globally throughout history across the humanities, arts, and sciences. “Maryam’s contributions to mathematics are as significant as those of Khwarizmi’s groundbreaking innovations as the father of algebra more than 12 centuries ago,” says Yassini.
As specialist in theoretical mathematics, Mirzakhani was the first and to-date only female winner of the prestigious Fields Medal—considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics. In additional to many other awards and accolades, in honor of Maryam, her birth date was chosen as the day to celebrate the First International Women in Mathematics Day.
Yassini recognizes Mirzakhani as an present day example of global citizenship and hopes this fellowship motivates many young people, especially other female mathematicians, to pursue the field, carry out innovative research and inspires future global citizens who will be as humble and globally impactful as Maryam was. In 2019, Hannah Larson was awarded the first Maryam Mirzakhani Graduate Fellowship, and Isabel Vogt was awarded the first Maryam Mirzakhani Postdoctoral Fellowship. The hope espoused by the Mirzakhani fellowship appears to be off to a very promising start.
Already being treated for cancer when she received the Fields Medal, Maryam died of breast cancer in July 2017. Yassini and Ansari deeply hope this Fellowship will keep her legacy alive so she will continue to serve as an inspiring role model for young women in mathematical sciences.
Ph.D. Candidate of Psychology in Tarbiat Modares University
My Name is Sadeq Fallah, a Ph.D. Candidate of Psychology at Tarbiat Modares University. This article describes my career selection journey and the impact Dr. Rouzbeh Yassini had on my path.
One of the vital decisions in everyone’s life is choosing the right career. I remember well, while I was deeply in doubt for changing my field of study and was somehow worried to make this big change in my life, I met and got to know Rouzbeh Yassini. He gave me his time, captured my attention, and came to fill my heart with warm words. He assured me in making an important decision. At that time, I needed no money or other kinds of financial or physical aid from anyone. I just needed a wise life coach to guide me through my career journey to reach my desired field of study and encourage me to stay strong amid fear and uncertainty.
Psychology has been my best-fit field since I knew myself, but I was not confident and did not have enough courage to follow the path. I was studying in the money-making field of accounting, and on the path to making a lot of money in the future via my earned accounting skills. But that was not my love of life to fulfill my ambition. I was instead thinking about being a more useful and active individual in empowering the society.
“Be the best of the best on what you love to do, and then you can help mankind”. This is what Rouzbeh told me on a Facebook chat the other day. It took my attention and warmed my heart. That was a wise thing to say which could inspire me while I was walking on the bridge. Yes, I was waking on the bridge leaving my current field of study with the hope of reaching the desired one. I printed the statement on a sheet of paper and put it on the wall to see it every day, feel it each day, and bear it in my mind. I soon finalized my decision and decided to study for the university entrance exams for graduate programs in psychology. That statement helped me so much in pursuing what was the major source of meaning in my life. I had been stuck in doubt for almost a couple of years but the time of doubt and indecisiveness was over. All my consultations with counselors were accompanied by several chats and talks with Dr. Yassini and I was quite sure that I was up for the right path. I did what all I could and was admitted to one of the bests universities if Iran for Family Therapy which was the best possible start for my new journey.
Rouzbeh gave me what I needed the most to make one of the major decisions in my life with confidence. Rouzbeh’s presence and help cannot be estimated in terms of dollars or rials. It is indeed invaluable to me. He encouraged and guided me via phone calls and Facebook chats in those hard times. He gave me his time and attention helping me make a key decision which I regard as my high job satisfaction today. I am truly grateful for his guidance and support.
For me, Rouzbeh is the best example of a man (in his fifties then) who is doing his best for mankind. I am so grateful to know him and have him in my life at that moment.
40 years of industry service | $40,000 donation | Under 40 Rising Leader Award
Wilt Hildenbrand dedicated 4 decades of service to the telecommunications industry starting with his career with Cablevision in 1976 where he consistently lead the team in strategic moves that kept them ahead of competitors in digital video services, Pay Per View, Video on demand and deployment of a 100-mbps data service, even going head to head with Verizon Fios with newer, faster broadband offerings.
Wilt will be remembered for providing a “world of inspiration and support for the industry, a true visionary and leader that is badly missed in our world and industry.” To honor of his longtime friend and colleague, Rouzbeh, through his YAS Foundation has donated the initial $40,000 to launch a $200,000 five-year campaign funding campaign for the Wilt Hildenbrand Scholarship fund in partnership with the SCTE Foundation. He will present the initial donation to Yvette Kanouff, vice chair of the SCTE Foundation and a longtime family friend and colleague of Wilt , on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 at SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo® in New Orleans. Mandy Hildenbrand, Wilt’s daughter, will present the Wilt J. Hildenbrand Jr. Under 40 Rising Leader Award for the first time since it has been renamed to honor her dad, during the Annual Awards Luncheon the following day, also at Cable-Tec Expo.
More recipients of the YAS Foundation Mentorship gifts coming soon!