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After Fight to Reach U.S., Afghan Girls' Robotics Team Applauded for Courage

The team of Afghan girls whose efforts to reach the United States for an international robotics competition captivated people around the world, left the event with a silver medal for "courageous achievement," with judges applauding the group's "can-do attitude."

The First Global Challenge event in Washington, D.C. attracted teams of teenagers from nearly 160 nations.

But much of the focus centered on the all-girls squad from Afghanistan, whose six members had their visa applications rejected twice at the American embassy in Kabul in the weeks leading up to the event. As their plight grabbed international headlines, President Donald Trump approved their visas just a week before the competition began.

Once they arrived, the Afghan students captured the limelight and multiple medals. They also won honors for "sustainable excellence," which is awarded to individuals who help contribute to strong and sustainable First Global programs.

Education Week correspondent Kavitha Cardoza spoke with the students, who discussed their journey and motivations for competing.

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