“Do you believe in the law of attraction?”

This is the question Dr. Sharada Kshetry poses while we wait in line for the Washington State ferry at Kingston.

“I only recently learned about ‘the law of attraction,’ the philosophy that we can attract whatever we focus on, positive or negative, but I realized that I have always done this,” she explains. “When I was 12 years old, living in a village in western Nepal, I made a list: I wanted to visit Kathmandu, be a doctor, and go to America. All of this has happened now.”

Sharada was one of the first recipients of a Bo M. Karlsson Foundation scholarship. Today, she’s a medical doctor, with two years of practice experience in Nepal, and she’s here in the States to pursue further training through an international medical residency program.
BMFK alumna Dr. Sharada Kshetry (Photo: Erin Inclan)
“I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know how it would happen,” Sharada says. “But shortly after I made my list, during Nepal’s civil war, my uncle Shrawan took me to Kathmandu to live at Ama Ghar, a children’s home he founded. That’s where I met Auntie Sonnia and she started the BMKF scholarship program. Then Bill and Micki Lippe became my sponsors and supported my ambitious dream to study medicine. A couple years ago, I was working at a hospital in Nepal, when an American woman doctor said I should go to the U.S. to learn about the medical system here, and it was like a light bulb turning on. After two years of study, 15 hours a day, I took the U.S. MLE (medical licensing exam), and here I am.”

At this point, I should mention that Sharada placed in the 97th percentile on the MLE. She’s busy applying to residency programs, with a focus on internal medicine, and she hopes to do an observership in Seattle (shadow a doctor) before her residency interviews start in October. She also has a new, even more ambitious goal.

“My long-term plan is to establish an international hospital in Nepal, a place where medical doctors from around the world will come to learn, practice, and collaborate,” she says.

In the meantime, Dr. Sharada offers some healthy advice:

“People should practice positive thinking. It works!”

Let’s listen to our doctor.

In this newsletter, we’re delighted to share some lovely images from photographer Ellyn Norris and her students, as well as news and updates about BMKF scholars and some special programs with our friends and partner organizations.

Here’s to positive thinking in the days, months, and years to come.

Erin Inclan, BMKF education chair
August 28, 2017
Photoshoot in Kathmandu
American Photographers Focus On BMKF Scholars
Last March, when San Diego-based photographer Ellyn Norris traveled to Kathmandu with four of her students, everyone was in for a treat. BMFK scholars donned traditional attire to meet Ellyn and her students at historic Basantapur Durbar Square for a special photo shoot. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity for cultural exchange and artistic collaboration. Thank you to Ellyn, Amelia Christie, Kristen Giles, Gloria Posada, and Sydney Norris, who donated their gorgeous portrait photography to BMKF. We’re delighted to share a few of their images here. Watch for more to come!
Photo Credits: Kristin Giles (top left), Ellyn Norris (top right), Gloria Posada (bottom left), Sydney Norris (bottom right)
"My photography students and I had the opportunity to photograph 15 out of the 17 current scholarship recipients for the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation.  Spending time with and photographing the scholars at Kathmandu's historic Durbar Square was one of the highlights of my trip to Nepal in 2017.  I was so impressed with their energy, confidence, professional decorum and most of all, each girl's uniqueness and passion for their future.  Having the chance to speak with some of the girls individually, I was amazed how clear their goals were for their educational pursuits and how truly thankful they are for their scholarships.  I am eagerly watching social media to see each of them realize their plans."
- Ellyn Norris
Ellynism Photo Tours

"Traveling to Nepal for the first time was an amazingly beautiful journey. Having the honor of photographing these lovely scholars made me feel like my job was really worth doing and not only did I make a difference in their life, they made a difference in mine. I wish you all the best and to keep up the amazing work throughout school and life."
- Amelia Christie

"While there are incredible women everywhere, those I encountered with the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation were something I have never seen. It was an honor to take part in memorializing their dedication to knowledge and their bravery to advance their education. I was so impressed with their drive and passion. The moments I shared with them will influence my own dedication and continuously remind me of the privileges in my own life.”
- Kristen Giles

"It was my pleasure learning about your organization and meeting some of the students. These women were remarkable!"
- Gloria Posada

Spring Programming
In addition to financial support, we’re working to give BMKF scholars extra training, experiences, and opportunities to develop the professional skills and confidence they need for their lives and careers beyond school. With our dedicated Nepal staff and board, friends, and partner organizations, we continue to find creative ways to engage students and supplement their studies.
Here are a few recent highlights:
Role Models and Health Educators
BMKF scholar Rebika Bhandari explains sanitary pads (left), NCF students speak with BMKF scholar Lhamu Sherpa (right).
In April, Namaste Children’s Fund co-founder Cora Edmonds invited BMKF scholars to participate in a special program at the NCF Girls’ Hostel in Pharping. In addition to introductions and refreshments, the program included two sessions.

During the first, NCF students were instructed to move around the room and spend three minutes interacting with each BMKF scholar, giving the younger students a chance to ask questions and learn about higher education and different fields of study.

The second session focused on reproductive health and menstrual hygiene, with a lively conversation about myths and facts. Maya Khaiti from Days for Girls organization facilitated as a trainer and several BMKF scholars also presented. Nursing student Mandira Sapkota shared information on how twins are born. Rebika Bhandari explained how to use a reusable sanitary napkin. Law student Saniya Giri shared her knowledge on self defense and menstrual and reproductive hygiene. Days for Girls also gave each young woman a menstrual hygiene kit with reusable sanitary napkins, a towel and hand soap, and a mini calendar.  
Public Speaking and MC Workshop

BMKF scholar Tshering Sherpa practices speechifying.

Did we mention how accomplished BMKF scholars are? In June, law students Saniya Giri ’20 and Beenita Devkota ’22 helped plan and lead an amazing daylong Public Speaking and Master of Ceremonies training for their sister BMKF scholars. Nepal board president Bimala Manandhar chaired the event and board vice president Mr. Om Prakesh Kumar Singh attended as a special guest.

The students learned about aspects such as body language, eye contact, and vocal projection, as well as confidence and speech content. After lunch, it was time to put theory into practice. Each scholar gave a two-minute speech, while the others volunteered as as timekeepers and provided feedback.

At the end the day, everyone was presented with a certificate of public speaking. Mr. Anup Pandy, managing director of BA Academy, also received a certificate of appreciation, in recognition of his support and the free computer classes he provided for BKMF scholars.
Career Development with Kate Coffey
After 25+ years in the investment finance industry, Kate Coffey packed her bags and went to spend a year living and working in Bangladesh and Nepal. In particular, she was inspired by the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC), an organization she continues to serve. Kate previously invited BMKF scholars for an informative field visit to SIRC. This summer, in June, Kate conducted a very useful workshop for our scholars on how to apply for a job. The training focused on CV and cover letter writing. Thank you Kate -- you’re the tops!
Phoenix Penny Drive Reminder:
Deadline September 30
Wondering what to do with all those coins that accumulate at the bottom of your handbag or the footwell of your car? Give them to the Phoenix Penny Drive, of course! Phoenix and her young philanthropist friends are working to collect more coins, and you can help them double their impact: Donate your pennies by September 30 and a BMKF donor will match the total amount collected, up to $500. Proceeds support scholarships.
Three places to drop off pennies:
  1. First Hill: 206 Burger Company, 1000 Madison Street, Seattle
  2. Roosevelt/Ravenna: Rain City Burgers, 6501 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle
  3. Ballard: Stock, 500 NW 65th Avenue, Seattle
Thank you for supporting Third Times A Charm!
A world of gratitude to the indomitable Amanda Wager and her fabulous family, and to the awesome Mari Hirabayashi, for organizing and hosting the Third Times a Charm! fundraiser in August. Many thanks to all of our guests, everyone who sent donations and good wishes, and those who donated items to the silent auction and raffle. A shout out to our Microsoft volunteer Paul Sebelien, who enticed people to bid and have fun.

Not least, thank you to Sol Stone Winery for the great venue! It was a beautiful, intimate evening when we all came together to raise funds for the BMKF scholars. And for a moment there, the world felt right. THANK YOU!
Scholar Updates
5 BMKF scholars to graduate in 2017
Rebika Bhandari (Nursing PCL) is the first of our 2017 graduates to complete her studies. How exciting! It seems like yesterday when we met and interviewed her in Nepal. Four other BMKF scholars will also graduate this year: Mandira Sapkota (BSc. in Nursing), Manisha Kumari (Bachelor of Business Studies), Saraswati Adhikari (Bachelor of Public Health), and Prahba Bohara (BSc. in Nursing). Look for stories and updates about these young ladies in the months to come, as they prepare to launch their careers.  
A new job for Sita Chaudhary
Congratulations to BMKF alumna Sita Chaudhary ’15 (Education). Sita (seated - second from right) is working as a security officer in the Terai. "This is called Myadi police. We provide security during local elections.”
Pooja is fully funded!

We love good news, so here’s more: Our GiveBIG campaign for Pooja Yadev ’19 raised nearly enough funds for her first two years of nursing school. We’re thrilled to announce that a donor has come on board to sponsor Pooja for two additional years, the remainder of her program. Hooray!
Photo Credit: Sydney Norris
Copyright © 2017 Bo M. Karlsson Foundation, All rights reserved.