They Helped Him,  Now He’s Helping Them

Alum Helps 14 Afghan’s Escape From Their Country

Collage of drawings of childrenIn 2018, the school awarded our annual Distinguished Alumni Award to Ben Schumacker, MSW ’06. The award recognized his founding of The Memory Project,  a  youth arts organization that promotes intercultural understanding and kindness between children around the world. More than 300,000 youth in 55 countries have been involved in the  school-based programs since 2004.

For the past four years, Ben, and the Memory Project, worked in Afghanistan. There he met Amin and Rabina, Afghan nationals who provided the leadership that allowed thousands of children take part in the Memory Project’s efforts. On August 15, after the Taliban seized control, Ben reached Amin and asked if there was any way he could help. Amin replied: “I am looking for any opportunity to save my family, but there is no way in the current situation. I am very sorry for my family to say our hearts are broken and our lives are over, but thank you for your concern.”

Ben kept in daily touch with Amin. You can find out how Amin, Rabina and their families, with Ben’s help, have now reached Pakistan and the challenges they still face, by watching the short video at, you can also see the amazing work the Memory Project has done in Afghanistan at