Intern Spotlight: Angela Eliacy

EduLab Capital
5 min readJul 25, 2023


From Kabul to Karuizawa to Walla Walla

Angela Eliacy is a sophomore at Whitman College and a summer intern with EduLab Capital Partners. Given her unique experience studying in three very distinct educational contexts (growing up in Afghanistan, attending high school in Japan, and now at a liberal arts college in the U.S.) we asked her to share her story.

I grew up in Afghanistan, where women’s access to education has always been limited.

Luckily, my family, unlike some families in our neighborhood who were not allowing their daughters to go to school, supported me and my six sisters to go to school, learn English, and apply for schools abroad.

Growing up, I went to a private school in Kabul, which was one of very few schools implementing modern educational systems. If I had not been allowed this opportunity, like millions of other students, I would have only gone to school 4 hours per day, studying a government mandated curriculum, without technology, and likely without a building under a hot tent.

Growing up, Angela attended a private school in Kabul, Afghanistan, where girls are no longer allowed to pursue an education.

In my school, besides studying the mandatory governmental curriculum, we were able to play sports, sing in choir, and take leadership and computer science courses. We were encouraged to take on leadership roles in the student council, and to organize events like culture shows, art exhibitions, and writing contests. We were able to visit the country’s Parliament, Human Rights Commission, and attend Model United Nations. Although boys and girls buildings were separated, we were encouraged to organize events together and to collaborate on school projects, which was not common in the other schools. My passion for education and studying abroad led me to studying English after school and working on finding scholarships.

Flying to Japan to attend high school was Angela’s first time leaving her home country of Afghanistan.
Here, Angela celebrates Holi with her classmates from over 80 countries. United World College schools are united by the mission of using education to promote international peace and sustainability.

In 2019, I was selected as one of 7 United World College (UWC) scholars from Afghanistan to study high school at UWC ISAK Japan. For my family, the decision to let their 16 year old daughter study abroad wasn’t a hard decision but I knew it was shocking news for most of our relatives and friends. I had never traveled long distances without a family member and had never been outside of Afghanistan before that. I was very excited when I arrived in Japan. I felt welcomed and a few minutes after my arrival, I realized how fast everything was going in Japan. My paperwork was done in a matter of minutes and I was able to join other students in the airport. I was filled with joy when I arrived at the school, a beautiful campus surrounded by trees on top of a hill.

At UWC ISAK Japan, I was able to receive a life-changing education. I met students from over 80 countries who all came from different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. I was able to overcome linguistic obstacles and figure out how to study in a curriculum I had barely heard of.

Angela currently attends Whitman College, where she is majoring in politics and economics and enjoying the many facets of a liberal arts education, a vibrant student body, and the bucolic campus.

After completing my IB Diploma at UWC ISAK Japan, I got accepted at Whitman College in the US where I currently study Politics and Economics. Even though the situation in Afghanistan was very uncertain in the summer of 2021, I had to leave Japan and go to Kabul before leaving for the US. My family was telling me to stay in Japan because every day the Taliban were occupying more provinces. After a few conversations with the head of school, I decided to go home and spend the summer there.

I left Kabul for the U.S. on August 13, not knowing that I was on one of the last flights leaving Kabul.

The moment I arrived in Seattle, I saw my sister’s text that the Taliban were in Kabul. I called my family; everyone was scared. The shops were closing and women were trying every way possible to get to their houses from the workplace. With the idea we had of the Taliban, everyone thought they were going to start slaughtering people. Schools were closed and hundreds of people were rushing to the airport hoping to get out of the country.

Soon after, the Taliban totally banned girls from going to school and since then everyday they have been further restricted. Seeing my younger sisters and millions of other girls crying when they heard they couldn’t go to school anymore was heartbreaking.

For me, dealing with survival guilt and not knowing when the next time is I will see my family again hasn’t stopped me from working hard and pursuing my dream of bringing a positive change through education.

My journey with EduLab Capital Partners started in January 2023 when I first heard about ECP’s fellowship program. During the fellowship program I learned about a variety of topics related to venture capital and investment and met the amazing ECP team and other fellows. After completing the fellowship, I have been fortunate enough to continue working with the team as a Summer Intern. As an Intern I have been having the amazing opportunity to join most of ECP team’s meetings, conduct research and prepare market maps, join company calls and get to know a great network of entrepreneurs in EdTech.

EduLab Capital’s Spring 2023 cohort of Venture Fellows traveled to ECP’s Boston Offices to meet the team, present their capstone projects, host the pitch competition, and experience a day in the life of Venture Capital.

What has stood out to me about ECP is its commitment to invest in technologies that are providing quality education.

Education has changed my life and to be able to work at a company that brings a positive change through education has always been my goal.

My educational journey in Japan and the US has allowed me to benefit from an education that wasn’t accessible to me in Afghanistan. With the Taliban in the country now, it is even harder. Working as an Intern at ECP and encountering dozens of startups who are providing solutions to educational challenges has made me realize that receiving an education shouldn’t be limited to a location. I am hoping to learn from the EdTech market in the US and come up with a solution to address the educational challenges that girls are facing in Afghanistan.

Thank you, Angela, for sharing your story. Fellows like you inspire us and remind us who we serve through our investments and work to grow impactful and successful companies.



EduLab Capital

EduLab Capital Partners is a VC fund that invests in early stage education and workforce technology companies to scale measurable impact in our communities.