Women Win Fellow Awista Ayub was born in Afghanistan and grew up in the United States. At the age of 23, Awista founded the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange. In 2004, she brought eight Afghan girls to the United States in order to learn football and represent their country in the International Children's Games. Following this, she embarked on developing girls' football teams in Afghanistan.
Awista is currently researching a master's thesis on effectiveness of short-term sport exchange programs. She is also conducting an evaluation to determine whether follow-up mentoring support along with seed funding improves success rates in the longer-term impact of such sport exchanges. For this research, she is following six female athletes from Morocco and Afghanistan. Awista published a book about the Afghan experience, However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home.
A portion of the proceeds for this book goes to Women Win.