I felt compelled to sit down and write these words to document one of my best life experiences ever. Reem is my 15-years old daughter, who is going to be a sophomore at Watertown High School. And I am just a father who feels so proud to see his girl going out and experiencing the real world at this young age. For many, specially those born and raised in the US, it might seem ordinary, but for me it is a big deal! I come from a place, where work at this young age is not particularly encouraged, and is only culturally acceptable for the needy. An average Egyptian family invests a big chunk of its income on educating its kids, who should focus on their school, and summer time is usually reserved for leisure as a reward for their uninterrupted attention during the school year. Kids usually enjoy this protected bubble until they graduate from college, the time when they are expected to go out and leave their nest.
Things are done differently here in the US, which is a home-by-choice for me and my family. Kids leave their nests much earlier; they are expected to work during summer while at high school to save for their college tuition and get a feel of how real life looks like. This is actually something that is culturally encouraged, not only by middle-class families, but also by the first family itself!
So, here is the story. Randa (Reem's mom) woke up one day and saw this Facebook post:
She showed it to me, and we both felt that this internship would be an excellent opportunity for Reem. Putting the money aside, which is very good by the way, she is going to have work experience on her CV and potentially explore a career path that she was contemplating. We encouraged her to apply for the internship and see if she could be accepted as a summer intern in a local veterinary clinic, where she get a first-hand experience of how an actual day of a veterinarian at work looks like. Her mom drove her around Watertown clinics, until she was finally accepted by one of them. She then had to write an essay to the Watertown Community Foundation to explain why this opportunity could make a difference for her. Here is what she wrote:
Chance to Help Beautiful Creatures
And after few weeks of waiting, she received this lovely email: