Aminah is a deeply thoughtful young woman from Seattle’s Rainier Valley who speaks powerfully about the issues that spark her passion. As a 14 year-old, she heard about OneWorld Now’s summer camp introduction to Arabic and signed up. “I love Rachid!” she quips, about our legendary Arabic instructor. “So then I was like, let’s do the academic year.” Aminah went on to take Arabic 1-3 and two years of leadership workshops with OneWorld Now. She also came back to volunteer.
Leadership was the best extracurricular activity that I did in my high school years. It really shaped my leadership skills: group work, talking about real issues going on within America, social issues across the globe. The main and most important thing is it shaped who I am to interact with people internationally, to stand up for good causes. Being a leader basically.
Aminah says those three years of programs set the stage for the events that changed her life.
When I was 17 years old, I went to Amman, Jordan. OneWorld Now is what helped me get into the program. I got the travel bug when I entered Jordan but when I got the spark is when we went to the Palestinian orphanage and I was volunteering to help, to plant flowers for the kids. That’s when I got the spark, when I knew that I don’t want to stay in the U.S. I want to pursue my medical career in another country, outside the U.S., and I want to take the skills that I have – the lingual skills, the Arabic skills – and volunteer within the medical field in a country like Jordan. That’s the real spark: to experience a whole new culture, a whole new education system, everything.
Alhamdulilah, I got in and here I am! In nursing school in Turkey! The OneWorld Now staff helped so much with applications and recommendations. OWN played a big role in my aspirations to go to college internationally. I love OWN and I know future students will too.
Our vision is a world where all young people have access to transformative international education. It speaks powerfully into this moment of the world, as well as to today’s students. A surprise of the pandemic has been the record number of students who have enrolled for our language and leadership programs. Enrollment literally doubled, going from 110 students to 220 students. Our plan for the year is to meet their hunger to become global citizens in four ways: