The Most Wonderful Decision I Ever Made by Safaa Berkani (Morocco)

I’ve always wanted to be special. My love and interest in technology started when I was watching my dad fixing machines and preparing his science engineering lessons. After having discussions with my cousin I got more interested in this field and I realized that the STEM field is the most appropriate for me. Although the members of my family supported me I didn’t have enough opportunities to apply what I learnt. So when my teacher, Mrs. Khadija Rahaoui, told me about the TechGirls program I was fascinated. I was sure that it would be the best opportunity for me to get involved in my favorite field and to improve my computer and leadership skills at the same time.

I applied for the program and was chosen to participate. Trust me—it was the most wonderful decision I ever made. I will never forget how I spent the best 23 days in my life with 26 amazing sisters (the other TechGirls) and 5 fabulous mothers (the TechGirls staff).

I was lucky to meet inspiring people who taught me that with perseverance and hard work anyone can achieve his or her dreams, and become a true leader. I went to famous places I never dreamed that I would have the opportunity to visit, such as the White House, Google (where we had the opportunity to learn how to use Scratch software), Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft (where we got introduced to the newest technology).

Safaa Berkani checks out the latest technology at Microsoft in New York City.

Safaa Berkani checks out the latest technology at Microsoft in New York City.

At iD TechCamp at Towson University in Maryland, we had the opportunity to discover and develop our qualities and our abilities through classes in web design and 3D game development.

Furthermore, we went sightseeing, and visited some of the most fabulous monuments in Washington DC and New York City. We had the opportunity to get even more familiar with American culture when we spent the weekend in the homes of American families. I spend a wonderful weekend with the Janik family in Damascus, Maryland.

Safaa Berkani perches high above the skyline in New York City.

Safaa Berkani perches high above the skyline in New York City.

All of this was just the beginning of a new phase of my life. I’m so grateful for the changes brought about by this opportunity. I now have friends from many different countries. When I returned to Morocco, I was welcomed back by officials and delegates. I continue to be in touch with important people like our mentors Kelly Hoey from Women Innovate Mobile, Carolyn Fox from National Geographic, Mary Byron from Goldman Sachs, etc., who help me to stay focused and inspired.

I just started school again several days ago and I feel so motivated, ambitious, and confident to start this year determined to share what I learned with my peers, carrying all of these happy memories in my mind.

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A special congratulations to Safaa Berkani for being one of iD Tech 365 gaming tournament winners! Safaa, along with many other TechGirls, has been an avid user of the online tutorials made available by iD Tech. Not only did Safaa win the lovely swag below, she is also gaining new tech skills! Congratulations, Safaa!