There Can Be Miracles When You Believe by Imène Khodja (2014)

In the coming weeks, we’ll be featuring the newly selected 2014 TechGirls on our blog. Our first guest post from the 2014 TechGirls comes by way of Imène Khodja, from Algeria. Welcome, Imène!


Algeria - Imene KhodjaJanuary 2014 marked a new start in my life. Let me tell you my story.

At the end of my English class one day, my teacher told me about the TechGirls program.

“Imène,” she said, there is a program organized by the US Embassy for girls—but not ordinary ones—girls who have abilities and skills in technology. This is why I think you should apply.”

At first, I was shocked, The USA? I thought to myself. What’s wrong with you, Imène? Stop dreaming! Why should they choose you? You are just an ordinary girl like millions of others, what’s so special about you? It is acceptable for your teachers to appreciate your efforts, it is also alright to have very good marks, but is this enough to make you a TechGirl?

However, I strongly believe in the famous saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I decided to send the application.

Two weeks later, I got a phone call.

“Imène, vous avez été retenue!” they said (which means, “you have been selected.”)

I couldn’t believe it but after the interview and the confirmation, I was finally able to accept that it was true. Between us, however, that’s a lie, because even up until now I can’t believe it’s true.

The TechGirls program is a perfect mixture of science, fun, and cultural exchange. I’m eager to learn at iD TechCamp and to meet successful American women. I know this experience will change my life entirely: my way of thinking, my habits, and that it will increase my sense of self-esteem. I’m so enthusiastic about this program and what it entails. Meeting the TechGirls, whom I already consider my second family, will be very exciting. Visiting the US means so much to me—it’s a dream come true. I’ve always thought it’s something that wouldn’t happen unless it’s as the result of working hard. I realize, however, that miracles can happen if you just believe, and somehow, this is happening to me.