My name is Rama Nahawandi, a 26-year-old computer engineer from Damascus, Syria, now living in the Netherlands. My story with Paper Airplanes is a tale of transformation and empowerment that I'm excited to share with you.
Two years ago, I moved to the Netherlands, leaving behind my familiar world in Syria. Armed with an educational background in Computer Engineering and experience as a Teaching Assistant and Software Engineer, I set my sights on a new adventure in the data world.
But let's rewind a bit. My connection with Paper Airplanes began in 2017 when I was a student in their English Program. Little did I know that this organization would become a pivotal part of my life. After completing the IELTS course with Paper Airplanes, they did something incredible—they funded my exam, enabling me to obtain a valuable certificate.
In 2020, I transitioned from being a student to becoming a proud volunteer and mentor within the Paper Airplanes community. I started as a Student Advising mentor, guiding others on their educational journeys. My passion and dedication propelled me into roles as a Web Development mentor and, eventually, an intern in the communications team. There, I contributed by editing videos for the YouTube channel and managing social media.
Recently, I had the privilege of participating in the Women in Tech Program as an advanced Python mentor. This program holds a special place in my heart because it focuses on empowering women in the tech industry, especially those in conflict areas. I believe that having successful women as role models is vital, and I've made it my mission to encourage and inspire others to join this exciting tech journey.
Volunteering with Paper Airplanes has been a rewarding two-way street. I share my knowledge with students, but in return, I've gained fresh insights and perspectives. Challenges have been minimal, and any issues, like the time difference, were easily overcome. My journey with Paper Airplanes has been consistently positive.
One student, Amira, stands out to me. She's incredibly motivated and eager to learn, but what she needed most was guidance and a clear roadmap. Teaching Amira was not just about imparting knowledge; it was a learning experience for me too. Her enthusiasm fueled my passion for mentoring, and I see a bright future ahead for her.
My experience with Paper Airplanes has left an indelible mark on me. I'm not just motivated; I'm committed to continuing my involvement with this organization. I've seen firsthand how Paper Airplanes changes lives through education, especially for those facing challenges in conflict zones. I was once a student who benefited from their support, and now it's my turn to pay it forward.
Looking ahead, I hope to see the Women in Tech program expand and diversify. My dream is for Paper Airplanes to add more programs, reach more students, and make an even bigger impact in the world of education.
My journey with Paper Airplanes is a testament to the transformative power of education, mentorship, and community support. It's a story of resilience, empowerment, and the endless possibilities that open up when individuals come together to uplift one another. I stand as proof that education can change lives, and I'm determined to help others reach their goals, just as Paper Airplanes helped me reach mine.