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SHINE: Hala's Story

by Soumya Adusumilli

Moving to a new country can be a difficult experience. You are distanced from your friends, family, and home. It’s hard to switch schools, meet new people, and get involved when you have to suddenly transition into a new lifestyle and environment. 

Hala Sowery had to do exactly this when she moved from Syria to Jordan. Those 534 kilometers, or 332 miles, was the reason why her life transformed. After a month of living in Jordan and adapting to her new high school life, Hala started to connect with those around her and found a new group of people she could call friends. Her homesickness faded away as she became more involved in school activities, specifically in the IT field. Those 534 kilometers that initially felt like a large, uncomfortable distance from Syria disappeared once she embraced Jordan as her new home. 

Now, Hala is pursuing IT in college and is developing her love for technology in Paper Airplanes’ Women in Tech Program. Her passion for improving herself and her courage embracing new opportunities certainly makes her shine! To learn more about her personal experiences, check out the words Hala shared with us in the Q&A below!

How have your experiences in Paper Airplanes impacted you?

My experience in Paper Airplanes is one of the best experiences of my life. I improved my English, enhanced my technical skills, and made many new friends. I learn a lot when I ask my instructors questions and I enjoy enrolling in different courses. Because of Paper Airplanes I was able to learn GitHub and web development. It has been a beautiful experience. 

Why did you join the Women in Tech Program?

I chose the Women in Tech program because I love the IT field and it is what I’m studying in university. Working with other girls to develop my passion is an enriching experience. 

As a refugee, how do you think your confidence improved over time?

During my second year of university, I had a very good instructor and had the amazing opportunity to meet clients. My instructor helped me a lot and even gave me resources and references. I was able to become comfortable in school and was given great opportunities to improve myself. 

Do you have any advice for other refugees to encourage them to shine?

Always learn and search for good opportunities around you! If you haven’t applied for Paper Airplanes, definitely do so! Even now I hope to complete every course offered to me and continue learning. 

About the author:

My name is Soumya Adusumilli and I am a first-year Business Administration student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. I truly enjoy reading, writing, and watching movies in my free time. I have been a part of Paper Airplanes since 2018 and I'm glad that I have the opportunity to continue my journey with this inspirational organization. I am also involved in entrepreneurship and lead The Intrepid which is the voice of my college's entrepreneurship community. In the future I hope to accomplish my lifelong dream of visiting the seven wonders of the world!

The views and opinions represented in this post belong solely to the author of the blog post, and are not representative of the views and policies of Paper Airplanes and its staff members.

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