Growing up, I loved playing “teacher” with my stuffed animals and creating lesson plans for the day. After taking a few Education courses at St. Lawrence, I realized that education was one of my biggest passions. In specific, I am very interested in education for girls. Before coming to St. Lawrence University, I attended the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. It is an all girls’ school that goes from 6th to 12th grade and it gave me many opportunities to reach out of my comfort zone to try new things. During my time in Jordan, I was able to visit and spend time at an all girls’ school named The Ahliyyah School of Girls located in Amman. Meeting with some of the girls gave me the opportunity to compare the educational experience of girls in Jordan with that of girls in East Harlem.
Before arriving the Jordan, I researched different schools throughout the city of Amman and I stumbled across The Ahilyyah School of Girls because it is known internationally as well. I browsed their website and was hooked on their school after reading their mission statement which said, “ we strive to provide our students a quality education that helps them grow into empowered human beings who work on realizing their potentials through being active life long learners; reflective and critical thinkers who maintain a high degree of emotional intelligence and adopt a strong humane set of values”. This reminded of me my perspective on education and the reason why I want to be part of the educational field.
I reached out to the communication coordinator of the school and talked about the reason I wanted to visit and she immediately offered to give me a tour of the school, as well as to meet some of the teachers and to answer any questions I may have. The school was much bigger than I imagined but very well built. The school is broken down into sections, from Kindergarten to 2nd grade, from 3rd to 6th grade them from middle school to high school. The school offers programs to students ranging from dance programs to STEM programs. Many girls end up graduating and going to universities throughout Jordan and in other countries. Being able to talk to the girls and see their work displayed was really inspiring because of the dedication and work placed into the work.
Seeing this school and knowing the dynamics of my old all girls’ school, allowed me to understand that giving girls an education is a universal desire. Whether it is in Jordan or East Harlem, girls everywhere are doing their best to reach their full potential. Although there are girls in the world who do not have the opportunity to get an education, by giving that opportunity to as many girls as possible is the start to giving it to every one.
This opportunity would have not been made possible if it was not for the generous grant I received. I am very grateful for having been given the chance to research and deepen my understanding of what education for girls looks like in another country. I hope to continue to expand my understanding of education and hopefully be part of the mission to provide a positive education to girls everywhere.