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Sawsane – Pushing Past My Own Limitations

Sawsane, TechGirls 2022, Algeria

I sent my application to the TechGirls program in the very last hours before the application deadline. Can you guess why? Because I thought: so many amazing girls are going to apply, and there is nothing special about me, so why would they choose me? Yet, I made it. I had almost missed one of the best opportunities of my entire life. 

During the program, I went to the US. I met so many inspiring people from all over the world, people I could talk to about my interests, passions, dreams, and ambitions. You don’t understand how precious that is until you experience it. I had daily STEM courses and leadership sessions with many devoted teachers who pushed me to cross my limits and discover our vocations. I remember asking one of my professors in my engineering class: “Can we make the robot do that?” and he would reply: “If you want to do that, then of course it is possible.” 

It was a unique opportunity because I’d never had the chance to attend STEM classes regularly, as they were either too expensive, too far away, or I was too young to participate. Back in Algeria, I wanted to do something about this problem by helping other young people discover their potential and develop their STEM knowledge. So I organized computer science classes for children with cancer in the hospital closest to my home for my project. 

It wasn’t easy. I had to overcome several obstacles before implementing my project, mostly because I had no previous teaching experience. But fortunately, I received a lot of help from teachers working with sick children and a TechWomen alumna who works at the Algiers STEM Center. Seeing the enthusiasm of the children and their families and how happy learning new things made them, I felt that my effort had paid off and that I was able to make a difference in my community. The most important thing I’ve learned through TechGirls and my project is that we can always find a way to help others, change reality, and make a difference in our society. The biggest obstacles we can face are the limits we think we cannot cross.

Sawsane smiling in front of shrubbery
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