Shadowing Anera

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A brief but memorable part of my high school experience

I would like to pursue a career that allows me to help others and represent my country. Last month, I took a step down that path by shadowing the staff at Anera’s office in Washington DC.

I am a 15-year-old high school student at the Rochambeau The French International School in Bethesda, MD. I love studying history and geography, as well as economics and languages.

My high school requires students in the 10th grade to spend two weeks shadowing in a workplace and, following the shadowing, to present on the experience to a panel at school. I chose to shadow Anera because the nonprofit is a well-established organization with a long history in economic development that is dedicated to helping those who are in need in my part of the world.

I am particularly interested in Anera’s projects in education for refugees. Education is so crucial because it helps young people integrate into the wider society. But I’m also passionate about Anera’s work to provide medications to cancer patients. Nobody should be discriminated against and every person should be given a chance to live a decent life. Ensuring that vulnerable people have access to the medicines they need is part of that.

Jad and Haley hold a giant promotional check in the Anera DC office.
Having fun with the fundraising team in the Anera DC office.

I learned many things during my weeks at Anera, but I found the organization’s systems and strategies for fundraising particularly interesting. The process of coordinating partnerships among Anera and other nonprofits, governments, and businesses was also fascinating to observe.

In my two weeks I saw firsthand how many of Anera’s different departments — including the communications, fundraising, budgeting, and human resources teams — operate. I saw how they worked efficiently as a team and how they collaborated with their colleagues in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.

It was an incredible learning experience that I will never forget. In a very short period of time, I gained a fresh understanding of how economic and social development takes place in practice, through projects in agriculture, water, and solar energy. I witnessed how committed Anera’s staff are to supporting education, providing medical supplies and training, and improving the lives of families. The experience has been invaluable in informing how I think about my future and the kind of career I would like to pursue.



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