Reclaim Childhood is a non-profit organization based in Amman, Jordan that seeks to empower refugee girls and local women through sport and play. Reclaim Childhood operates regular after-school sports leagues and a month-long summer camp for girls ages 6 – 18, and coaching clinics for local adult women.
My parents immigrated to the United States from Jordan in the early-1980’s, but over my lifetime my
family and I have visited Jordan and the Middle East several times, as nearly all of my relatives still live
there. These trips reminded me of the life of somewhat limited opportunities I would have been subject
to in the region if my parents had not come to this country. My passion for education stems from the
opportunities I have received growing up in the Chicago suburbs. The reminder of the life I have
received and the opportunities I have had growing up, give me a sense of purpose to ensure that such
educational and sports opportunities are prevalent in the refugee community, while combining my
passion for working with people and the sports industry.
It is also important to note the role my non-academic work has played in my life. My parents’ never
received an education further than primary school prior to arriving in the United States, which is why
they had to work extra hard to provide my siblings and I with a bright future living in the United States.
As a result, my siblings and I were taught to work hard to achieve our goals and help provide assistance
to my parents on their journey to American citizenship. This journey was a difficult one, especially post-
9/11; however, they both were able to be proud American citizens in the 2000s.
I think this opportunity will help me obtain international experience, while helping combine my passion
for helping others and working in sports. I have not been back to Jordan in several years, but I
appreciate all the hard work and dedication that Reclaim Childhood has done so far in the country to
help refugees and woman reclaim their lives through sport.