I am delighted to have the opportunity to work on this new initiative with K′s young alumni. Even though we graduated from Kalamazoo College in different decades, DOGL is an experience we have all shared, so this is the perfect time for us to work together.
You may be wondering about my experiences and what led me to give back to K. As a native Michigander, I was born in Detroit and later raised in Westland. In 1978, I proudly became the first person in my family to attend college. I chose K because of the availability of professors, study abroad, the internship opportunities, and the Senior Individualized Project.
I took advantage of many opportunities at K, including study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. Due to my interest in politics, I also interned in Florida with the West Palm Beach County Commissioners and conducted my SIP research in Washington, D.C., analyzing the relationship between journalists and various governmental bodies.
After graduation, I returned to Washington, D.C., ultimately graduating from Catholic University School of Law. While there, I met and married my husband, Cherif Sedky.
My life changed dramatically after law school. While working at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Cherif and I had our first child, Sarah. Later, Cherif was offered an opportunity to work in Saudi Arabia. We spent the next seven-and-a-half years in the seaport of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during which time my second child, Adam Nicholas (″Nick″), was born.
Due to the nature of the society in Saudi Arabia, I could not practice law, so I became an elementary school teacher. I taught at the British International School and was also on their Board of Governors. The aftermath of 9/11 made living in Jeddah uneasy, so my children and I relocated to London, England, while Cherif continued to work in Jeddah. Meanwhile, I began teaching at an international school in London.
I returned to Michigan with my entire family in 2006. I decided to retire and volunteer my time at nonprofit organizations. I used my teaching skills to teach adults to read and my love of art and teaching to become a docent at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Last summer, Cherif came out of retirement, and we relocated to New York City. My son Nick now attends the Professional Children′s School in New York and Sarah is at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, where she studies engineering. My current volunteer work includes co-tutoring a class of pre-GED adults in reading. I also enjoy learning Italian and spending time with my wonderful family.
K gave me the education I needed to switch careers multiple times and to help others improve their lives through education. I believe strongly in education, and I believe that we can all play a role in strengthening it. Because gifts from donors helped make my K experience possible, it′s the least I can do to keep educational experiences at K alive for a new generation.