Shrouk

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I always believed that overcoming challenges and obstacles in life has empowered me to become the best version of myself.  My name is Shrouk Khalil and I am a math educator and a mother to a wonderful 7 year old son, Ryan.  I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and moved with my parents to New Jersey where I graduated from high school.  In 2009, I earned my Bachelor’s in Math Education from Kean University and at the age of 21 landed my first job as a full time Math teacher at a public high school.  I went back to Kean University where I graduated in 2016 with a Master’s degree in Math Education and Supervision.

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Growing up in a Muslim, Egyptian household helped me understand my identity and appreciate the many different cultures I was surrounded by.  However, as great as that was, I found great difficulties in being a first- generation American.  My parent’s ideas about how to dress, who to interact with and their definition of what was acceptable and what wasn’t was very different from that of most of my friends and their families. It was through these different perspectives, views and opinions that I grew into who I am today.

Throughout my school years, my mother always emphasized the role of education, especially for females.  It was my mother’s dream to finish her college degree, but life’s circumstances were not in her favor. 

Throughout my school years, my mother always emphasized the role of education, especially for females.  It was my mother’s dream to finish her college degree, but life’s circumstances were not in her favor.  It’s interesting to note that my sisters who both married in their late teens earned their college degrees and pursued their education despite having children.  My mother instilled in my sisters and I the love for education and the understanding that having a degree is the most important thing a woman could own. This is because with knowledge, she can rely on herself when the world reveals an unexpected challenge.

I strongly contribute my confidence as a woman to growing up surrounded by confident, strong, enduring women who shared my belief that despite being a Muslim hijabi woman I can grow, achieve and find success in a male-dominated society. 

My mom was correct, my education paved the way for me to find my confidence, independence and self-respect.  That life challenge came when I became a single mom to Ryan very early on his life.  I was able to rely financially on myself and fight hard for my son who is today growing up to see his mom as a strong, independent, Muslim woman.  I strongly contribute my confidence as a woman to growing up surrounded by confident, strong, enduring women who shared my belief that despite being a Muslim hijabi woman I can grow, achieve and find success in a male-dominated society.  As Selene Kinder once said “ I wish more women realized that helping another woman win, cheering her on, praying for her, or sharing a resource with her, does not take away from the blessings coming to them. In fact, the more you give, the more you receive.  Empowering women doesn’t come from selfishness, but rather from selflessness.”

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As a mother of a 7 year old son, I think it is important we realize that kids, both boys and girls, need positive female influences.

My son is the most amazing aspect in my life.  As a mother of a 7 year old son, I think it is important we realize that kids, both boys and girls, need positive female influences. It always warms my heart when I see my son go to other kids and proudly proclaim “my mom is a math teacher!” .  As mothers, I believe that we should be  role models for both our daughters as well as our sons.  I love how proud my son is of me as I continue to be that source of inspiration, light and guidance for him.

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