VTP Success Story--From Mom to Executive Secretary

Rasha Nimer decided to go back to school to increase her family's income and to set an example for her five children. Photo by Ben Gray / LWF


Rasha Nimer graduated from high school in 2002 but didn’t continue her education at that time. Instead, she became a wife and mother, eventually having five children. As her children grew older—they are now between 4- and 15-years-old—she started thinking about going back to school and entering the workforce.

Nimer wanted to add a second income to supplement the money her husband made working in construction, but even more importantly, she wanted to set a good example for her children and show them the importance of education.

“Something inside me drove me to continue my education,” she said. “How can you tell your children to go to school if you haven’t finished your degree?”

After hearing about the Vocational Training Center in Ramallah from family, she started looking into the vocational secretary program. She liked the apprenticeships the program offered and especially liked that employment rates were much higher among graduates than those from other training centers.

Nimer knew she would face challenges when she registered. She hadn’t been in school for 17 years. She was the mother of five and would have to adjust her schedule to be able to continue caring for her family. The biggest struggle came when her exams were at the same time as her children’s exams.

“The most difficult obstacle I faced was to educate my children during the day and then to stay up late at night to finish my studies,” she said. “I had the support of my husband and children, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to finish.”

Following her coursework, Nimer was assigned to United Motor Trade, a Volkswagen dealership in Ramallah, for her apprenticeship. During the next three months, her manager worked closely with her in a coaching manner as she learned about the business and put into practice everything she learned in training.

Despite being a little afraid of making mistakes in the beginning, Nimer caught on quickly. At the end of her apprenticeship, she had done such a good job that she was asked to stay with the company and is now the Executive Secretary and Receptionist.

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank every person who helped me achieve this golden opportunity.”