Jessica M. from Germany is in Victoria Paton’s Maryland cluster.

One of the very first things I did after I arrived in the United States in January of 2017 was participate in the Women’s March on Washington. It was a truly inspiring day and unlike anything I had ever seen before.  Every single person there had their own unique story, a reason for why they had decided to protest, and it was an experience that I treasure more than I could ever put into words.

Jessica M. IWD
This day, more than any other, made me realize how strong women are, as I was looking around seeing all the signs, how much we can accomplish and how much we can endure.  And it helped me see myself from a new perspective.

I have only been in the United States for two months and yet, I have already learned so much about myself. Coming to a foreign country at the age of 18, I have been confronted with tons of new situations that I had not previously found myself in. Whether it was flying on my own for the first time, paying for something with a debit card, or getting gas with an American car at an American gas station, all of those experiences have taught me how to ask for help in a situation where I wasn’t entirely sure what to do, but they have also taught me that there are things that I can do on my own.

Being forced to act in a situation where I would have previously relied on my parent’s guidance, I now know that I can be a functioning, independent individual. My confidence in myself and my abilities has increased a whole lot and I’m able to deal with unexpected situations way better, it is easily my greatest accomplishment, not only as an Au pair, but also in life. Having the confidence to go out and experience the world, talk to strangers and make new friends is an ability that will pay itself off for the rest of my life and I’m extremely glad that I made the decision to come to America.

I want to encourage any young woman to #beboldforchange. Nothing can stop you.