Fatima Al-Mayyahi, graduate of Mariner High School, works at Boeing and attends Everett Community College. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Fatima Al-Mayyahi, graduate of Mariner High School, works at Boeing and attends Everett Community College. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

EvCC student building a base to build career on

Fatima Al-Mayyahi, who works as a Boeing 777X mechanic, is studying to become an engineer.

EVERETT — Fatima Al-Mayyahi, 18, graduated this year from Mariner High School. She is working at Boeing and has volunteered with the Mukilteo YMCA. She plans to study aviation maintenance at Everett Community College.

Q: How have you been involved with the Y?

A: I volunteered with Code Teen this summer. I joined it first … We started going to field trips and going to colleges. After a year or so, I came and I was volunteering and helping out with the younger kids.

Q: You also did MAP, the My Achievers Program at the Y?

A: That was like the four-year journey that I was in. The first few years I used to go constantly … My third year I was going to a different school (Monroe High School) and I was new and I was trying to figure myself out … My senior year I came back to Mariner and I went back to the MAP program … One of the years through MAP we had this field trip called GOLD (Girls Outdoor Leadership Development). It was like a two-week field trip. It was backpacking in the woods. It’s really, really nice. It was just a group of girls so we got really close.

Q: What activities did you do at Mariner?

A: I did basketball for one year. Outside of that, I used to work in a restaurant. It was my first job, at KFC.

Q: What do you do at Boeing?

A: I’m a 777X intake mechanic. You’re in a confined space, the really tiny spaces of the wing and you go inside of them and whatever needs to be done, you fix it or let other people know.

Q: How did you get interested in that?

A: It’s learning about that side of the airplanes. I want to be an engineer later on. To be a mechanic to me is like … when I want to be an engineer I want to build it and to know what I’m going to need.

Q: How did your family come to the U.S.?

A: My parents came from Iraq and they went to Jordan … since they did that, the Jordan country, they do not give you citizenship … That was hard to get a job and education … My parents wanted a better life for us so we came here.

Q: Tell me about becoming a citizen.

A: I grew up here. I really don’t remember a lot from Jordan. Just growing up here … It makes me feel like I am in the right place. This is my home. I feel connected and safe. I want to give (others) the same.

Q: How did your family settle in the Everett area?

A: My sister used to live here with her husband. The only people we knew was her and her husband … so when we came her, we were right next to her … It became our hometown. We did move to Lynnwood though, so now we live in Lynnwood.

Q: How did the Y help you?

A: The Y was like an eye-opener for me. I came here and my sister started working at the Y … She inspired me a lot. I could discover and learn English there … It was just a way for me to discover who I was and, as they say, spread my wings.

Q: Who are you today?

A: I would describe myself as a strong, independent woman who has dreams, wants to achieve and wants to make a difference someday in this world.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

Celebrate with the Y

The YMCA Casino Road Community Center is turning 7 this September. An event is planned to hear stories, celebrate good works and honor the organization’s partners and leaders.

It is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25. The location is the Children’s Village at 14 E. Casino Road.

There will be free child care, light appetizers and cake. The keynote speaker is Horizon Elementary Principal Edmund Wong.

RSVP by Sept. 15 to carmstronghoss@ymca-snoco.org or 425-493-2414.

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