By: Ambika Narula
Fatemeh Paryavi has been through a few changes throughout her life.
However, regardless of these changes, MoCo will always be her home. Born in Rockville, she lived there for 5 years before moving to Iran for a year and then Dubai before returning home to MoCo, in Rockville at the age of 13.
“I’ve lived here for a long time since the eight-year gap; however, I don’t think much has changed. New buildings are built, and roads are fixed up. MoCo’s still the same; it’s so diverse. Culturally, scenery wise, city wise. It’s really got it all,” Paryavi said.
While living in Dubai, Paryavi had the opportunity to experience homeschooling. After finishing up elementary school (Dubai), my parents decided that homeschooling would allow me to get an education with the benefit of time. It allowed me to learn so many other skills aside from school necessities, and it also allowed me to take more courses and finish school in a shorter period of time.
“After homeschooling, my family and I moved back to MoCo, and I went to high school here– at Churchill. There was a shock, since it had been three years since I had gone to a public school, and it took me a while to adjust; however, my time in high school ended up being pretty good. From there, I attended two years at the community college (MC) before attending the University of Maryland, College Park,” Paryavi said.
At UMD, Paryavi is currently majoring in Multi-platform Journalism with a minor in Computer Science.
“I’ve always loved writing and researching, and considering the fact so much of our time is being spent with technology by the day. My dream job is becoming a lawyer. And I do intend on becoming one in the future, however, for the moment, I really enjoy journalism, and I want to pursue a career in this field,” Paryavi said.
Fatemeh Paryavi is a passionate young student with big dreams and goals, she is recommends homeschooling to students and is open to staying in MoCo in the future.
By Ambika Narula
As a child, Anthony Nguyen (born in Silver Spring – current resident of Germantown) never thought he would work in the field of higher education.
However, the opportunity managed to find it's way into his life as he is currently working as a staff member at Montgomery College (Rockville) Writing, Reading, and Language Center, where he works closely with students and faculty on a daily basis.
“When I was in elementary school, the teacher asked us what we wanted to be or do when we grew up. I remember not wanting to be a teacher or be in an educational setting. I simply couldn’t imagine being in school for longer hours than the students. Instead, I imagined being an astronaut, an air force pilot, a firefighter, or something that was considered “cool.” Fast forward to the present, and here I am. Now, I feel like I am able to utilize my unique experiences growing up to share with and empower others. I've been in higher education ever since I graduated high school (Northwest HS). Not only as a student, but as a student employee, and eventually, a staff member. Serving others, especially students, is one of the things I've become passionate about. Outside of that, I've also been a 3rd-grade teacher for a non-profit in Washington D.C. and an assistant high school football coach in the county (Blair HS),” Nguyen said.
Interestingly, Nguyen's dream is to, “travel the world to meet all different kinds of people, educate and empower others, try new foods, and visit all the touristy spots, as well as unique locations not seen by many. Nguyen also added, "Overall, I'm passionate about developing people. I've been able to do that through teaching and coaching and would like to continue to explore avenues to do that in more significant ways. I feel that starting an organization or entrepreneurship is also something I can see myself venturing into, in the future."
As a Vietnamese—American, Nguyen believes that based on the diversity that MoCo offers, Vietnamese immigrants would enter a welcoming community.
“I feel that Montgomery County is very diverse and central to everything. I would definitely recommend Vietnamese and others of different backgrounds to settle within the county. There are various Vietnamese restaurants sprinkled throughout the county and also organizations within the Vietnamese community that host events throughout the year. One of the staple events is the annual Lunar New Year Festival, known as Tết or Vietnamese New Year, which is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. For the last several years, it has been hosted at Northwood High School,” Nguyen said.
Anthony Nguyen offered some advice to those struggling to find their passion, “Though I am still exploring and expanding my passions, I've been fortunate to taste some of the things that I love. I think it is one of the most fulfilling feelings to be able to do something you love, while positively contributing to individuals and the community around you. For those who don't know what their passions are yet, find a variety of ways to involve in activities, events, or organizations that you are interested in. While doing so, eventually something will click, discovering your love. Once that is realized, then find ways to make a positive impact and share that with others. That's the greatest way to live” Nguyen said.
By Ambika Narula
At 12 years old, Katie Seager’s (Germantown resident) life changed when she received her first camera taking pictures of whatever she can, such as trash cans. Falling passionately in love with photography, Seager decided to pursue her passion as a professional hobby while at the mere age of 16 while as a student at Clarksburg High school.
“My sophomore year in high school, I took a shot at trying to make money with the thing I loved most. I charged a whopping $10/hour for family portrait sessions. I am now 20 years old and am so humbled to say I haven’t stopped, and my business has been so blessed,” Seager said.
At the beginning of her business, Seager had run into a roadblock of her business license, but she refused to let that get in the way.
“I don’t think many people were interested in a 16-year-old shooting their wedding. It turned out that was not legally liable to have a licensed business in Maryland at 16, but I did not accept that. I had my dad sign as if he owned the business until my 18th birthday. In the past 4 years, I have had the chance to meet some incredible entrepreneurs, young business owners, and photographers that have coached me along the way, with all the good, bad, and ugly,” Seager said.
In the last few years since starting her business, Seager’s favorite part of the job is, “being different. I value the experience I have with those I work with. I try my hardest for “the process” of booking and scheduling with me to not be “business-y.” I hate that. I see value in every person I photograph, and I am not here to make money, I do this because I am called,” Seager said.
Seager’s photography consists of doing, almost any type of portrait, couples, weddings, families, and seniors.
Katie Seager is a proud MoCo resident and is proud to be a professional photographer and able to achieve the success of her business.
“I know this job is not my forever. However, I am so grateful for what it has become. Looking back as I was 12, I could have never imagined this is where I would be now. I know who holds the future of my business, and for that, I am grateful,” Seager said.
My name is Ambika Narula! I was born in Rockville but grew up in Germantown for a majority of my life, before moving to Clarksburg where I currently reside. I am a Clarksburg High School graduate, a former Montgomery College student and now a multi-platform journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park. A bit about me is that I am a writer, and currently Editor in Chief of UMD’s Odyssey Online. To me, MoCo has always been my home, and I’m proud to be apart of this county, seeing it grow and learning more about it every day.