Hello! Let me introduce myself. My name is Iftikhar. My wife’s name is Rabia. We have two wonderful children named Rizwan (age 10) and Khadija (age 7). We live in lovely Northern California, living the American dream. Some people roll their eyes at the mention of “American dream”, but as an immigrant to this amazing country, its a very real & personal concept to me. I moved to the US when I was 13 (from England), and from day one, the ability to choose my own destiny really made an impression on me. America is a place where you really can realize your dreams through hard work, innovation, risk-taking, a little luck and some help from friends and family.
I mention this because I’m writing this blog to chronicle our family journey as we help Khadija realize her dream. She wants to become a Pediatrician, after graduating from Stanford Medical school. The first couple times, I casually dismissed the idea (not to her of course!), as kids often say cute or earnest things. However, this wasn’t a temporary infatuation. She’s been focused on this idea for the last two years. So finally I decided to search the web to see what resources were available to help us on this journey. Needless to say, I didn’t find much. So out of that frustration, this resource is being born. I’m hoping to build a community of parents, educators, and professionals that work together to create a playbook which can be used by a parent on a similar journey. While this blog will mostly focus on how to get ready for the field of medicine, hopefully, there are lessons learned along the way that is applicable for most parental and teaching scenarios.
We’ll talk to doctors to get their advice on how to best prepare. We’ll research and connect you with the best educational products, courses, and experiences that will help your child succeed. We’ll talk to Elementary, Middle & High school teachers. Visit colleges. Summarize insights from the latest, most influential books on parenting & education. Most of all, we’ll give you practical advice on what to do and what not to do in raising ambitious, kind, polite, driven, collaborative children who aren’t afraid to lead, but also have the humility to follow.
By no means am I an expert, or even a good parent. But I hope I’ll become a better parent, educator, and person through this blog. I hope the lessons learned and applied, give Khadija & Rizwan a better chance of achieving their dreams or creating new ones. I need your help too! Please do e-mail me your ideas, thoughts or feedback or use the comments section on the blog. Together we can make something special. I hope so.
PS. I was inspired (and pushed) to start this blog after reading the book, Serve No Master, by Jonathan Green.
PPS. I realize my personal perspective on the American dream is sentimental and worse, not true for everyone. Many people in this country, DON’T have the same chances I did. (I thank God every day for how blessed I have been.) But I’m still grateful for the opportunities afforded to me by living in this great country, and I’m not going to apologize for celebrating it!
With over 16 years of Operations Leadership at Apple, Iftikhar has had pivotal roles in launching the iPod, iPhone, iPad & Apple Watch. In late 2017, he launched k12toSTEMCareer.com with the goal of becoming a better parent to his children, Rizwan and Khadija. Today, over 1214 people follow Iftikhar's writings around STEM & Parenting. Read Iftikhar's personal story about his journey from an Introvert to a Director at Apple.
Earning a Home Scientist badge with Girls Scouts at the Tech Museum
Why our kids spend their summers studying abroad
How reading has changed my life, and how it can change your kids life too!
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