DEARBORN — It’s often said that motherhood is one of the hardest jobs, but for Najat Machiche, it’s just one of many.
The 43-year-old wife and mother of eight made headlines recently for her success at Wayne State University. Machiche is graduating this weekend with a degree in engineering, the culmination of years of hard work balancing several different roles within her family, professional and academic life.
“I go to work, I drop off the kids at school, I come from work, I go exercising, I take my kids to do activities, I cook for my kids,” she said, describing the experience of her typical day to WXYZ-7 in Detroit in a recent report.
Calling her time studying at Wayne State University a “second chance” to reach her lifelong dreams, Machiche said her dad originally wanted her to come to the United States for a PhD in physics in 1999. Instead, she met her husband and started a family, and is now planning to return to the school this fall to get her master’s degree.
Her kids range in ages from 17 to 8-years-old.
“When my dad came he told me, ‘where is your degree?’” Machiche said.
Five years ago, she decided to go back to school when her father visited from Morocco, where her family still lives. She told WXYZ that her family was skeptical about the decision.
Machiche has proven her capabilities in more ways than one, balancing her home and work life with the difficulties of speaking English as her third language.
Despite all of the challenges, her professors are amazed with her work, including Mohammed Ismail, who chairs the College of Engineering at WSU.
“Hard work, she’s really creative,” he said. “The sky is the limit as for what she can do.”
She said her six daughters and two sons are proud of her accomplishments, which she is excited to share with them.
“They are very proud of their mom,” Machiche said. “It’s my ultimate dream, for my kids, for myself and for my dad.”
Her advice for anyone wondering about whether or not to follow their dreams is simple.
“Do it. Any woman can do it. Any girl can do it. If I did it with eight kids, you can do it.”