Fredericka Fig

     Whenever Fredericka Fuji looked in the mirror, she saw an accomplished scientist. A picture of Marie Curie, Fredericka’s idol, hung nearby. In fact, neighborhood kids knew of Fredericka’s excellent scientific skills, and they often asked her to help them with their homework. Without hesitation, Fredericka joyfully assisted them. She was also known as an encourager, and the same kids knew to share their family problems along with their homework challenges. At the end of each session, the kids experienced academic success and walked away with clear suggestions for solving their family problems.
     Regardless of their age, young people need encouragement, and Fredericka, a teen, hoped that her mom would value her dreams and goals. Sadly, before Fredericka started to apply to colleges, her mother, Mrs. Francine Fuji, a single parent, sat her daughter down and tried to convince Fredericka to become a model.
     “Sweetie, you can go to college in ten years. You’re so gorgeous and graceful, and you can surely save money for college. Remember my friend Dora Date? She works for a modeling agency, and she’s certain that she can help you get discovered!”
     “Mom, I know that you mean well! I so appreciate that you sent me to Charm School when I was in seventh grade. And, yes, I can imagine that it’s difficult for you to raise me and Fabian on your own. But, mom, I’ve wanted to be a scientist since I was seven!”
     “Yes, I know that, sweetie! But your dad died suddenly, without any insurance, so times are challenging for us. I’m still paying off some of the loans your dad took out without consulting me. Being a model would give you financial stability and independence, two key tools for success.”
     “Please. Mom! Please let me go to college so I can live my dream. The world needs more female scientists!”
     Fortunately, Fredericka convinced her mother to let her apply to college. That later resulted in Fredericka’s admission to Columbia University with a full four-year scholarship. While sophomores at Columbia University, Fredericka Fuji and Felipe Fig met in their first chemistry course. Both young people planned to become research chemists, and both excelled in all of their science and math courses.
     Though at first drawn to Fredericka’s incredible outer beauty, Felipe became mesmerized by Fredericka’s skillful scientific-thought processes. They spent countless hours discussing experiments. When she said that after graduation, she was considering applying for an internship in Boston, Felipe knew that his true feelings needed to be shared. One evening, actually ten months before their graduation day, Felipe proposed to Fredericka. He had been saving for years for a ring, of course without Fredericka’s knowledge.
     Just like in the movies, Felipe got on his knee and proposed to Fredericka. “Precious Fredericka, I can’t imagine being without you. Don’t apply for that internship in Boston! Please marry me!” Then, he tenderly placed the lovely ring on her finger.
     Tears of joy flowed down her cheeks. “Oh, Felipe! I do love you! Being your wife would be so special, but what about my career?”
     “You can continue your career here in New York City. Professor Thomas Tangerine recently shared these flyers about Columbia’s graduate programs in chemical research. There are several opportunities to receive fully paid fellowships followed by post-graduate programs. Please review them before you make any decisions!”
     Although not immediate, Fredericka accepted Felipe’s marriage proposal and completed an application for Columbia’s chemical research graduate program. Both young people looked forward to sharing their lives and careers. Although Mrs. Francine Fuji didn’t expect her daughter to marry so young, she warmly welcomed Felipe into her family.