Youth in Focus: An Interview with Fatima Ahmad

Fatima Ahmad is from Nablus. She graduated in 2013 from An-Najah National University with a Bachelors degree in English Language and Literature. Fatima keeps smiles on children's faces during a field trip to the park!

What made you apply for STEP?!

I was interested in applying for STEP! because I felt it would enable me to get practical  experience in my job field, and thus hopefully help get me a job within my area of study. I also enjoy working with children and feel I work well with them. The volunteer opportunity at TYO is a great opportunity for me to practice my English and help share my language skills with children within the community. The one-on-one language practice with children allows me to develop teaching skills and perfect various teaching techniques.

What new skills have your learned through the program?

Thus far the most important skill I've developed is leadership. While this is not an easy skill to develop, the daily practice I receive at TYO leading classes and small groups has been helpful. It took me time to successfully lead small groups, but now with practice I know I am capable of leading the whole class. TYO has been very helpful in challenging me and teaching me new skills, which I know will be beneficial for my future career.

What are your career goals and do you feel that STEP! helped you get closer to those goals?

I have several things planned- I would like to work as an English teacher, then return to school to get my Masters Degree, and eventually I would like to work at the university. TYO helped me to get real life work experience and develop my CV.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for youth like you in the current labor market?

The biggest challenge for today's youth is the gap between what is learned in school and the skills required by the job market. The main focus in schools is on lecturing and academic discussion, rather than helping students to build all of the other skills required to be well-rounded job candidates- such as a strong work ethic, confidence, leadership, and communication.

-Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba Hafayda

This program is funded by the Abdel Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF)