Volunteer to Grow: The Success Story of Haya Feno


Haya Feno was born and raised in Nablus and is a student at Al-Quds Open University studying business administration. Haya started volunteering in 2015 with the Core AM program. She originally began volunteering because she was required to complete 50 service hours during a class at Al-Quds Open University. Haya loved volunteering and completed 104 hours in her first volunteer session with Core AM. This is her third session at TYO having volunteered two sessions with Core AM and one as a local intern with Core PM.

What has your professional experience been like outside of TYO?

I am still a student at Al-Quds Open University and TYO was my first training experience. However, I worked two jobs while attending university. For the first job, I worked at a customs tax office for one month. At the second job, I did market for seven months for an exhibition for electronically devices. I like marketing and feel like the work is an achievement, even if there aren’t immediate results.

What is your career plan?

I want to finish my studies at university. I am currently waiting for my driver's license to reach two years so I can take training to become a driver instructor. There are some women driving instructors now, but not as many as men. My sister was one of the first ladies to be a driving instructor, but now the number is growing. My family has a business plan to open a school for people to learn how to drive. The family has started the steps to create the business and is waiting for the permit to open the school. The next stop is to find a location, order furniture for the building, and then open the office. My brother and sister are driving instructors, so the business will be family oriented. My degree in business administration will help because I will be doing most of the exam and secretarial work. Everything I studied will useful in my family’s business.

What do you look for in a work environment?

First, the workplace must be respectful of the employees. I must feel respected. If there is no respect, it is better not to work at all. You have to be able to say your opinion and make decisions. Another important thing is trust. In a previous job, there was no trust and I didn't like to go to work, but I had to and was unhappy.

What skills have you gained from your time with TYO so far?

I have improved my sense of commitment. I have become a person who is more committed with people, with work, and with my time. I am more responsible. My ability to work with children has grown. I used to not be involved with children, but now that I have worked with them, I know how to treat them and deal with them in a good way. I also know how to control my emotions and I don't get angry as easily anymore. I have more patience. Now I smiled more.

How has TYO impacted your professional life?

The greatest benefit from volunteering with TYO is my personality became stronger and I am more confident in myself. I was shy before, but not anymore. I can stand in front of people and talk now. I wanted to be a local intern to take advantage of an opportunity that isn't available or everyone. The local internship acknowledges your skills and helps highlight that you are a special person. It is good to volunteer for the experience and personal growth, even without a payment.

Haya is a local intern through the Youth Service Learning (YSL) program, part of STEP! II, a youth employability, empowerment, and community leadership initiative supported by Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.

Interview conducted by Lindsey, the International Internship and Fellowship Coordinator, and translated by Rawan, the Women’s Empowerment Program Assistant.