WISE Profile: Nuhood Yahya

From Al Araqa, a village near Jenin, Nuhood Yahya studied to become a science teacher at Al Quds Open University. Originally at Birzeit University in Ramallah, her mother’s health deteriorated due to cancer leading Nuhood to transfer schools. Now, with only two areas of focus at the university, math or science, Nuhood chose the latter option. However, she did not enjoy her studies and knew she wanted to do something else with her life. Her combined desire to help those in her home town, as well as support her family, led to her Al Awa’ael Center project—to create a student center in her village with classes in math, science, critical thinking, etc. as well as printers and computers for student use. Not only would running this center provide her with the financial capacity to help her family, but also, this would be the first center of this kind in her village. Beginning in March 2011, her project humbly began in a rented one-room house, but after eight months, with a lack in financial resources and experience, she had to shut it down.

Focused on finding training programs for women entrepreneurs, she stumbled upon the WISE program and joined as soon as she could. Hoping to develop herself and be provided with experience, Nuhood has been working hard to learn as much as she can about marketing and finance. With a very supportive family helping any way they can—her brother even gave her his computer—they continue to encourage her to do what makes her happy and to work hard. However, the people in her village are less enthusiastic about a woman running such a center, an opinion she is hoping will change.

She listed the top three areas of growth she has seen in herself since the beginning of WISE until now as being:

  1. Confidence
  2. Drive
  3. Readiness to take on more challenges and responsibility

Her advice for budding entrepreneurs is:

If you want to do a project, just do it. If there are challenges, face them and don’t stop. Do whatever you can to be successful and don’t forget to always look for as much training as possible. It’s more helpful than you realize.

Caring not only for her family but also for all the students in her village, Nuhood is working tirelessly with WISE to achieve success. Stay with us to hear all about her progress.

-Lila Lila is a Fall 2012 intern.