Youth in Focus: An interview with Mayyada Nadi
What made you interested in TYO's STEP! Program?
My interest in volunteering at TYO stemmed from my positive experiences as a child beneficiary at TYO. When I was younger I used to attend classes at TYO. I was in a bad situation and frustrated at that time, living without hope because my brother had just been arrested and held at an Israeli jail and my other brother had just been killed. TYO opened new doors for me to have my hope in life back again. At the time I really appreciated that TYO accepted me as a girl. I just wanted to be able to play the same as boys, and was so thankful to find TYO in a culture that doesn’t allow the girls to play out of the homes as boys do. I was also interested to volunteer at TYO so I could continue working on my job skills- I’m interested in developing my communication skills with not only the children who remind me with myself at TYO, but also with other volunteers.
Have you volunteered before, just heard about it?
This is my first time volunteering and I'm so excited to be back at TYO. Previously, I couldn’t join TYO because of my university schedule.
What do you hope to do as a career and how do you think this will help you?
I am studying to be a doctor so I can eventually work as a physician in a hospital. Additionally, I hope to develop my literary abilities so I can continue to pursue my interest in poetry. TYO has helped my professional development, as the volunteer program allows me to practice my leadership skills. It is really important for doctors to have strong personalities and a lot of confidence in order to deal with patients and the staff. Practicing my leadership skills at TYO will help me to develop my leadership skills for my future career.
What is the greatest challenge for youth like you in the current labor market?
I think that the biggest challenge for youth in the labor market is this culture- especially for youth living in the villages. Women are expected to get married and stay at home to take care of the family. I think that TYO helps women to be more aware of their own rights and the importance of giving back to the community.
Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
I can see myself in 5 years working in a hospital as a doctor, and helping poor people. I think I am well-equipped to work with the poor as I can understand what they are going through and understand the important of being a support system.
Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba
This program – as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) – is sponsored by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.