Youth in Focus: An interview with Maha Gteshat

TYO Volunteer Maha models motor skill control for children in Core AM Maha Gteshat graduated from Al-Quds Open University in 2013 and studied Computer Information Systems. Maha is from Tamoon, Palestine.

What made you interested in TYO's STEP! Program?

I was interested in joining STEP! so I could get experience outside my major- I think it is very important to be well-rounded. Also, I was interested in meeting new people and building my contacts, which may be able to one day link me to a potential employer. Finally, I don't have very much experience working, so I thought it was important to be somewhere I could observe organizational structure and culture.

Have you volunteered before?

I have previous volunteer experience working in the Health Department in Tubas. My role focused on office work- I spent a lot of time report and letter writing. This experience benefited me a lot, by allowing me to practice my written communication skills and helping me to develop more professional language skills. I learned about the volunteer opportunity at TYO through a cousin of mine who is currently volunteering with the organization.

What do you hope to do as a career and how do you think this experience will help you?

I plan to work in the field of management and coordination. TYO is moving me towards this goal, by helping develop my time management skills. I am also developing my patience with kids which is important for me in the future, as I must learn how to better manage stress.

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 the lack of job opportunities. Beyond that, youth are limited in their options to receive additional training, as recent graduates cannot afford the fees needed to register for trainings and skills development courses.

Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

I can see myself in 5 years leading projects in the field of computers. I hope to also work with graduates and give them special IT trainings in order to develop their skills. I would like to give university students the trainings I now see as important, but didn't have access to as a student.

-Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba

This program – as part of Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) – is funded by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.