Youth in Focus: An Interview with Rawan Saqfelheet

Rawan Saqfelheet is second year student at An-Najah National University studying English Literature and American Studies. Rawan is from Nablus. Rawan explains that having the opportunity to work alongside Native English Speakers is one of the things that first interested her in volunteering at TYO.

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

I was interested in registering in TYO's STEP! program because I wanted to practice speaking English with native speakers and gain experience working with children because as I plan to be a teacher upon graduating from An Najah. I was also interested in the STEP! program because I had heard about the opportunities to attend job training seminars. I'd never written a CV or learned how to interview for a job and thought this would be a good opportunity to pick up the needed skills.

Have you volunteered before?

I have very little previous volunteer experience. My friend who was volunteering at TYO before told me about this opportunity and how useful it was for her. I was more excited to continue in the program because I saw that TYO works hard to train youth enrolled in the program for future success in the job market.

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

I’m planning to pursue my high study in Linguistics right after I graduate and I hope to get a chance study abroad. I would like to then return to Palestine and apply my skills to my home country.

What is the greatest challenge for youth like you in the current labor market?

In general, I think that the biggest challenge for youth in the labor market is the lack of job opportunities. The number of the annual graduates is higher than the number of the job opportunities in Palestine. Also, the universities don’t prepare the students for the job labor in terms of the skills. I hope that voluntary working like what I’m doing at TYO becomes obligatory at the universities so we can develop our skills.

Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

I can see myself in 5 years with good enough experience and get my MA degree as I’m planning for. Then, I see myself working in an American organization in translation.

-Interview conducted by Ruba Hayfayda

The Student Training and Employment Program (STEP!) – is funded by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.