Youth in Focus: An Interview with Sameer Adham

Sameer Adham is from Nablus. He is a third year student at An Najah National University and is majoring in Finance. Samer assists children in the IT lab

What made you apply for STEP!?

I am always looking for new opportunities to better my skills, so when I saw the advertisement for STEP!, I was immediately interested. But what really caught my eye about the STEP! program was the chance to work with disadvantaged children from within my community. I like the idea of being able to make a positive impact on my community while at the same time being able to train myself for the future to be a good father.

What new skills have your learned through the program?

The two most important things I've learned thus far are patience and leadership. Working with young children requires an exceptional amount of patience- both with yourself and with the children. As I was learning the most effective techniques for interacting with children, I needed to be patient with myself when I wasn't always successful. Additionally, working with children inherently requires patience, as they are very energetic and not always prone to following direction. Through this, I've also been developing my leadership skills as I've been learning how to control the class in a positive way. In general, I'm content with the progress I've been making in the classroom. The psycho-social trainings I have taken at TYO have been very helpful- not only in teaching me new skills to lead children, but also by challenging me to better understand myself and my own abilities.

What are your career goals and do you feel that STEP! helped you get closer to those goals?

I would like to continue on to a Masters program once I complete my undergraduate studies. Ultimately I would like to start my own company. The trainings I'm receiving at TYO are very helpful in preparing me for what to expect when I complete my studies- most particularly, how to write a CV and how to prepare for a job interview.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for youth like you in the current labor market?

The biggest challenge facing today's youth in Palestine is the lack of job opportunities. That being said, I believe that with hard work and a focus on self-improvement there is a chance to succeed. In terms of self-improvement, taking advantage of every professional development opportunity and getting as much experience as possible will really help to differentiate ourselves from other graduates; we'll all have university certificates, but we won't have all put in an equal amount of effort to improving ourselves. It's that extra effort that should really make the difference when it comes to job opportunities- simply put, some people work harder and deserve the opportunities more than others.

-Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba Hafayda

This program is funded by the Abdel Hameed Shoman Foundation (AHSF).