Youth in Focus: An interview with Hanaa N.

Hanaa N. is from Nablus. She graduated in 2012 from An-Najah National University with a degree in Bio-Technology. Hana

 What made you apply for STEP?!

I was interested in applying for STEP! because I saw it as an opportunity to get real-world experience in the workplace. As I've already graduated, I want to be able to step into my first job already understanding the basics of what is expected in the workplace so I can build a solid foundation for my career.

What new skills have your learned through the program?

So far, the most important skill I've learned is how to deal with children in an appropriate manner. Related to this, I've learned how important it is to plan activities and prepare ahead before doing anything. Being prepared for class isn't just a matter of knowing what activities will be done, but it's also having alternative ideas in case things don't go as planned. Being well prepared definitely helps to increase confidence as well, as it reduces the chance of being caught off guard in class.

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

My experience at TYO has helped me by improving my confidence and communication skills. As a woman coming from a very traditional family, I was initially met with a lot of resistance when I started volunteering at TYO because my family didn't understand why this was important to me. However, being at TYO has helped build my confidence which is really important on a personal level as it helps me to defend my choices when people at home disagree with me.  Finally, I believe volunteering at TYO has helping me to improve my presentation skills which I know will be important at any job in the future.

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

The biggest challenge for the recent graduates is the existence of wasta i.e. personal connections. I've tried many times to find employment opportunities but couldn’t because other people had their own connections with the decision maker. This system  deprives otherwise qualified candidates from getting a job.

-Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba Hafayda

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