Youth in focus: An interview with Ola D.

Ola D. is from Nablus. She graduated in 2014 from An-Najah National University with a degree in Primary Teaching Methods. Ola helps children in Core PM with an art project

What made you apply for STEP!?

There are two things that really interested me in the STEP! program. First I was interested in the opportunity to get hands-on experience in my area of study (I studied Primary Education Methods in university). Second, I heard that the professional development trainings offered through the STEP! program are very helpful in terms of providing participants with the materials and skills they need to get a job. This was an excellent opportunity to utilize the experience of TYO's staff so I could prepare a strong CV.

What new skills have your learned through the program?

TYO's emphasis on creative thinking and learning through play taught me a lot about how to prepare activities that would be engaging for children. Beyond that, I learned how to link fun (and seemingly basic) activities to much higher level thoughts and learning objectives. Additionally, since volunteering as TYO, I've been able to practice and improve my communication, team-building, and leadership skills.

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

I’m planning to work as an elementary teacher. TYO benefited me by teaching me how to better manage children. I also learned to be more conscious of my own needs and emotions and through the psychosocial trainings at TYO, I've learned how my own mentality can effect the children.

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

The biggest challenge for recent graduates is the lack of job opportunities in Palestine. It is my hope that by working hard and trying to develop myself, I will become a strong and well-rounded candidate and thus have a better chance of finding a job.

-Interview conducted by Volunteer Coordinator, Ruba Hafayda

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