Shalom from Jerusalem!
We are delighted to share with you an update on our new tutoring project, which pairs graduates of our youth group NerYah who are now enrolled in university with high schoolers who are currently a part of NerYah.
Anava, who manages the program, said that the program was born as the HFI team prepared for the 2022-2023 academic year, for both NerYah and the HFI scholarship program. They realized that just as many secular Israeli scholarship programs have volunteer requirements, it is important for believing organizations to have similar criteria for their programs.
HFI’s program offers a solution to the high costs of private tutoring for high schoolers in Israel, and gives the students an opportunity to give back, gain experience, and improve their resumes.
This year, there are two students who meet one-on-one with youth in the program, plus several groups focused on English and math tutoring. As with all new programs, this one has faced several challenges, but we continue to see its importance for both youth and students. Anava shared that the logistics of the program have required a lot of thought, but that it has been special to see the fruit of the program.
I spoke with one of the students, who is currently meeting one-on-one once a week with an 11th grader. The pair have built a special bond since the beginning of the year.
S. is in her third year of studying education. She specializes in English language and in support for at-risk students.
She shared some of her experience, saying that the program gives her the opportunity to support a younger sister and at the same time to gain experience in her field of study. For her, the program is meaningful because it gives teens an auxiliary safe space to share, to ask questions, and to feel loved and accepted by a responsible older believer.
Building a relationship with a teenager takes time, and fortunately, since these two meet one on one, they have the ability to truly connect. S. shared that their weekly meetings usually begin with a discussion of the week and what challenges they have faced, and then turns to practical and objective thinking and courses of action for future situations of a similar nature. This is what she said,
“It’s very important to me that she [the teen] can come … to a place where she is in control of herself, and of her life, and where she has concrete goals and faith that she can achieve them.”
For S, volunteering with a high schooler is coming full circle, since she herself first encountered HFI as a teenager through our youth group, NerYah. We love seeing how the program offers young believers of different ages an opportunity to connect with each other independently, and we believe that we will continue to see young adults who were blessed by NerYah as teens come back to serve the next generation!
We are encouraged by the successes we have seen so far and are confident that this initiative will continue to grow and flourish in the future, thanks to our wonderful staff. We hope that you too will be encouraged by this testimony of the work we are doing to build the next generation.
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