October 28, 2008 / 29 Tishrei 5769
Zohar Mevrathe barely survived the journey to Israel from a Sudanese refugee camp. Now, with the help of the Jewish Agency Atidim program, he is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering and interning at a leading Israeli corporation in his field of study.
Zohar Mevrathe, 27, doesn’t remember leaving Ethiopia for Israel with his parents and four siblings when he was two-years-old, but he knows that it is a miracle that he is alive. “My father told me that when we were in a Sudanese refugee camp, which he describes as the worst place on earth, I was deathly ill. No one thought that I would survive.”
Not only did Zohar survive his journey to Israel, but he flourished too. Coming as an infant, he did not face the difficulties his parents and older siblings did in adapting to their new surroundings. Zohar quickly learned Hebrew and excelled in school. He served as a tank technician in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), where he felt good about contributing to his country and began to become interested in mechanical engineering.
Upon his discharge from the army, Zohar was accepted to Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where he is indeed pursuing his interests – and talents – in mechanical engineering. During his first two years, Zohar worked hard to support himself and keep up his grades. Then he heard about Atidim for Industry and the Business Sector. “Atidim has changed my life,” says Zohar. “My work load at college was getting heavier and I didn’t see how I could continue working night shifts. Atidim is not only assisting me now, but it is my springboard for the future.”
Through Atidim, Zohar receives a full tuition scholarship, a monthly stipend for living expenses, a laptop computer and professional mentoring. “I was working night shifts as a security guard and trying to keep up with my college studies. Now, with Atidim’s support, I can invest more time in college, and I have an internship at a major company in my field. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Zohar is now an intern at the Mekorot Company, Israel’s national water supplier, and upon completing his studies, will begin working there. “Atidim believes in me and is investing in my future. This has encouraged me to be the best I can and strive to succeed. There are no words to express my appreciation for this program.”
To learn more about Atidim programs that are helping students like Zohar achieve success in Israel's leading industries and corporations, click here.
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