21 Feb People Told Me I Could Be A Leader, And Now I Am One
One of Israel’s leading positive-intervention programs, Youth Futures, is a Jewish Agency subsidiary and flagship program. It creates opportunities for the strengthening of children, teens, families and communities. Liron Vaisehon participated in the program in Arad, Israel.
“I’m 11. When I was little, I was scared of people and afraid to speak to them. It made me unhappy. I really wanted more friends. Four years ago, I met my first Youth Futures mentor. I could tell I could talk to her. We talked about ways I could deal with my fear. Slowly I changed. She and my new mentor, Tzila, helped me understand my feelings. They hosted activities that I enjoyed a lot. They pointed out my good grades that I got without studying and encouraged me to study to get even better grades. I started feeling confident that I could make progress with my classmates and in homework. I started feeling I can speak to people and communicate what I think and what I want. It feels good when my friends listen to me and value what I share. I speak in public at ceremonies now. People told me I could be a leader, and now I am one. Tzila meets with my parents once a month and with my teacher and school counselor. Everyone has been so supportive. She encourages me to set goals for the future. At first I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. Now I think I want to be a nurse, and I’m focusing on science subjects to prepare. Next year I’m going to junior high and won’t be in Youth Futures anymore. They had an event with all the 6th graders in Youth Futures in Arad, so that we can make friends from other schools before junior high. Youth Futures helped me a lot. I’m very happy.”