Scholarships for students with social responsibility


05 August 2009 Scholarships for students with social responsibility World ORT has presented $20,000 in scholarships to a shortlist of Israeli undergraduates who have distinguished themselves by the quality and commitment of their volunteer work with underprivileged children. The 40 scholarship recipients are all students at Braude College of Engineering in Karmiel; each of them devotes four hours a week to needy children in communities across northern Israel, serving as mentors and tutors and even as an elder sibling or friend. The students do their communal work through Perach Chonchut (Mentoring Project), a national organisation headquartered in the Weizmann Institute of Science, which provides thousands of undergraduate volunteers to help disadvantaged children. We asked Perach to provide a shortlist of mentors who study at Braude and who operate in any of the 30 municipalities in the north where World ORTs Kadima Mada programme has a presence, said Kadima Mada Projects Manager Sherrie Gazit, who sifted through scores of detailed reports together with Kadima Mada Technology Education field team member Shmuel Cohen to select the scholarship recipients. We were very impressed by the standard not only of these mentors work but by their commitment and dedication, Ms Gazit said. These students have never missed a session with their child and have built up excellent relationships with them and their families. And their care extends far beyond tutoring children in maths, English or science. Some of the kids have various issues including lack of self confidence so the mentors make a point of interacting with them on a social level, too, helping to bring them out of their shell and raising their self-esteem, Ms Gazit said. They show that they care. Among the scholarship recipients at this weeks ceremony in Kiryat Yam was Meytal Emanuel, a third-year engineering student at Braude. A past winner of Perachs own excellence award, Meytal modestly summed up the devotion she and her fellow volunteers have to their communities. When Im doing the mentoring I become totally involved in it and it all comes very naturally to me, Meytal said. Its only when I come to a ceremony like this and see all these other people who are doing the same as me that it dawns on me how great is the cumulative effect of all our efforts. The $500 which Meytal and her 39 colleagues have received from World ORT thanks to the generosity of American donor Martin Messinger is a very welcome supplement to the $1,000 grants given them by Perach. Most students in Israel have to work their way through university and any additional income is a huge help in meeting tuition costs and so freeing up valuable time to study. At the ceremony was Perachs Director General, Amos Carmeli, who won the Israel Prize on Israels 60th Independence Day on behalf of his organisation and its contribution to the community. I hope that there will be many more such occasions as this, which is an expression of the wonderful work that these scholarship recipients do, Mr Carmeli said. However, there are far more winners than we can see here today the thousands of Israeli children who are given the help and support they need. Mr Carmeli thanked Kadima Mada for its keen collaboration with Perach in providing the scholarships and praised what he described as the beginning of a wonderful friendship between the two organisations. Kiryat Yam Mayor Shmuel Sisso told the ceremony: I am happy and proud that so many of the scholarship recipients are from this town I see Kadima Mada as a true partner in the development of Kiryat Yam and its to Kadima Madas credit that our plans to transform our town into a science and technology city are materialising. World ORT Representative in Israel Rony Kalinsky noted how the scholarships were an expression of World ORTs vision of education as the key to unlocking the potential of young people in whose hands the future of the State of Israel lay. We are proud to encourage and to nurture students who display such admirable social commitment, Mr Kalinsky said. We believe that the fruits of their success will be picked by all of us in the future. The Braude College of Engineering was founded in 1989 following a World ORT campaign strongly supported by ORTs friends around the world. Named after the late Max Braude a chaplain in the United States Army who went on to become Director General of World ORT in 1956 the college is now one of northern Israels most important tertiary institutions offering a range of international standard technical and scientific degrees.