YEDID´s educational empowerment programs for youth are much more than just after school programs. They provide at-risk and immigrant teenagers with the opportunities to advance their skills, increase self-confidence, and are a framework in which to start planning the future.
Immigrant and at-risk youth are three times as likely as native Israelis to drop out of high school. These youth, often from socially and economically disadvantaged families, are at great risk of not graduating high school, let alone pursuing further education, thus making it nearly impossible for them to escape a devastating cycle of poverty.
YEDID has developed several unique programs for teenagers including:
AYAL: AYAL is a holistic dropout prevention program for at-risk immigrant youth struggling within Israeli schools. This program promotes academic success for these adolescents through informal education and individual attention. It helps participants embrace their heritage, while achieving and developing their potential within Israel’s educational system. Ultimately, the goal of AYAL is to prevent school dropouts and build a positive self-image for participants. The program also encourages parents to become partners in their children’s education.
English On-Line: This project is designed to provide English language tuition while simultaneously teaching computer skills in a fun, educational and different way to what might be experienced at school. The main objectives of the program are to prevent high school dropout, provide educational and social support, and strengthen the self-esteem of the students. The course also provides tools that will be essential to the participants in potentially gaining higher education and in the modern job market.
University 4 Me: This college preparation project exposes low-income high school students to university faculty, students, and courses, and raises their self-confidence, helping them overcome negative pre-conceptions and encouraging them to pursue university studies. The first component of the program takes the form of discussions and workshops on how to prepare for exams, indentifying academic interests, and defining career goals. The second component consists of tours of local colleges and universities, including meeting students from similar backgrounds.
YEDID builds these programs in cooperation with local community leaders so that they are adapted to meet specific populations and needs. Ultimately their success is measured by the number of participants who graduate high school and continue to further education. Participants report that the programs help them feel motivated to succeed in school and in the future.