Youth Futures Alumni

Over the past decade, approximately 10,000 teens from all sectors of Israeli society have successfully completed the Youth Futures Program and joined the circle of program alumni.  Alumni of all ages report a high sense of self-competence and improvement in the program’s four life circles.  They have optimally integrated into normative educational frameworks and report zero school dropout rates, and report high motivation for significant military and civilian service. One of the program’s challenges is to maintain these achievements among its beneficiaries over time, as tools that will help extricate themselves from dangerous situations and avoid them in the future, maximally take advantage of their abilities and lead significant and normative lives. 

A series of challenges are faced by alumni. Such as adolescence – which is complicated in and of itself – challenges characteristic of the second and third decades of life and the unique life circumstances of each and every one of them.  Based on this understanding, we wish to expand the mentoring model of the significant adult (mentor) and suit it to the changing life challenges of Youth Futures alumni. 

We have an extensive database that enables us to connect with our alumni and a unique professional knowledge base that has been gathered by the program over the years.  Based on the knowledge gathered through our years in the program, it was made clear that there are many assistance programs available to our alumni ages 18 and up, and only a few for those in Middle and High schools and their parents.

These days we are working on establishing our ‘Program Alumni Community’. This community works both locally and nationally in all sectors of Israeli society and is available to three main groups: children in grades 7th-12th that have graduated from the program, parents of our alumni, and former staff. Our Alumni Community walks the line between ‘beneficiaries to resource’. The different activities in the localities vary according to age groups and different areas of interest. Areas where the alumni are beneficiaries who are serviced by the program, and areas where the alumni are a local and communal resource.

As a rule, the younger alumni just finishing the program should be seen mainly as beneficiaries who require assistance and guidance while facing the myriad of challenges associated with the move to middle school. Yet we must not overlook these young alumni’s ability to be a source for action within the community they live in and to aspire and develop the various areas of volunteering and giving back to the community for and among them. In contrast, our high school aged alumni should be seen as a community resource first, as well as a resource for our program. Proper assistance and guidance will allow these alumni to develop tools that will help make a change in their community.

All of the activities within the Alumni Community will be led by our new, full time local function of Local Alumni Mentor. It will be their responsibility to form, guide and lead the local Program Alumni Community with all its different sectors (Alumni, parents of alumni and former staff) so as to help them develop to be agents of changes for the community the live in as well as their own betterment. The Alumni Mentor’s work will focus on volunteering-community spectrum, and will be based on several group areas they will lead together and separately.

Bat El Saada, 19 Sdot Negev

For the past two years she has volunteered as a national service girl at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva. On the 69th Independence Day of the State of Israel,  she received the President's Award for National Service volunteers

Maayan Cohen, 21 Emek Hamaayanot

After completing high school, he volunteered for a year of service in the Jewish community in Toronto. Today he serves in the IDF as a combat soldier in HFC rescue unit.