This summer, TYO awarded the first Educational Scholarship to one of its outstanding university volunteers. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants needed to complete at least 35 hours of community service during the summer session at TYO, be currently enrolled in a university and fill out an application explaining their need and future education and/or career goals.
Samer Abu Leil, a student at Al-Quds Open University, studying business administration was the first recipient of the TYO Scholarship, receiving $1000 directly toward his university tuition. Learn more about Samer and why he was selected to win this scholarship.
Samer lives in Balata refugee camp, the largest camp in the West Bank, with his six family members. His family suffers from unemployment and struggles to support its five children. The girls in his family, “are still in school and have expenses and they need to go to university in the future,” placing further economic strain and pressure on his family. When asked what impact this scholarship will have on his education, Samer replied, “This award will help me finish my university education and achieve my goals and help my family. It will prevent me from dropping out of school because of my inability to pay for tuition.”
Previously, Samer has been financing his college education through his own means. Many of Samer’s peers are supported by their parents in receiving tuition for higher education. For Samer, he began working in the summer to pay for his schooling, fully funding himself.
Besides being a strong student and earning strong grades at his university, Samer is also a dedicated TYO volunteer. Earning over 130 volunteer hours at TYO in this summer session alone – more than any other applicant – Samer exhibited real commitment to his work. According to TYO intern Hannah, Samer was always “extremely engaged in class and with the children” and most importantly, “the kids adored him” and his enthusiasm in the classroom was infectious!
Samer’s commitment to his community, his education, and his family was inspirational and it was a pleasure awarding him with this scholarship. We’re so proud of you Samer! We know you will go on to do big things and we look forward to joining you for the ride!