We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
What was your favorite moment/story from your time with TYO?
Music and Drama was always a class filled with energy and imagination. When the youth combined these two elements, they produced phenomenal art. Whether it was developing songs with complex layers from found instruments or creating puppets and props to perform original plays, the youth of Nablus demonstrated they possess a powerful voice to the world through creative forms of expression.
What do you miss most about TYO or Nablus?
The Women’s Group was comprised of meticulous students. It was incredible for a wide range of women to form a community and support one other as they engaged with the course material. They truly made me feel welcome as part of the community as well, which always made me excited to enter class with a smile.
What have you been up to after leaving Nablus and what are your plans for the future?
I am currently finishing up my last year at Middlebury College in Vermont, where I study Sociology and Education. I am extremely excited to begin as an elementary school educator in Philadelphia next fall. There, I will also be continuing my studies at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. I look forward to continuing to support the potential of youth to be positive agents of change for a better world.
How do you think TYO affected you personally and professionally?
The Center Director, Internship Coordinator and Women’s Empowerment Programs Coordinator were thoughtful leaders whose tremendous concern for the community of Nablus translated into a passionate professional environment where I felt supported and always capable of improving. On a personal level, I also grew tremendously from making friends with the amazing volunteers at TYO. I appreciated their stories, humor, and brilliant ways of engaging students. My experience at TYO contributed to me becoming both a better teacher and a better, more compassionate human.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering applying for a TYO internship?
TYO cares deeply for the hearts of those with whom it works. Everything is embedded within the community and constantly adapting to better fit community needs. It is inspiring to see an organization work with such tremendous dedication. Of course, the people of Nablus deserve nothing less! If you believe you can work with your whole heart and whole lot of humility, while being eager to learn, grow, be challenged, and eat way too much of the best kanafeh in the world, TYO is perfect for you.