NFTE Takes Bite Out Of Big Apple

Living in Jerusalem, 17-year-old Yaron Ohayon cares for his elderly father when he isn't in school. Before enrolling in the Amal Lady Davis High School, Yaron dropped out of four other schools.

April 26, 2016

From left: Moshe Tayehu, Inon Sabag, Yaron Ohayon, and Lennon Sandak<br>photo: photo credit: Jamie Epstein/JDC

Living in Jerusalem, 17-year-old Yaron Ohayon cares for his elderly father when he isn’t in school. Before enrolling in the Amal Lady Davis High School, Yaron dropped out of four other schools.

Inon Sabag, 15, also resides in Jerusalem and spends his evenings working at a grocery store; before ending up at the same high school as Yaron, he changed schools six times.

Born in Turkey, Lennon Sandak, 15, made aliyah with his mom to Israel but found it difficult to adjust to life in a new and unfamiliar country. He attended eight different schools before finding Amal Lady Davis.

Moshe Tayehu, 18, made aliyah to Israel nine years ago. After arriving in the country, he enrolled in a school attended mostly by Ethiopian-Israelis but after struggling with his studies, he transferred to the Amal Lady Davis High School.

What do all of these boys have in common? All four of them began attending their new high school with little motivation to succeed, while navigating through choppy waters filled with social and emotional issues as well as academic challenges. All of that changed though, when they became actively involved in Partners of NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) Israel, a joint partnership with JDC, NFTE, and Boaz Raam, a new JDC Board Member, to help at-risk teens.

The program combines entrepreneurship and exposure to the working world to help disconnected youth improve their self-confidence and marketable skills. The boys also receive career guidance and training designed to help them achieve financial independence.

NFTE also helps the boys fully think through an idea: building a business plan, completing a SWAT analysis, and presenting the project to an audience.

That’s exactly what happened when the group recently visited JDC’s New York headquarters and presented their social queue management app Queclick. The presentation didn’t just showcase their hard work; it also helped them learn to believe in themselves and trust their impressive abilities.

The quartet was in New York for the 2016 NFTE Global Showcase, celebrating the initiative’s extraordinary teachers and alumni from around the world and presenting the Global Young Entrepreneur, Global Enterprising Educator, and Volunteer of the Year Awards. More than 400 attendees had the chance to visit the young entrepreneurs’ and teachers’ exhibit tables and learn all about their businesses.

Queclick is ideal for service providers, pharmacists, business owners, hairdressers, doctors, and travel agents. By allowing users to ‘download Queclick and set a queue quick,’ a clever and ultra-catchy tagline coined by the boys, the application aims to settle the need to wait in line; with Queclick, you can conveniently see when you will receive your scheduled service, directly through your mobile device.

If you hate waiting for extended periods of time on calls, are looking to find a parking lot nearby, or just want to take your kids to the park, Queclick allows you to check how crowded these facilities are with the simple swipe of your finger.

Watching the group talk in detail about the next-generation app they came together to work so hard on and seeing the close bond they share with their teachers was truly inspiring. Maybe one day their app could be on a yet-to-launch Israeli version of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank.

Jamie Epstein is JDC’s media relations manager.

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