Twenty-five year old Sharon is one of two children, living in Rishon Lezion in a single parent household.

When she was accepted into the Ethiopian nursing scholarship program, Sharon didn’t truly understand the challenges she would face, or the difficulties she would encounter, but she quickly adapted and is now firmly ensconced in the first year of her four-year academic program, having successfully completed the mechina (preparatory) program.

The mechina program was difficult for Sharon. She attributes that to the fact that some years have passed since she was in a formal educational framework. She has managed to keep up with the material, but she found the zoom lectures, which began in the second semester due to the COVID pandemic, to be particularly difficult.

To meet this particular challenge, Sharon invested even more time in studying on her own and reviewing the material time and again until she could fully grasp it.

“It is hard for me, I am still trying to get used to all the demands, but I am grateful to have been accepted into the nursing scholarship program which will enable me to fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse," she said.

"I love this profession. A family member of mine suffers from alcoholism. Accompanying her many times to the hospital, I have had a first hand glimpse of the manifold difficulties of having neither the language skills nor the ability to integrate into a new society.”

For Sharon, nursing is a ‘shlichut’ (mission) where you can apply all of your intellectual and emotional knowledge in a multitude of ways to really help people. Since she was able, Sharon has worked to help support her single parent family. She never had the opportunity to put any money aside, or even think about what she could do about her own future. It was all about survival on a day-to-day basis.

“This scholarship removes a heavy weight upon my heart. My mother, who is classified as handicapped, cannot help me. At long last I can study and enjoy peace of mind,” she said.

"I always dreamed of having a career, but I never thought it would be possible for someone with a background like mine. I want to thank the donors who made this possible. You have opened a door for me that I thought would always be closed."

Thanks to her scholarship which covers all her living expenses, tuition fees, books, a computer and stationery, Sharon does not have to work to support herself through university.

"I have to spend all my time studying just to keep up. If I had to work to support myself, I would never have passed my mechina year," she said.

Sharon anticipates that the next four academic years of her course will be even more intense, requiring all of her focus. She believes her scholarship will mean the difference between success and failure.

But its affect will not end there. Having her nursing degree will help put Sharon on a firm footing in her life. She’ll be able to advance herself and eventually her own family. 

This scholarship removes a heavy weight on my heart. I want to thank the donors who made this possible. You have opened a door for me that I thought would always be closed.

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