Daniela is a 16-year-old whose quiet nature belies innate leadership qualities. She is one of seven children born to immigrant parents from Yemen; her father is disabled and unemployed, and her mother sustains the family with a string of menial jobs.
A push from Jewish Federation and its partner agency World ORT is helping propel this promising young woman forward.
After a barrage of Hamas rockets kept Daniela and other children in Kiryat Gat confined to shelters and unable to attend school, Jewish Federation sprang into action. Through World ORT, Federation purchased 50 laptops for deserving students to help them complete school assignments and stay connected with friends.
Daniela was among a group of recipients hand-chosen by Kiryat Gat’s school principals based upon academic achievement, character and need. One student suffers from a rare genetic disease that makes him almost blind, yet he is still first in his class in all scientific subjects. Another is a talented musician. All come from low-income families.
The young students will also participate in one of the after-school academic acceleration courses offered by World ORT's You-niversity program.
For Daniela, having access to a computer in her home means that she no longer has to travel to a friend's house to complete and submit her school assignments.
And participating in World ORT academic courses is helping her achieve her academic goals. She is the top student in a variety of subjects including mathematics, physics and English.
“My mother always says that she wants me to be excellent in school because she never had the chance to finish her formal education," said Daniela. "I would like to study medicine and I think that what I’m doing now will definitely help me to do that.”