This program is aimed at helping high achieving teens from underprivileged backgrounds, ages 13-18, pursue advanced science-oriented high-school matriculation, thereby increasing their chances of being accepted to one of Israel’s leading universities. It is a joint initiative of Atidim and the Ministry of Education, and the program works in partnership with educational bodies, local schools and municipalities.
This enrichment program gives participants three critical advantages:
Enrichment: Advanced science, math and English studies that strengthen their knowledge, raise their high school matriculation scores and advance their performance on the highly competitive university entrance exams (similar to the SATs).
Empowerment: Empowerment activities during and after school that build self-esteem and strengthen participants’ belief in their own capabilities.
Exposure: Exposes students to both higher-education environments and to high-tech industries, broadening their scope of knowledge and awareness of opportunities for learning and careers.
In its first year (2002), the Pre-Atidim program operated in 40 schools in 20 development towns reaching approximately 2000 high-school students. The program has been so successful that it now operates in 120 schools in 40 communities, reaching 13,000 students. Due to the cooperation with the Ministry of Education the number of students grew tremendously, and almost three times as many schools and towns participate in the program.
Special populations served by the program include some 750 Ethiopian-Israelis, almost 800 students from youth villages and boarding schools (Aliyat Hanoar) and a number of schools serving the Druze, Circassian and Bedouin population which encompass almost 10% of the Pre-Atidim population.