Yelena was born in Russia and moved to Israel with her mother when she was four years old. Being brought up by a single mother was not easy, and they lived on her earnings as a part-time clarinet teacher. When Yelena was 12, her mother remarried and she now has a younger sister, but her mother is unable to fund her university tuition.
Throughout her childhood, Yelena was determined to find ways to make her life easier. Recognizing that high salaries are paid in Israel’s hi-tech industries, she opted in 9th Grade to attend a technological high school and study electronics.
“The path that I chose was not so easy, and in fact some of the subjects were very difficult for me”, she recalls. “I needed extra help with maths and physics in order to qualify to study electronic engineering at university, but I pushed myself to get the high marks that I needed, and to prove that I was capable.” Having succeeded in winning a place on the course, and now in her second year, she volunteers as a maths tutor to help younger students who are struggling to qualify as she once was.
Looking to the future, Yelena is determined to maintain her high grade point average and to become a project manager for a factory or a similar major venture. “I know that people think that women don’t normally take on such a role, but I want to break through the gender barrier and prove that women should be able to do anything that they set their heart on.”
Of course, Yelena recognizes that she would not be on this path to success without the Moshal Fund. “My scholarship is really the best present that I have ever received in my whole life. I cannot imagine how I would have managed without it – it would be impossible for me to work my way through college, because I need to stay fully focused on my studies.”
“The workshops that Moshal ran for us during the first semester were also invaluable. They provided the right advice at the right time, just as we were starting to experience the pressures of university tests. I was very much influenced by the session with the psychologist who spoke about the dangers of being a perfectionist. As someone who drives herself very hard, it was helpful for me to learn how to channel that pressure into positive energy, creating good frameworks for studying instead of feeling paralyzed by fear. Moshal has taught me to value each achievement as a step on the way to success, rather than being fearful of failure.”