Remember this name because Voltaire Essa is going to become famous for inventing a world-changing electronic gadget! His parents named him after the great French philosopher, but Voltaire has chosen to become a software engineer and, thanks to Moshal, he’s off to a flying start.
Born and educated in a small Arab-Israeli village near Safed, Voltaire is one of four children who are all studying in higher education. His mother works in a pharmacy and his father works in construction, so they have a hard time supporting Voltaire, his sister and his two brothers, who are all in full-time education.
From a young age, Voltaire was always interested in electronic devices and trying to understand how things work. He secured a place at the Technion Institute to fulfil his dream and was lucky enough to secure a Moshal scholarship too. “I could not have managed without Moshal”, says Voltaire. “They were there for me during the first semester when I was finding it hard, and they have been with me all the way. Computer Engineering is a difficult and competitive course and the pressure is intense. It’s great to know that someone is on your side, encouraging you not to give up but to keep pursuing your ambitions and dreams.
“I was asked to advise a first-year student from my area who was just starting his degree, and I was honoured to be able to encourage and assist him, sharing what I learned from the Moshal workshops that I have attended. From my own experience, I understand how difficult it can be to stay focused on your studies when there are financial pressures at home. So, I encouraged him to concentrate on getting the best possible grades and not to worry about money. Thanks to Moshal, we do not need to be concerned about how we will pay for our studies – we must just work hard and do the very best we can.”
During his third year at the Technion, Voltaire was fortunate to secure a placement at SanDisk, one of Israel’s cutting-edge hi-tech companies. He works there three days each week during university semesters and full-time during the vacations. Together with a team of software engineers, he is helping to develop the next generation of flash devices.
Voltaire explains: “My dream is to be a successful engineer in the hi-tech sector and invent something important. But success for me means more than making money. It means being someone that people can turn to for advice and for financial support. I believe wholeheartedly in what the Moshal Scholarship Program does – supporting people of all backgrounds and ethnicities – and I hope one day to be able to do the same.”