Give Back Day #2: Israel Center for Excellence

The Forbes Under 30 Summit in Israel ended with a Service Day – or in my terms: Give Back Day. In 2016, I started to volunteer at least one day whenever I spend more than one week in a country. I do not have the time to start or run my own NGO. Besides, there is already a lot of people doing great NGOs in my network – so why not support them and help amplify their impact.  


On this Give Back Day, about 400 participants of the summit spread out all across Jerusalem to give talks at schools, participate in Hackathons, or bridge gaps in a region that is so torn apart – Israel and Palestine. My first choice was working with young students at a school in Jerusalem. It turned out to be a school for highly gifted children and fitted perfectly with my own background. About 16 students were in front of me and suddenly a feeling of peace and absolute happiness overcame me. I know I have found a moment of true calling.


We did a short introduction and I probably gave the most open and honest summary of my life ever. I went into the room to let my own light shine so others can do so too. Probably also because I felt that it can empower others and really help them overcome some of their own fears and worries. Already with the first question, I was impressed and noticed how much potential I got in front of me. At the same time the fear rushed through my head that they might not live fully up to it because somebody else puts their own worries upon them.


I talked about being bullied for 10 years in school. I talked about rising from it. I showed that I was/am a gifted child like them, and never had 20 eyes stare at me so concentrated. Create your own story and use it to inspire others. Give back as much as you can. Because you never know whose bad day you’re saving and whose face you’re lighting up with a smile that was long hidden.
After our time with the students was over, three of them came to me and had even more questions. Soon, I had a cloud of more than 10 students around me asking me all types of things about life. It was refreshing to have these hungry minds around and be able to inspire the next generation. Thank you Forbes & Israel Center for Excellence Through Education for this amazing opportunity!

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