When teens from the various Orr Shalom frameworks reach 18, they age out of the system and are required to go out on their own. The transition of going from a protected framework to living independently and without guidance often creates a sense of fear, confusion and loneliness. This is especially so since they are expected to be independent before they have even had the opportunity to develop the life skills needed to embark on their new path.
Orr Shalom’s alumni programs, addressing the needs of over 200 graduates, create an important and necessary continuum of support and services. These enable the graduates to continue to develop as high-quality, value-conscious adults, capable of integrating into Israeli society from a position of personal power and equality, and help them become strong, contributing citizens. The graduate programs are a springboard and sometimes a lifeboat – preventing young people from returning to a life of adversity and poverty – providing guidance as they build a new life of accomplishment, growth and dream fulfillment.
Orr Shalom’s Graduate Program is comprised of three main endeavors:
- Looking to the Horizon – A program for 11th and 12th graders
- Graduates for Life – A program for Orr Shalom graduates, aged 18-27
- Bridge to Independence – A housing program for graduates of home placement
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to the Horizon - Independence Preparation Program for Adolescents
Looking to the Horizon was created to prepare 11th and 12th graders for the next stage of their lives by building a personal life trajectory plan tailored to their specific needs. The professional team helps them to understand their needs and identify new opportunities. The teens participate in empowerment and enrichment workshops and activities, such as exercising their rights, preparing for the army recruitment and selection process, developing life skills such as attaining a driving license, studying for matriculation exams, and more.
Zula – Thrift Shop
Zula is a second-hand clothing, jewelry, and decor shop operated by Orr Shalom teens, graduates and community-trained volunteers. Working in the store provides them with the opportunity to gain professional experience, important skills and, of course, the ability to earn adequate wages in a controlled environment.All proceeds from the store are dedicated to the well-being of children in Orr Shalom’s care.
Graduates for Life - Guidance Program for New Orr Shalom Graduates
Graduates for Life is a multidimensional program that nurtures, strengthens and empowers Orr Shalom graduates once they have left the framework which, for many, was their home their entire childhood. The goal of the program is help the graduates build new, strong and positive lives for themselves, integrate smoothly into society and remember that for them, too, the sky is the limit.
The program offers a wide range of services for young people, between the ages of 18 and 27, including: personal support, housing subsidies, help in exercising their rights, guidance for higher education, assistance in receiving scholarships, and more. In addition, graduates receive emotional support in dealing with crises, learn fiscal responsibility, and develop the tools that will help them integrate into the community and have a true sense of belonging.
Looking to the Future
This program is designed for Orr Shalom graduates who need additional support to successfully integrate into study and work settings. The program focuses on building a career path and includes: professional diagnostics for choosing a career; scholarships for study and board; and support in the development of strong life/employment skills that can be applied to studying and career.
Give a Hand
The program enlists older Orr Shalom graduates to serve as mentors for teens still in the frameworks and young graduates. The older graduates undergo a three-month training program in which they develop their personal approach to mentoring. They do this by exploring their personal experiences and figuring out how to use them as a tool for guiding and empowering others. Following the training process, they are integrated as volunteers/employees of the organization, providing guidance and leadership to the younger people.
“Today, I can give back what they have given me. It gives me enormous satisfaction to be there for other children and to let them know that even if we are not important to our biological parents, we are important to others.” (Shlomit, 20).
Bridge to Independence – Graduate Housing Program
Before Orr Shalom graduates can even think of building a new life for themselves – earning an education, integrating into the labor market and starting a family – they need a place to live. Lack of housing and a sense of instability can pose an existential danger to them and impair their rehabilitation process.
Bridge to Independence is a Ministry of Welfare program supervised by Youth Services and operated by Orr Shalom. The program provides support for foster care graduates, aged 18-27. A personalized program is designed for each participant and includes housing, personal guidance, therapy, career counseling, execution of rights, access to community services, information about study and scholarship opportunities, training, culture, leisure, and more.
Inquiries and registration at www.gesher-le.org