Currently: Roger is in his second year at Furman University in South Carolina, studying the US Health System.
A hub of cultures: In the GHIS Culture Festival, Roger had a chance to showcase his own Liberian culture, “putting [his] all into the project, for people to feel how it feels to be Liberian.” Dance, food, music… At the same time, to Roger, coming to Israel was an opportunity to learn about the Jewish culture — and celebrating Rosh Hashana and Purim was an “eye-opening experience” for him.
While showcasing his own culture and learning about other cultures, Roger said, “Those were times when I really felt connected to others.”
During his second year, Roger knew what to pack into his suitcase— spices and clothes— in order to continue feeling connected to his home in Liberia, while building a new home in GHIS. Although, sometimes it was a challenge, because he could “only bring was suitcase, and I had so many things to bring!”
A guiding voice: In 8th grade in Liberia, Roger met a person that would grow to be incredibly influential in his life. Her name is Dede, and he was in GHIS’s second cohort, one year older than Roger. Dede had a life-changing experience in GHIS, and stayed in touch with Roger when she was in Israel, while he was still back in Liberia. Based on their discussions and Dede’s descriptions, Roger applied to GHIS, and got in!
To Roger, having Dede there, with her advice and experience, made GHIS feel like “a home away from home.”
Ultimately, at the end of her two years at GHIS, Dede got into Furman University. Now, Roger and Dede are reunited, and are attending Furman University together!
Friendships uniting families: Roger went to GHIS with another Liberian student, Success. Roger felt instantly that they had “brother and sister energy.” Going to GHIS together gave Roger and Success and experience to bond over. More than that, it gave both of their families an experience to bond over. Now, Roger and Success’s families have “merged, and [they are] one big family.”
A small, tight-knit community: Although the GHIS community is ever-growing and developing, it is still a very small and tight-knit community. Roger describes GHIS as ,“a little community that I can cal my own where I know everybody and everybody knows me.” Roger knew that when he was looking for university, he wanted to have that same feeling. That is why he applied to Furman, a small community as well!
Leadership in action: During those two years in GHIS, Roger had the opportunity to develop his leadership style and grow as a leader. At GHIS, Roger directed the first-ever theater production, among many, many other initiatives that he took part in! Now, he is putting his leadership experience to good use, joining the Shaker Leadership Institute at Furman University.
Friendships that withhold time differences: Now that Roger is in Furman, he has still kept in touch with his close friends from GHIS. The only difference now is that they don’t live in the same room, nor in the same time-zone! A good friend of Roger’s, Alikhan, is now in Malaysia. Another good friend, Darik from Ethiopia. Sometimes, they call Roger, but because of the 8-hour time difference, they call him in the middle of the night!
Memories that bring a smile to your face: When asked about GHIS, which Roger finds himself talking about often, even though it’s been almost to years since his graduation, friends around him say, “you must have have a really good reverence there because you light up when you talk about those things!” Roger said that GHIS, as it was his home for such a long time, “it just becomes a part of you.”
David joined GHIS because he was looking for the right educational establishment to develop personally and professionally. As soon as he heard about GHIS, he realized that it suits his values.
“As someone who has always been committed to coexistence in Israel, I see GHIS as a great vehicle to bring young people together in an accepting and non-prejudicial way.”
As well as being a teacher, David is also trained in special needs education at all school levels.
David holds a joint Honors B.Ed. in Special Education ages 6 to 21, and BA in Literature at Oranim College