Nearly fifteen years after Boys Town Jerusalem made history by initiating the first “Cisco Networking Academy” in Israel, the current CEO of Cisco Israel, Boaz Maoz, paid a personal visit to the school to salute the pioneers. “Since the inception of the program in Israel, we’ve had close to 20,000 graduates. I congratulate you for being the first one, the avant garde, to implement the program. It is a great success in Israel and on a global level.”

The winning partnership between Boys Town Jerusalem and Cisco Systems, the global networking and communications giant, was sparked in 2000 by Mr. Josh S. Weston, then-CEO of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and honorary chairman of Boys Town Jerusalem Foundation of America, Inc., who raised the suggestion with legendary Cisco CEO John Morgridge. As a result, Boys Town became Israel’s very first high school center to teach the Cisco Network Management Program, an intensive two-year curriculum enabling students to train for a career in building and maintaining sophisticated computer networks. Since then, nearly 150 BTJ graduates have acquired the cutting-edge skills in Cisco networking to assume top positions in the Israeli Army and hi-tech sector.

At his visit to Boys Town, CEO Maoz met with the future generation of Cisco engineers. Speaking to the students in the school’s state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center which houses the Cisco studies program, Maoz assured them that the expertise they are acquiring in Information Technology “will remain relevant and necessary for decades to come.” He stressed that Cisco’s curriculum combines the “two great equalizers: education and the Internet” which ultimately provide the skills for life. In answer to students’ questions as to how to succeed, Maoz unequivocally urged them to complete their university education, and hone their team-working skills and curiosity to face new challenges. “Don’t stop dreaming,” he advised. “And not just for today—for the next 50 years to come.”

The Cisco CEO personally presented certificates to four BTJ Cisco graduates who have passed the difficult qualifying exam to become CISCO Certified Network Associates (CCNA), certified to install and operate communications networks for CISCO Systems. Today these students are pursuing their BA studies at Boy’s Town’s College of Applied Engineering, in cooperation with the Israeli Army where they will be assigned to special technological units following graduation.

At the close of his visit, Boaz Moaz declared, “I’m very much impressed. Boys Town is a reflection of the Israeli society in many ways: I’ve seen all of the ingredients of our great culture, in terms of motivation and passion and very smart students. I’ve seen an openness to learn new things, and also noticed the values that Boys Town is providing and teaching its students. You’re providing excellent tools for youngsters to acquire basic tools for life that they will need for the workforce, the military or the social service in which they will serve.”

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