Eliezer Wins Prize for Mentor Excellence

On his 16th birthday, Boys Town Jerusalem student Eliezer Sommer became one of the youngest to be granted the prestigious “Mentor Award” in the recent 2024 FLL-Israel Robotics League “Challenge” Tournament. Yet Eliezer was a champion long before he clinched this trophy.

Eliezer’s own mentor changed his life

“Technically, a mentor’s job is to help kids in the Robotics Club to build and design a robot, but it’s really about building a kid,” Eliezer admits. “Everyone needs one person to ‘be there’ for him.” In his hardest times, his own mentor Shay Neuhaus – winner of last year’s FLL-Israel Mentor Award – changed Eliezer’s life.

Eliezer gained confidence through the Robotics club

“When I began BTJ 7th grade three years ago, I was going through a lot with my parents’ divorce,” Eliezer admits. “I was extremely shy, and wandered into the Robotics Club, with no background in robotics. Shay built my knowledge and confidence, guiding me to speak to people and help the school. Today I’m taking a double major in Computer Science and Programming, a member of our FTC Robotics team, mentor for the FCC team, and a restaurant waiter by night.”

He believes its an honor to be a mentor and help others like him

As a mentor of BTJ’s 7th and 8th grade Robotics teams, Eliezer’s expertise lies in the mechanical realm, teaching the young boys to transform Lego pieces into a functional robot with deftly- performing arms. “The real challenge is to give them the confidence and motivation to work together so they can enjoy what they’re doing.” The prizewinning mentor can’t help but see himself among the youngest robotics team members. “I’m watching one small, fragile boy, who was literally me several years ago, make great strides and become so happy. That’s the best prize I could imagine.”