Eighteen-year-old Jonathan may make his way through the halls of Boys Town Jerusalem with slow, deliberate steps and a noticeable limp, but his teachers and classmates can clearly see the giant steps Jonathan has taken to overcome paralysis and climb to incredible heights.
Jonathan joined BTJ because he couldn’t be at home
“I enrolled in Boys Town Jerusalem in Grade 9 in search of a dormitory where I could live,” Jonathan explains. “I couldn’t study at home.” Although his single-mother struggles to support her six children, the family is extremely poor. BTJ supporters worldwide contributed generously to provide Jonathan with a full scholarship, dormitory, and many other essentials.
Jonathan faced even more challenges
The following year, then 16-year-old Jonathan suddenly became totally paralyzed when a rare, debilitating neurological disorder struck his nervous system. He remained hospitalized for nearly one year.
His courage never wavered
Throughout this ordeal, Jonathan’s BTJ teachers and classmates were constantly at his side to bolster his spirits, along with a BTJ tutor who helped him maintain his studies. When he returned to campus in Grade 11, Jonathan launched a brave battle to regain his mobility and mastery of computer program engineering, advanced math, physics, English and more.
Jonathan joined the Robotics team
In his senior year, he discovered the extracurricular BTJ Robotics team where his newly-proficient programming skills – and passion to formulate solutions – led the team to clinch the Israeli championship.
Jonathan’s achievements are noteworthy
“At graduation, Jonathan scored the highest marks in the entire class,” BTJ High School Principal Rabbi Doron Taib proudly reports. “He also served as the school’s most sought-after volunteer tutor.” Jonathan will soon begin his university studies in computer engineering. Despite the demands of his high-level technological studies, he looks forward to returning home to BTJ to voluntarily mentor the BTJ Robotics team.
“Boys Town Jerusalem granted me the tools to increase and challenge my knowledge, while giving me encouragement and a wonderful home,” Jonathan says gratefully.
*not his real name