For CDS Class of 2019 graduate, Alissa Chernin, the year since graduation has been anything but ordinary. Rather than head right off to college, Alissa joined the Nativ College Leadership Program and spent her post-high school gap year in Israel from September 2019 to May 2020. From studying at the Rothberg International School at Hebrew University in Jerusalem to a 3-day hike in the northern part of Israel to celebrating the high holidays in one of the four holiest cities in Israel, Alissa immersed herself in every activity and lesson during her 9-month adventure.
In addition to learning about the Israeli culture, Alissa volunteered in a northern youth village called Yemin Orde, which is somewhere for troubled teens in Israel and teens whose families are trying to move to Israel but can only afford to send the children to learn and live. She spent time on a farm in the desert learning how to farm with very little water and offered her help on a goat farm waking up at 5:15 am to milk goats, lead them to pasture, work in the creamery, and even witnessed and helped with four births.
When asked about her gap year experience, Alissa said "I've learned to live on my own and gotten to experience things that I would not have had the chance to if I went straight to college. I've made lifelong friends all over North America, who I know I can go to when I need someone to talk to."
Alissa is very excited to be heading to the University of South Carolina to study Sports Management in the Fall. We wish you the best of luck!
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