My name is Ingrid. I am 25 years old and I grew up in Bogota, Colombia. My mother left me when I was six months old, and I was raised by my father and grandmother. I grew up with a Zionist ideology: the love of Israel and the desire to live in Israel and join the army.
I made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) by myself six years ago. After a few years of working and learning Hebrew, I volunteered with the army and served as a rescue fighter. There I experienced real Israeli life. It was the best experience I ever had.
After the army I worked at a gas station in order to earn the money to go back to Colombia to see my family, whom I hadn't seen in a long time. My father is not well. He works part-time in the synagogue and lives with my grandmother. He has no means to come visit me or to help me in any way financially.
Because of my difficulty with the language, working and studying at the same time, I didn't get a good grade the first time I took the university entrance exam. For this reason I couldn't start my studies then and I had to take the exam again. So for a year I worked hard in two different jobs and got ready for the second exam. This time I did better and was accepted to start my studies at the University of Haifa. I am very happy to be in school now and I am very interested in what I'm studying — human resources, sociology, and anthropology.
In addition I have started my voluntary work at a seniors' home. In this work I feel that I can help elderly people instead of my own grandmother, who is in Colombia. That is why I asked to volunteer with the seniors.
I truly appreciate the scholarship you gave me. With this help I am able to focus on my studies and not worry about working all the time. I hope that someday I will be able to help students to concentrate on their studies. Your generosity makes it easier for my wish to come true. I will be able to get a university degree in Israel — and for this I am truly grateful.
Thank you for your kindness and support.