From a school in Ashdod to Israel's leading high-tech company

"The Magshimim Program allowed me to become highly skilled and realize the dream of gaining experience in high-tech and later contributing to the security of Israel," student says.

May 27, 2015 17:04
1 minute read.
Students of national cyber education program Magshimim

Students of national cyber education program Magshimim. (photo credit: KFIR SIVAN)

Five Ashdod 12th graders, set to graduate at the end of the school year, were hired by Check Point Software Technologies, a Tel Aviv-based data security company, to work as full-time software testers in the months leading up to their enlistment in the IDF.

Pupils Maria Agaphontzev, Ran Cherniavsky, Artium Golikov, Eyal Bashan, and Yuval Zarad have just completed three years in the national cyber education program Magshimim. The program was launched five years ago by the Rashi Foundation, an Israeli non-profit that works to reduce socio-economic gaps, and the Defense Ministry. Its partners include the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Lottery, and other philanthropies such as the Adelis Foundation, the Schulich Foundation, and Keren Daniel.

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In addition to their school studies, matriculation exams, and active social life, participants in Magshimim invest many hours per week in cyber studies that include challenging assignments and a final project. On Monday evening some 100 students of the program’s fifth cohort graduated.

“I come from a technology-oriented family, and knew even as a child that I wanted to go into cyber,” said 17-year-old Yuval Zarad. “The Magshimim program allowed me to become highly skilled in this field and to realize the dream of gaining experience in hi-tech and later contributing to the security of Israel in my military service,” she adds.

“The success story of these students is the essence of the Magshimim vision: to realize the potential of talented youth in the periphery to excel in computer fields, enlist in the IDF’s cyber force, and eventually join the hi-tech industry of Israel,” Itzik Turgeman, director of the Rashi Foundation, said at the graduation ceremony.

Yiftah Yoffe, head of human resources at Check Point, added that it is a great privilege for the company to be able to provide these youths with the opportunity to take their first steps in the real world.

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