Yifat Yudovsky is a social entrepreneur and education activist, promoting teens at the forefront of entrepreneurship.
After years in the broadcasting and hi-tech community relations fields, Yifat decided to harness the energy of TV and hi-tech, diving into the world of education – injecting the traditional learning environment with the values of creativity, innovation, and collaboration.
What are you working on these days?
Working as a consultant with local authorities, educational organisations and the Israeli ministry of education to help them better understand their target audience – teenagers.
We do so by working to help them open up and listen to the teens, to find ways to involve them.
Additionally, I am the co-founder of a new venture – a network of entrepreneurial spaces for teens.
What was your first position In the Startup-Nation?
Three years ago I founded VENT: Video educational network for teenagers.
Vent is a peer-to-peer, video based learning community created by teens, for teens.
It’s a platform where teenagers can create and upload short videos, to teach other teens materials from all subject matters learned at school.
The venture’s advisory board is also comprised of teenagers.
What was your first job ever?
In my early 20’s, I joined Israel’s largest children’s network (Channel 6). A year later, I became the producer of the live show – 5 days a week, 6 hours a day.
It was the best school one could ever ask for, giving me the experience and confidence to march forward.
Ever since I can remember, I have always worked in a field related to kids, technology, media and education.
What life event or moment affected your life the most?
Seven years ago I started working in a local branch of a global hi-tech company. I took an active key role in the company’s community relations department.
As a part of the company’s business model, we took an active part in the community by developing various educational programs.
One of them was a “school for excellence” development program.
The project matched talented and good willed employees with school kids, for 4 hours every day after school, as part of the enrichment tutoring program at a local elementary school.
The project was meant for kids with high potential for excellence, who needed help getting there.
“It’s the journey that matters; we all need to go through the process of “getting there.’ Don’t be afraid to fail. That’s the way it works!”
The purpose of the program was simple: enable access to necessary information that can enrich the learning process.
Working closely with the kids, day after day, having conversations about school and their dreams, helped deepen my familiarity of working with youth.
Getting to see their eyes light up as they come in contact with new materials such as creativity workshops, architecture, standing in front of an audience, ballroom dancing and so more much.
Seeing the effect these new discoveries had on the kids was a turning point for me.
I found myself fascinated by kids, and by the world of education and its’ future.
I began diving deeper and deeper into educational methodologies, the psychology of the new generation and gaps in the education systems.
Best advice you received, or would like to share?
In one of our first advisory board meetings, while we were talking about how to develop an app that will be best suited for teenagers I shared my fears with our board members – are we able to do this?
Itay, my board member, sat in front of me and said:
“You know, whenever I have an idea for a new app, I try to do everything to dive into it, try to learn everything that I can; I upload it to the app store, and then I test it and see what happens. ”
It’s the journey that matters; we all need to go through the process of “getting there.” Don’t be afraid to fail. That’s the way it works!
This conversation happened when Itay was 12.5 years old.
When a teenager says something like this – it grabs you and makes you want to act.
My main lesson from this, and from my entire journey of working with kids, was that we could learn from anyone no matter how old they are. Everyone we meet is a chance to learn something new.
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You should also read Yifat’s post: How I found my calling at the crossroads of education and technology