My name is Ayelet Besso-Cowan and I was one of the two Yoni Jesner Scholars in 2015/16. I spent my gap year at Michlelet Mevaseret Yerushalayim (MMY). As well as an intensive programme of shiurim, volunteering was an essential part of the programme and I chose to volunteer at Hadassah Hospital in the maternity unit, which I did every Friday. I assisted both Arabs and Jews and I know that tolerance and interfaith dialogue was something which was very important to Yoni.
It is an enormous source of pride that I was awarded the Yoni Jesner Scholarship and it drives me to try and do my bit of "tikun olam". The idea that the tragic loss of someone so young with so much potential has proved to be the source of inspiration is just unbelievable and I am proud to be a part of perpetuating Yoni's memory.
I am now studying children's nursing at City, University of London where I am also a "Widening Participation Ambassador". In this role I am encouraging children from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to University. I am also a part-time youth director at Belmont United Synagogue which allows me to share my Jewish learning which I gained throughout my gap year.