The Society for Advancement of Education’s Dror High School was represented in a recent Mako website special report on young Israeli scientists with potential for changing the future.
Azaria Itzkovich, 19, a recent Dror grad, was among the 21 researchers from the Future Scientists Center for the Advancement of the Talented and Gifted featured in the article.
The Center was established by the Maimonides Fund to provide talented and gifted students with significant opportunities to fulfill their unique potential by taking part in a one-of-a-kind, high quality program in a variety of fields and integrating into the world of academia and research, even during high school. Mako, an indelendent news portal, is one of Israel’s three most visited websites.
In their own words the young scientists shared insights into their backgrounds, areas of interest and hopes for the future. Here is what Azaria had to say:
AZARIA ITZKOVICH — Age 19, Home Town – Beit El, School – Dror High School, Jerusalem
Name of the program + Academic Institution: Ascola, the Center for Future Scientists Alumni Network
A little about me: As part of the “Alpha” program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I conducted guided research in the field of epigenetics-biology. I was looking for epigenetic signaling pathways that could lead to the formation of a cancerous growth in the brain of young people. In addition to this part of my life, I have been a volunteer at MDA for the past four years. In my free time I occasionally go rock climbing, listen to a lot of music and play the harmonica a bit. I am very interested in Israeli politics, and also in cinema.
I dream of becoming a doctor in the future and am currently a candidate for the “Tzameret” (top level) program of the Academic Medical Atuda (a track that enables academically talented young people to defer their IDF service until after the completion of their university studies, and then serve in their field).
A bit about the accomplishments that make me feel proud: I am very proud of my volunteer work at MDA. I see this volunteering as any opportunity to bring all of my skills and motivation to contribute to society and help the people around me. I see great value in humanity and sensitivity towards patients, and strive to instill this in my trainees. A look or word of thanks from patients can give me positive energy for quite a while.
How would you like to influence humanity or the world in the future? I dream of influencing as much as possible as a doctor, and making the lives of as many people as possible easier. In addition, I have thoughts about social or political activity in the field of the culture of discussion, of the effectiveness of discourse and a respectful socio-political atmosphere in the country.
What do you think is the most significant challenge that humanity is likely to face? I am not a prophet. There is worrying evidence of a growing phenomenon of universal loneliness, and this is a matter that mjust be taken into consideration. I also see the increasinh shallowness of discourse and values. There are great social pressures that lead to empty values and slogans. It takes courage to understand and say things that are contrary to what is accepted.
What kind of skills or competencies are required to face significant challenges? Courage and decisiveness are tools that a great deal in facing challenges, to know where I am going and simply go there. Self-discipline is also essential to maintaining progress over time.
Who is your inspirational character? I am inspired by Dr. Patch Adams, the father of medical clowning. He put so much humanity into the medical profession, and changed it completely. A brave revolutionary who influences my volunteering and my dreams.
What is the message that it is important for you to pass on to the next generation? Be brave! Let your beliefs lead you and do not succumb to fears. Cultivate critical thinking, find out where your beliefs come from and formulate them for yourself. Don’t accept as given what you are pressured to believe.