Light from the dark
An interesting listing on the annual Times 100 most influential people list is a certain individual that caught our attention, Ron Bruder. When the city of New York was plunged into chaos with the September 11 happenings many people agonized over loved ones caught in the centre of the devastation and Ron Bruder was at the centre. On the day of the attacks Ron Bruder had no idea whether his daughter Jessica was dead or alive as she worked close to the World Trade Centre. His life was changed forever and so was his career path. From a successful real estate business in some office lease Tucson, Ron Bruder packed his bags and headed to the Middle East.
The light bulb moment
Ron Bruder a Jewish-American entrepreneur planted his roots as an extremely successful real estate developer enjoying many renowned projects, one being a successful integration and evolution of a electric generating plant in Manhattan to a residence. After the September 11 attacks his life was to change forever and so was his career. Instead of turning to resentment for the attacks, Ron Bruder instead embarked on a mission to go to the source and help in any way possible. He spent the next few years of his life travelling through the Middle East looking for ways to help and improve the situation. Through his travels he found a specific need for practical education programs and programs that taught high school and college graduates skills that they could utilize in the work place.
After Ron Bruder’s findings of the change needed he set off and set up the Education for Employment Foundation (EFE). He first introduced of the program was in Jordan for youths that are at risk and he taught them the skills to repaid air conditioning systems. Ron Bruder then brought the foundation to the war torn Gaza strip and West Bank where he taught engineers to become project managers. Other Middle Eastern and African countries that the foundation was set up in are Yemen, Egypt, Morocco and soon Tunisia. The success of Ron Bruder’s Education for Employment Foundation has seen substantial growth and continues to have the potential to change youth’s lives. In 2011 there were 1,300 graduates recorded and the predictions for this year are 2,000 graduates and 5,000 for 2013.
Social media like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have now started to infiltrate into Middle Eastern countries and freedom of speech and expression is becoming more prominent in a incredible stringent society. Although these are ideals that the youths should be enjoying and partaking in, Ron Bruder is teaching them more important skills, the importance of finding and keeping productive careers and jobs when the protests and turbulence is over. Some of these youths may even enjoy some work abroad in some serviced office London or anywhere across the world.
Jemma Scott is an avid writer and explorer of influential and inspiring people.