Stephanie Smith was born in London, England where she lived until age 14 and decided to move to Israel, where she’d previously lived for a year. In December 2012, she enlisted as a combat medic and served with a tanks division in Hebron. Stephanie participated in the Wings pre-release workshop, then undertook multiple meetings with her Wings advisor and Wings financial advisor. "It’s not a given that a program for lone soldiers released from the army exists, especially when there’s no-one else to turn to. Wings is right there. For me, it was much more than career and financial advice. They're always asking how you’re doing and having people like that behind you is great!"
"I was born in London, England and lived in Israel for a year when I was 8 years old until my parents separated. When I turned 14 I decided to come to Israel again, this time alone. I stayed with my grandma in Ramat Gan during this time, and eventually my mother and brother joined me in Israel.
I never really liked living in England and always felt like home was in Israel.
There were a lot of ups and downs throughout my army service. The most challenging part was the medic's course. It was three intensive months with a lot of classroom study. We studied trauma, pharmacology, and a lot of other basic stuff you need to know. Because it’s a medic course for combat, there are also a lot of practical, physical aspects.
I was introduced to Wings when I participated in the five-day, pre-release workshop. I had my first meeting with my advisor, Anat. She's amazing. I met her and started going to meet with her regularly. Wings has been a really huge help to me. I want to study medicine and it is really hard to get accepted in Israel. Anat has been helping me and giving me everything I need in terms of tools I can use.
I am currently working in a coffee shop in Ramat Gan and doing the psychometric test again so that I can get a higher score.
I also met with Tzvika, the Wings financial advisor who was very helpful. This is one of the most important things a program like Wings can offer because going from soldier to civilian - nobody really knows how to look after their expenses or get everything in order. Tzvika really helps with all of that and he is really nice!
For me, it was much more than career and financial advice. They're always asking how you’re doing and having people like that behind you is great!"