Benjamin, 29, whose family immigrated from Ethiopia in 1984, was born in the southern town of Kiryat Gat and moved to Tel Aviv five years ago.
Benjamin enlisted for his compulsory three-year military service, undergoing officers training and serving as a sniper commander in a combat unit. Benjamin recalls, "that was the only thing I really knew how to do." After his military service, Benjamin worked as a security guard for five years. He then joined three of his friends in developing an event production company, where Benjamin was responsible for sales and marketing. "I knew I was very creative, and I knew how to write. I have an affinity to the world of art," Benjamin says.
One day, a friend told him that JDC-Tevet's LaMerhak program was looking for young participants in a Search Engine Optimization course run in partnership with Google. He went for an interview and was asked to take a test. Although Benjamin failed the test, he was persistent. "I felt the test wasn't suitable because it didn't really test what I knew. The world has changed, so I think the test should also change," Benjamin recalls.
Benjamin was sent to take another exam that tested his writing and creative abilities. He then passed an interview and began a one-month intensive Digital Talent boot camp at Elevation Academy. Benjamin says, "I finished the course at four in the afternoon, and then I would go home and sit at the computer until three or four in the morning. I knew that every day I was better than the day before."
Benjamin now works for an advertising agency remotely from his home. He works on Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and content creation for 40 clients. He is now studying to be a copywriter and an art director. He has a mentor from Google who helps keep him on track with his goals. "I have a high salary, but most importantly, I love what I do," Benjamin says.