Amin Abdel Khalek is a first-year student at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Having previously attended the Shakib Erslan Public School in Beirut, Amin is one of the beacons of hope from Alfanar investee MMKN's Public School Support Program, which delivers mentorship and extra tuition to at-risk public school students sitting the crucial brevet exam.

Grade 9--being the year when students in Lebanon sit the brevet--is a critical milestone in a student's academic career. Passing the exam determines whether students will be able to continue on to the next level of education, or leave and seek employment. Through their Public School Support Program, MMKN, and investee since 2015, provides students sitting the brevet with the vital extra tuition they need to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to comfortably pass the exam and to progress on to further education.

When Amin reached Grade 9, he was enrolled onto MMKN's Public School Support Program in order to get the extra help he needed to strengthen his academic performance in the lead up to sitting the brevet. Through the program, Amin was able to take part in a series of academic reinforcement sessions led by a group of volunteer university students throughout Grade 9.

MMKN's program is taught by volunteer university students from across Lebanon, and throughout the year Amin attended MMKN's program, his sessions were led by volunteer teacher Nour Zaydan.

Nour, also an AUB student, had previously attended a public school in Beirut herself and understood the critical need for extra tutoring in helping public-school students like Amin to pass the brevet and continue on to higher education. She recognised Amin's great potential and became instrumental in passing on to Amin the motivation and inspiration he needed to shine.

"Amin wasn't a bad student," explains Nour, "he just lacked confidence and the framework he needed to excel."

Thanks to the crucial support and mentorship he received through MMKN's Public School Support Program, when Amin eventually came to sit the brevet he passed with flying colours. Rather than dropping out or seeking employment, passing the brevet allowed Amin to stay in school until Grade 12, when he eventually sat and passed his Baccalaureate exam.

Seeing the years of encouragement and academic support pay off for Amin has been a great source of affirmation for Nour, and a testament to the efficacy and importance of MMKN's work.

Amin has since followed in Nour's footsteps, having been awarded a place to study at the American University of Beirut on a full scholarship.

Amin is now contributing to the continued success of the next generation of public-school students as one of MMKN's most active volunteer tutors for grade 8 and 9 students.

Having been named a 'MMKN Hero Volunteer' for two years in a row, MMKN staff say that Amin is always ready and willing to give extra hours of tuition. Most importantly, Amin's leadership is helping to seed hope in the next generation of students attending MMKN's academic reinforcement sessions.

An investee since 2015, Alfanar's funding and management support has enabled MMKN to improve their financial sustainability and amplify their impact, reaching 6,787 students in 89 public schools. In 2020, a partnership with the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education will enable Alfanar to scale their impact to refugee children through the development of a customised curriculum.