Jul 5, 2021

21 participants completed the mentoring program

Certificates for our mentees
Certificates for our mentees

Dear friends and supporters,

We hope you are well and safe in this challenging period.

 

With this report, we are happy to share the results we have achieved in our mentoring program over the past school year, which is even more uncertain and difficult, for the students from small rural areas we work with.

 

As we wrote in the last report, we started the 6-month mentoring program "Step for me", in which 21 students work on individual projects to create their own career portfolio. The students are in 11th grade in several Bulgarian schools.

The Step for Me program includes consistent work of young people through four main thematic areas: 1. Exploring personal skills, strengths and qualities; 2. Getting to know and researching various professions; 3. Academic orientation and individual research of universities; 4. Goal setting and planning the achievement of individual goals in the summer.

All the results of the research done by the students, the results of the tasks they worked on, the conclusions and analyzes of the collected information, personal insights, desires and goals, the young people noted in their individual digital portfolio. A single student creates his portfolio in paper format.

We are extremely happy to share that 73% of the students kept their motivation and high commitment in the program and managed to go through all 4 thematic areas. 20% of the students completed their individual projects partially by doing 2 or 3 of the stages.

 

In the process of the program the youth were supported by our career orientation consultant at the Step for Bulgaria Foundation, as well as by volunteer mentors who work with students to develop skills for critical thinking, design thinking, goal setting.

For students who expressed a specific interest in a particular professional field, additional individual meetings were organized with volunteer specialists.

 

We judge the success of the program by individual projects of the students and from the anonymous survey, with which we wanted to assess the attitudes and beliefs that the students demonstrate. As you will see from the attached photos, 78% of those who completed the survey believe that "My future profession depends on my choice", 50% say that "If we want to be successful in our profession, we will need to constantly learn new things and challenge ourselves ”and 50% think that“ If I set specific and measurable goals, I am more likely to achieve them. ”



Two girls from the school in the village of Gorna Malina joined the mentoring program "Step for me" in a mentor-mentee format. The girls managed to go through the four thematic areas of the program and develop their career portfolios.

We share the words of Maria (name changed) about the program: “These workshops brought me a lot of positive emotions, which is very important for me. Thanks for the opportunity to meet so many people from different professions. I really want to study higher education and the program helped me to reduce my choice to two specialties - kinesitherapy or elementary pedagogy. I have another year to make a final decision. I really liked the meetings with Asya. It was useful for me to learn what I am good at and how to apply my strengths…. I think I am more risky and confident now, I have managed to develop skills such as critical thinking, communication skills, self-motivation, the ability to learn from my mistakes, flexibility, creativity, etc."

 

To monitor the effectiveness of the mentoring program, we conducted an initial and outgoing self-assessment by the mentees. They made a self-assessment of some of the main criteria that were set as development goals during the program: Confidence in speaking with an interlocutor, Self-confidence, Selection and analysis of information, Ability to set goals and follow them.

We are proud to share that all youths we work with demonstrate an increase in self-esteem according to the evaluated criteria.

 

Thank you for your support in making these results real.

78% say-The profession depends on my choice
78% say-The profession depends on my choice
50% says-Success depends on lifelong learning
50% says-Success depends on lifelong learning
50 % say-If I set goals I can achieve them
50 % say-If I set goals I can achieve them
Maria's self-esteem
Maria's self-esteem
Jun 28, 2021

73 career workshop for the academic 2020-2021

Students work on the design thinking method
Students work on the design thinking method

In 2 days the school year for the young people we work with in Bulgaria will end and we are happy to share our successes with you.

 

Although this school year was challenging, filled with worries and social isolation for students, thanks to each of you, thanks to the support of volunteers, teachers and school leaders Step for Bulgaria Foundation managed to organize and implement 73 workshops for professional information and motivation of students. young people from underprivileged communities. Most of these workshops were held in a remote online format.

 

The workshops were attended by over 120 students from 8-12 grades in 6 groups from different small towns and villages in Bulgaria. This year we managed to include students from the town of Targovishte, which is 320 km from our capital. Together with the dedicated work of teachers at school, we organized 7 online workshops, thanks to which the students' understanding of the importance of acquiring and developing digital skills deepened. Various volunteers took part in all 7 workshops.

 

A total of 28 volunteers from various companies and professional fields took part in all 73 career workshops. Each volunteer presented to the students his professional and personal path, told about the professional challenges he faces and the professional satisfaction he receives in his work.

Together with the volunteer, the students had the opportunity to immerse themselves in his profession by solving professional cases - processing an insurance policy, creating a work schedule, creating a calendar for Facebook ads, generating ideas for new tastes for chocolates, dealing with customer complaints, planning tourist trip, etc.

 

Over the past year, we have built long-term partnerships with a large international retail company, which has included its employees in the workshops and provided an opportunity for summer internships for students. An active supporter in the workshops was the Training Manager of the company, which conducted workshops in which he introduced the students to their labor rights as employees (employment contracts, leave, overtime, additional incentives). As part of the career counseling, the young people had the opportunity to prepare their CVs and receive guidelines for successfully submitting a job interview.

 

Next month we will collect and analyze the results achieved by working with students during this school year. The main indicators that we monitor are a) the development of knowledge in students about the relationship between the level of education they have and opportunities to start a job, b)  the attitude that career choice and successful career depends on their knowledge and skills, c) skills for working in a digital environment, d) knowledge of various professional options and knowledge of the requirements for starting a job.

 

Thank you very much for your support this school year. Our success in working with students is due to your constant support.



Students create a work schedule plan
Students create a work schedule plan
Students generate ideas on how to look for work
Students generate ideas on how to look for work
Mar 10, 2021

Step for me Project for career orientation

Dear friend,

Thank you for your continued support!

In recent months, online meetings with young people from small remote places have continued. Currently, two 11th graders are undergoing their 6-month Step for Me mentoring program. In an individual work with a mentor, each of the girls works on their own project to build a career portfolio aimed at researching and identifying those qualities, skills, knowledge and pathways that lead to the achievement of the dream profession. As they work on their project, the girls develop valuable skills such as self-confidence, networking, communication with outsiders, setting priorities and building a plan to achieve goals. With the help of their mentor, the girls have the opportunity to meet people from different professions and thus expand their professional orientation.

Along with the individual mentoring couples, 19 students go through the same Step for Me program in a group format. By the end of the school year, each student will be able to complete their project.

Thank you for your help making this possible!

We wish you good health and safety!

The Step for Bulgaria Foundation Team

 
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