Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers

by Step for Bulgaria Foundation
Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers
Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers
Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers
Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers
Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers
Provide Career Counseling for At-Risk Teenagers
In the last summer months we held analysis of the results achieved during the past school year, as well as the areas in which we need to look for new approaches to working with young people.


The indicators of success that we monitored during the past school year 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.


59% of surveyed students give examples of the relationship between education and job opportunities. Unfortunately, their aspirations are for starting a job that requires low professional qualifications. Students prefer professions that are familiar to them and are performed in their close family environment.

70% of students indicate that the choice of career depends on themselves, their interests and desires. 66% answered that their professional success depends on the efforts they make and the education they receive. Qualitative analyzes, however, show that this statement is more based on the meetings and conversations we have with students. Many students can give two or three examples of exactly what effort they need to put in.

A large percentage of students still have difficulty working with digital applications. This is largely due to the lack of specialized classes focused on working in a digital environment, as well as the fact that they participate in career workshops via smartphones because they do not have computers.


As a result of the conducted analyzes, during this school year we will continue to work in the direction of building attitudes and knowledge of how education influences the future professional success. We will continue to meet at-risk teens with inspirational volunteers who work in a variety of professional fields, and of course we will include more experts related to the professions of the future.

The main focus continues to be the building of real skills through which students will be able to get involved more successfully in working life.

To this end, this school year we will launch a new project in which students themselves will initiate, plan, organize and conduct career workshops. we already have a ready plan for working with the first student who will organize his career workshop. We will soon write in detail about the success of this first project.


We thank all our donors and supporters, without whom these ideas and projects would not be a reality. Thank you and stay healthy!

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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
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Some of our volunteers
Some of our volunteers

Dear friend, 


During this school year we managed to include in the program two more groups of students from Targovishte. We currently work regularly with 6 groups of students who organize meetings with volunteers from different professions.

Thanks to online education we were able to organize twice as many meetings and introduce students to 18 volunteers, including - doctor, digital marketing specialist, lawyer, hairdresser, physiotherapist, online game artist, psychologist, animator, manufacturer of organic cosmetics, engineer, accountant , car mechanic, insurer.

Communicating with different role models gives students the opportunity to get more information about unfamiliar professions, to compare their interests and to think about what knowledge and skills they need if they want to dedicate themselves to a particular profession.

During this school year, our program aims to develop the digital skills of the students we work with. We set tasks with which they practice working with various applications and online programs. We involve students in challenges to work with shared documents.

The biggest goal we want to achieve, thanks to your support, is to develop in them the attitude that every challenge and change is an opportunity to learn new things.


 Thanks for your support

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Virtual guest in classroom
Virtual guest in classroom

For most of the teenagers we work with, remote digital communication and interaction are new and unfamiliar opportunities. The limited financial, technological and social opportunities of the families in which the young people grow up, predetermines that they have habits only for face-to-face communication.

The global changes that are taking place put teenagers at risk of an even greater danger of social isolation and a serious lag in the acquisition of technological knowledge and skills. That is why in August and September we organize a Digital Summer School for acquiring competencies. In it, young people had the opportunity to develop technological skills to work with google drive and various google apps. They gained attitudes for remote communication with volunteers via email, phone and zoom. Each of the young people implements a project related to the acquisition of professional skills important for the 21st century such as goal setting and planning, decision making, assertiveness, critical thinking, self-confidence and the ability to present yourself.


Digital Career Counseling at school

During the current school year, the career workshops continue in digital format. This allows us to work with students more often and now our meetings are weekly. This allows students to meet more volunteers and hear about their career path.

Another advantage of distance education is that it provides an opportunity for us to reach smaller and more remote areas in Bulgaria. We really want the foundation to be able to expand its activities and actually reach more remote settlements. That is why we need a resource from another person to coordinate and implement the activity of attracting new schools, new volunteers and work with students. We believe that your donations will give us this opportunity. Thank you in advance.


Presentation of working case
Presentation of working case
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Support and encouragement, exciting meetings with volunteers and learning by playing in a virtual environment. We report new skills, new knowledge, new feelings and attitude towards the world at the end of the school year. A school year that was even more challenging for the students we work with. Most of them did not have any experience in working with mobile devices, did not have a personal email and did not navigate in a virtual environment.


During the last three months of distance education, we had the opportunity to work in groups with 5 classes from 3 schools and to attract 12 students for individual virtual meetings. According to the needs of the students, we implemented several programs:


Program for orientation and work in an online environment.  In a series of workshops, students had the opportunity to learn about the possibilities of working in a virtual room. They learned how to create, edit and share files. They got acquainted with online resources for creating visual content, creating opinion polls. We are proud to say that the students have gained confidence that they can work in a digital environment and have the attitude to use it to "get out" of the small community in which they live.


Program of career workshops for meetings with volunteers from different professions.  In the virtual classrooms, students had the opportunity to meet professionals from 6 different companies. In these meetings, students gained more knowledge about the professions as Digital marketing manager and Virtual training specialist.

The volunteers shared their experience of working remotely and discussed with the students the skills needed to work in an online environment.

In the meetings with volunteers from the advertising and manufacturing sectors, the students discussed opportunities and mechanisms for business development in times of crisis.


Simulation of remote selection process. 12 of the students we work with showed courage and went through the challenging stages of a simulated selection process. They took part in filling in an online application form, solving online personality assessment tests, answering questions "What are your weaknesses", "Tell me about a challenge you have overcome", "What is your success you are most proud of" and in the fourth stage - they participated in a role play for professional skills assessment. The students shared that they are grateful to themselves that they dared to participate in this challenge and that they feel more confident in themselves and in their readiness to appear for a real job interview.


Program of remote workshops for development of professional skills. How to express clearly and precisely, what active listening is. How to state your opinion in an assertive way. How to structure an email, how to start a professional phone conversation. What is the role of personal values in choosing a professional path and setting personal goals. These were some of the topics we practiced with the students using non-formal learning methods. As a result of this program we share the opinion of students "It is wonderful to learn new different things", "It is important to learn throughout our lives, especially by solving practical cases”

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Organization Information

Step for Bulgaria Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Veselina Vurgova
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria
$8,417 raised of $12,000 goal
95 donations
$3,583 to go
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Teenage Science Students
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