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
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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In these challenging times, the main focus of the Step for Bulgaria Foundation and the volunteers we work with is to support underprivileged youth in the process of transitioning to distance learning.

For most of the students we work with, this is the first meeting with various forms of online learning. They do not have the necessary skills and knowledge to work with digital tools. At the same time, for some of the students, virtual classroom meetings are the only way to communicate with their trusted loved ones. Virtual meetings are an opportunity for students to calm down and balance their emotions in a precarious situation.

That is why we use all our expertise to support teachers in enhancing students' digital knowledge and skills.

On the other hand, we have created a program for developing digital job application skills. Over 60 students will have the opportunity to complete a simulation of a remote selection process - complete an online application form, perform psychological tests, have a virtual room interview, and complete a practical task developing their skills for work with Google tools.

The whole team of Step for Bulgaria Foundation considers the current situation as an opportunity for the vulnerable students we work with to develop very important skills and knowledge for their future career development.

 

For the final - we want to share photos and inspiration from one of the most exciting events we have organized over the last three months. With students, we had the opportunity to visit an aircraft repair hangar. Along with the volunteering guided tour and the information, the students received one big message - Everything they dream of is achievable.

 

Their dreams can come true, thanks to you.


Stay safe and well.

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Volunteer presenting her career choice to students
Volunteer presenting her career choice to students

Dear friend,
The start of the school year in Bulgaria this September meant that we were ready to start with our career workshop programs for students in underprivileged communities. In the past three months, we held 10 workshops for 100 high-school students between 8 and 12 grade (from freshman to senior year) in 3 schools with the help of 22 volunteers.

Each workshop comprises of several guest-speakers, volunteers from our partnering companies, who present their career path to the students and share how they got where they are in life. Our goal is to present the vast array of opportunities that each of these students has before them and expand their horizons, often limited by a narrow social circle, lack of information and inadequate career counseling at school. We work with the same 100 students throughout the academic year through regular monthly meetings. In this way, we make sure we expose our participating students to a large enough group of professionals and careers so that each one discovers something of value and interest to him/her.

To make the workshops as effective as possible, we do a preliminary survey among the students with the goal of understanding what their current professional aspirations are. We also ask about their attitude toward continuing their education and their hobbies and strengths. In this process, we observed low motivation for continuing education and that it is difficult for them to identify and talk about their strengths - a finding that inspired us to include self-assessment topics in the presentations of our volunteer speakers.

On the volunteer side, our tireless workshop coordinator Asya reached out to 67 companies, inviting them to present our workshops as a volunteer opportunity to their employees. We are working on building a solid network of support that will ensure the longevity of the career workshops initiative.

All of us are very excited to continue supporting high school students in the new academic year through offering them a richer vision for their future where there are many worthy opportunities. This is all thanks to you!

Have a wonderful holiday season and a successful start of the new decade,
The Step for Bulgaria Foundation Team

Talking about future opportunities
Talking about future opportunities
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Organization Information

Step for Bulgaria Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Veselina Vurgova
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria
$8,217 raised of $12,000 goal
 
91 donations
$3,783 to go
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