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Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth

by Step for Bulgaria Foundation
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth
Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth

Dear friend,

Thank you for your continuous support. The funds raised by supporters like you helped us train two new mentors and establish two mentor-mentee pairs, who’ve had several sessions already since our last report.

Discovering girls and boys living outside institutions but without adequate parental care poses a significant challenge as there is no straightforward way to identify such youth. On the outside, they live a life similar to any other schoolchild. What environment they have at home and whether there is a parent there is something often only their closest friends know. Even when we meet such young people, for us to be able to work together, they need to recognize a need for additional support for their personal growth, education or career preparation. To ensure long-term results, we are looking for students who are willing to put time and effort into learning and receiving guidance from their mentor.

We tackled these issues by leveraging the relationship we’ve established through our career workshops with a school serving an underprivileged community in the outskirts of Sofia. This is how we met the two students who are now working with our mentors Emil and Miroslava. One of the pairs is working on preparing the student to apply to university as she will graduate next year. The other pair is working through the key priorities of the student and towards choosing the right goal to pursue. We will follow their progress and continue to share how they are doing in our next reports.

With gratitude,

The Step for Bulgaria Foundation Team

Links:

Dear friend,

Thank you for your support!

We're happy to report that we are currently in the process of launching a new cohort of mentor - mentee couples, building on our efforts to support students from an underprivileged community in the outskirts of Sofia through career workshops. With your help, we’ve been able to meet with over 60 students from this area and introduce to them the opportunity of working with a mentor toward achieving their goals. Within the next month, we expect to have established at least 10 mentor-mentee pairs and to have conducted introductory meetings for all of them. We are excited to follow their progress and share with you stories about the impact on our students as a result of the support and guidance their mentor provides.

We have decided to provide with an individual mentor (a volunteer working at one of our partner companies) a number of high-school students - a self-selected group of students who recognize the need for additional support for their personal growth and future education and career preparation. To ensure long-term results, we are looking for students who are willing to put time and effort into learning and receiving guidance from their mentor.

After the first two career workshops targeting over 60 students in our partner high school, we are in the process of collecting applications from students interested in working with a mentor. The mentor's role is to help the student set individual goals related to succeeding in school, choose an area for continuing their education or finding a job. Of course, our mentors also support the students with advice, experience and actual tools for development of new relevant skills and knowledge

While we have run a mentorship program for years, this is the first time that we are implementing it together with our career orientation program, which works with a larger group of students to give them access to information and skills related to planning their path beyond completing high school. We are doing this in order to provide more holistic and in-depth support for youth who demonstrate a sufficient level of self-awareness and commitment to self-development and growth. This way we can fully employ the capacities and dedication of our volunteers who are all successful professionals employed by established companies in Bulgaria.

With gratitude,

The Step for Bulgaria Foundation Team

We continue to build new structures from volunteer mentors. We also expand the reach of schools and settlements where career development workshops will be held. In the last quarter the high school in the town of Kostinbrod took part in a program.
We trained the new wave of mentors on 18/12/2018 in the company of Cargill Bulgaria.
The new volunteer-mentors will be committed to two classes, young people who graduate high school.
Young people from the last grades of their secondary education will get a great opportunity to get acquainted with mentors - volunteers with different professions. They will have the opportunity to touch on the actual application of the respective professions through internships provided by the partner companies.

After a series of structured conversations with our more experienced volunteers, we have come to the conclusion that all young people who have the right to meet through our career seminars and who express an interest in contacting a separate mentor should be able to choose their own our own mentor instead of collecting (according to us) our knowledge of their shared professional and personal interests. So we decided to bring together a team full of diverse professionals and in a way similar to our career seminars to invite them to meet with the students. This school year has a new wave of volunteers and two new schools from Pernik and Beli Bani are involved in the initiative.

Mentor picking
Mentor picking

Dear supporter,

Our #StepforBulgaria team is excited to share with you the latest news with our ongoing mission to provide a Mentoring Program for Underprivileged Youth!

June 12th marked our first-in-a-long-time new meet and greet of future new mentors and mentees! The introduction went incredibly well, and we are happy to report that it was attended by almost double the students, 19, instead of the 10 we had planned for, and still, there were a few who could not attend. All the more reasons for organizing another round soon :) 

Here's the full story:

After a series of structured conversations with our more experienced volunteers, we gathered everyone's opinion that the youths we have the privilege to come to know by means of our Career Workshops - and who express an interest in being paired with an individual mentor - should be allowed to pick their own mentor instead of them being artificially paired to one (by us) according to our knowledge of their shared professional and personal interests. So, we decided to gather a team full of diverse professionals and, in a manner much like our Career Workshops, invite them to come meet the students. The difference came from the fact that the focus of the conversation this time was not "how to structure my CV", but rather "how to pick somemone whom I can learn the most from".

The pretext allowed the students to go around the classroom in an informal setting and "shop" for the best mentors around. The results: out of 8 volunteers, 5 were occupied by 1 or more students by the end of the 2-hour ordeal. The other 3, alongisde a group of new volunteers, are currently hosting an open day event at their company to meet a few more of the students :) We eager to find out and let you know, too, what happens next in our next report, so stay tuned!

Thanks once more for allowing us to do what we do.

Best regards,

Dancho and the Step for Bulgaria team

P.S. If you continuously like what we do, please consider becoming a recurrent donor! Check out and share our other projects, too, at Teaching Life Skills to Children without Parents and Fast-Track Career Development for At-Risk Youths!

Getting to know each other in depth
Getting to know each other in depth
Newly formed mentoring pair :)
Newly formed mentoring pair :)
 

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Organization Information

Step for Bulgaria Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Veselina Vurgova
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria
$38,984 raised of $45,000 goal
 
420 donations
$6,016 to go
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