Provide Long-Term Mentors to Disadvantaged Youth

by Step for Bulgaria Foundation
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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
Students in the BNP Paribas' office
Students in the BNP Paribas' office

"Yeah, what offices do these people work in? It's like in fairy tales here. They have places to relax, to play and all the desks are in one open place - it's like they are one big team", says Stilyan from 11th grade after his visit to the office of BNP Paribas. He sees an open office for the first time.

 

"It's very interesting to see where the mentors work. Yes, it's great to listen to their stories at school, but when you go to their workplace, everything becomes more real. You start to believe that everything is real and achievable", shares Mia from 10th grade after the visit to the office of BNP Paribas.

 

"I still can't believe that the manager of the company took an hour to talk to us. This man is fantastic. He had so many difficulties, but he never gave up. This is probably how to become a leader”-  are the words of Mitko after he visited a chocolate factory.

 

"I didn't know it could be so impressive working in a manufacturing plant. Everything is so planned, organized and clean. And you know that you yourself produce elements that are part of the cars around us. Maybe I can become an engineer, too.” - thinks Tsvetan from 11th grade, who visits a factory for production of electrical components

 

Dear friends, we share with you the impressions of young people who had the incredible opportunity to participate in special events to visit the workplace of mentors.

As you know, the Step for Bulgaria Foundation works with young people from small villages who have a limited idea of the real business environment that exists in Bulgaria. For the first time 38 high school students had the opportunity to visit a business company or manufacturing plant and learn in person about the work of their mentors.

The youths heard motivating stories of difficulties and successes. They learned that with desire, work and efforts, you can achieve a lot, no matter where you were born, what school you study in or what small village you live in.

They participated in discussions about the importance of developing teamwork skills, conflict resolution, planning, sales skills and more.

The most important thing they learned and saw in practice is that it is very important to study and try to go to university.

Thank you for your support in organizing these special meetings.

Students in the Benjamissimo chocolate factory
Students in the Benjamissimo chocolate factory
Students in the BNP Paribas' office
Students in the BNP Paribas' office
Students visiting the plant of LEM Bulgaria
Students visiting the plant of LEM Bulgaria
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Dear friends,

We are happy to share that thanks to your support, we have completed a mentoring internship for two girls in the field of marketing and communications. The girls took part in a real project related to updating the website of the Step for Bulgaria Foundation. During the last three months, the girls learned to work with wordpress, image and text processing programs. They improved their skills for teamwork, giving and receiving feedback, preparing and defending proposals.

A student from Tutrakan also joined the mentoring program, organizing a career workshop at her school and being responsible for the technical preparation meeting of the seminar, as well as for the relevant communication reporting.

Our main work with disadvantaged young people continues in the career workshops we organize. There are already 17 meetings this school year.

Thank you very much for your support.

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Dear friends,

We are happy to inform you that since the beginning of the new academic year two girls from Kostinbrod and Kazanlak have joined a practical mentoring program. The two girls and their mentors will have the opportunity to work on a real project for updating the website of the Step for Bulgaria Foundation.

Over the next three months, the girls will gain practical knowledge in the field of digital marketing, copywriting and building websites with word press. They will get acquainted with techniques for preparing texts and storytelling. As part of their mentoring program, young people will have the opportunity to communicate not only with mentors, but also with our volunteers, students and teachers. They will conduct interviews and collect emotional stories from the classrooms. 

This mentoring program and the work of the girls will be entirely digital. We believe that working on a real project will give the girls practical knowledge and skills with which to then find a way to their future professional realization.

Thank you for helping us organize these projects and give young people the opportunity to write their inspiring story.

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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
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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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Organization Information

Step for Bulgaria Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Elena Furnadzhieva
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria
$41,878 raised of $45,000 goal
 
478 donations
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