Coffee with Students
Scholarship and Personal Development Program
January - March 2022
This is a new year and new beginnings for Bosana. We have started this year with a new partnership between BAPA Bosnian-American Professionals Association. In the seventh year of awarding scholarships to high achieving Bosnian-American students who are actively involved in their respective communities, besides three BAPA scholarships, they will also offer one sponsored by Bosana Foundation. We have started After School workshops in Sarajevo this year, after successfully implementing the same programs in Zenica and Tuzla. Academic life is slowly going back to normal and our students are using this opportunity to work on their education as well as professional development.
Remember to check out our website and social media for any new developments.
Students and Program Update:
January and February are generally busy for our students, due to midterms and final exams for the fall semester. The results were very good for the most part and they have started their spring semester in good spirits. Students have embraced coming back to in-person examination and they are much happier with this option.
At the beginning of the year, I visited Bihac to grab some coffee with our students. Since we have not had any students' gatherings in the past two years, these small group coffee sessions are always super exciting for our students. We don’t have many students in Bihac but I was able to see some recent graduates as well. Denis graduated two years ago, and Aida graduated last year. I have also met Sandra, who is currently studying law, and Sedin who is finishing up with his exams and getting ready to start his final project. I have missed meeting our students in person and hope to have more opportunities this year.
Highlights of the quarter:
We are thrilled to share all these inspiring news about our students:
- Nadja attend our Annual Benefit in Los Angeles back in 2013. Now, we are very proud to report that after some hiatus, getting married and having a baby, Nadja has also completed her M.A. degree.Nadja was also part of our Vocational Program where she worked closely with our "Kick Start Your Career" instructor Aida to help her with job applications and Nadja has found a job back in the spring of last year.
- On behalf of the Association of Biology Students from Sarajevo, our student Jovana participated as a panelist at a conference "Quo Vadis Academia?" organized by the Homework Hub on the occasion of the International Education Day. Panel discussed important topics of education in BIH, particularly looking at whether poor educational systems are the cause of the massive brain drain in BIH and what are the potential solutions. The panel lasted three-hours where students exchanged experiences and ideas while all participants took an active part in also sharing their own experiences and thoughts on this topic.
- Sreten, one of our students, won the award for success he achieved in the last academic year. Sreten is, on average, the best student in the first year of the Forestry Study Program at the School of Agriculture in East Sarajevo. His grade point average was 9.20 after his first year. In addition to success in teaching activities, he also participated in various projects that were helpful to his local community, as well as in projects within the student council of his school.
- The leader and organizer of After School workshops in Sarajevo, is Bosana scholarship recipient Bilal, who also grew up in the orphanage in Sarajevo, and now provides help and support through nonprofit organization that he started with a group of students. In the previous couple of months, we received information from Bilal that there were several workshops they worked on, including educational workshops for volunteers, instructional classes in mathematics and English, cooking workshops, and creative workshops. What we are most proud of is that through these workshops, BOSANA students are networking, and they have the opportunity to volunteer and secure a volunteer place through this project.
- Every year we have students who are part of the Erasmus Exchange. Sanel was in Lleida, Spain during the fall semester and this is what he had to say: “ Easily the best thing that has come out of this exchange is the Master's degree subjects. The subjects are self-directed and stress-free, no exams, just a project that we work on the whole semester. . .I have visited Andorra and Barcelona and I plan to visit more cities in the future. I love the change, and this was a very welcoming one. Despite that, there are also things that I miss in Bosnia, and I look forward to coming back in February.”
- A full-time student at the Faculty of Political Science University of Sarajevo Suncica started her Erasmus + Exchange at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, Center for International Studies and Development / ISDUU. The exchange lasts from 28.02. to 29.06.2022. and she is doing her Master's thesis as well as attending three courses related to her MA thesis.
Exciting news about Bosana’s former students:
- On February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, BOSANA students celebrate in the most beautiful way possible, by donating, just as you donate and invest in their education.Our former scholarship recipients, MA of genetics from Bihac and Gorazde, Anela and Denis decided to pay 50 KM each for two students who contributed to science and their communities last year with their hard work, commitment and activities. 4 students were elected based on their hard work and their activities. The students are Suncica, Sumeja, Sandra and Jovana. These are the most active students and students with the highest grades. They have expressed their immense gratitude to Denis and Anela, and we are also proud providing such a wonderful example to other students and remembering BOSANA.
- We are happy to share that our student Adnan has started a new position as System Engineer at BS Telecom Solutions! He finished Electrical Engineering at the University of Sarajevo Department for Automatic Control and Electronics. Last month, Adnan took the opportunity to express his ideas and talent and he will manage our social networks from now on.
The Bosana Foundation, in cooperation with the Psychology Student Association from Sarajevo 'Sinapsa,' organized a workshop on "How to Love Yourself" at the HUB Homework in Sarajevo on March 13th.
This two-hour workshop was a refreshment for Bosana students who are in Sarajevo, because after a period when they did not have any live activities because of COVID-19, they had the chance to socialize and get to know each other. Students had the opportunity to hear an interesting lecture by an MA student and member of the 'Sinapsa' Dzenana. The topics she covered were our relationship with ourselves and other people, and the gratitude that we often forget to have. They also got to share some experiences dealing with human relationships, and discussed how to navigate certain situations in life. We also had two online workshops in March, which tackled the topics of depression and toxic relationships. We are confident that these were very useful topics and workshops for our students, since in all three, 30 of our students all around BiH participated. We are looking forward to more educational workshops we will organize in the future.
"Students for Humanity" project has been active for six years now. Bosana students each month put aside 2KM that Bosana also matches. Current students and alumni students alike continue to contribute to this project so the impact is very significant.
During the month of March, our students had four separate humanitarian actions all across Bosnia and Herzegovina to help those in need.
The first donation was paid out to a student from Zenica who personally sent a request for support during his studies for the first semester that the student fund financed and now we continue our support for the second. Travel expenses and food for March and books for the entire semester were covered by the donor in the amount of 163 KM. Travel expenses from April to June were covered by funds paid from the Students for Humanity Student Project Fund in the amount of 250 KM.
The second donation was to provide support to our former scholarship recipient who wanted to attend an online Fitness Academy with one of the most famous fitness trainers in the region. With this course, our former student will learn not only how to create personalized fitness classes but also meals and to create business packages that would be profitable. This full course is a great advancement for our student who finished Physical Education at the University of Mostar, Faculty of Science and Education. He managed to raise some of the money himself but needed additional funds so we supported him with money from the Fund in the amount of 200 BAM.
For the third donation, one of our current students wrote to us with a request to cover the costs of transportation of students with disabilities who attend the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of East Sarajevo. 200 BAM was allocated from the Fund for this action.
Former Bosana scholarship recipient is currently living at home without any income. She sent a personal request for support in covering basic expenses, groceries, and utilities to our current students. 300 KM was paid out from the Fund as the fourth donation in this quarter.