"We all know how one can become a student: prepare, learn a lot, go to exams; everything is related to stress and money, of course." That’s how, somewhat trivial and ordinary, the law student Beatrice Boykova begins her story. At first glance she does not differ from the other students at the Sofia University and she never wanted to.
The truth, however, is that her story will always make her stand out from the crowd. "You must never forget where you came from, but you must also never abandon your dreams, no matter how unattainable they may look at the moment" - these are Betty's words, as she prefers to call her.
"Maybe I should begin with where I’m from and what I’ve been through," says Betty. She was born in the Roma neighborhood of the Altimir village, Vratsa Region and is quick to refute most people's preconceptions that children from Roma neighborhoods do not attend school. "All children go to school there, if I say I'm the only one, I'll lie." This girl's life has not been easy, not just because of the hardly changing environment that was surrounding her, but also because she had to deal with the wear and tear of life from an early age.
"The first time life hit me was when my father died. I was almost 10 years old when he left us. It was a real tragedy for my whole family, everyone in the neighborhood was looking at us with regret and despair. I, my mother, and my brother struggled enormously but we managed to get back on our feet" says Betty. And he adds that this event has left a big mark in her life. To this day her family is struggling tremendously but they have each other’s support.
Influenced by her father's words, Betty realizes that she has taken the steps her father advised her to take years ago. "I remember my dad telling me to become a lawyer when I grow up, and maybe his dream contributed to my choice to study law". It was extremely difficult. If it weren’t for my family who hasn’t stopped supporting me, I wouldn’t have come to where I am now". Betty hasn’t stopped dreaming. She wants to grow up in her career and to achieve a lot.
Beatrice is one of the girls supported by the Student Society for the Development of Interethnic Dialogue with the support of the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation. The girl has received full support and guidance throughout the entire university application process: from covering the cost of the Bulgarian Language lessons, through covering the application fees, including the amount for the first semester of the first year of study, to scholarship guidelines for further training. Betty is already a student in her third year of study at the university and has been able to help herself by working additionally for a private enforcement agent.
"I try not to disappoint the people who believe in me. I want to show that if you want something bad enough, no matter what the obstacles are, you get it" says Betty.