Meet Georgi Georgiev - A Roma Student With a Dream

There’s nothing like seeing young people pursue a dream. Georgi Georgiev, from Varna in Bulgaria, is one these young talents who succeed in pursuing their own goals - his dream took him to med school. 

On the way to fulfilling his dream, Georgi discovered a confluence between mathematics, computer science, and neurosurgery. "I wasn't very sure what exactly I'd like to study after graduating from my high school, the School of Mathematics in Lom (a city in the north-western region of Bulgaria). The path of least resistance would have been to study something related to computers. Most of my friends were doing that," explains Georgi. 

Suddenly, at the very last minute prior to application exams, Georgi changed his mind. "I guess my grandmother, who has been working as a nurse for a very long time, influenced me in some way or another." That's how Georgi explains his decision to pursue medicine. And even though many medical school applicants prepare themselves for almost two years before taking the extremely difficult entry exams in biology and chemistry, he decided to test his knowledge and will, and to compete for a spot at the Professor Paraskev Stoyanov University in Varna.

“I hope to have the chance to develop my skills and learn more from the best professionals.”
Georgi disregarded all the skeptical comments shared by his close friends. Ironically, some of them thought he wasn’t serious about his plans. But as it turned out, on his regular exam Georgi passed with remarkable results that assured him a place in his top choice university to study medicine in Varna. Soon after, he found out he could apply for a medical scholarship for Roma students. He didn’t hesitate.

Going forward, Georgi will focus his efforts on one of his biggest challenges: biochemistry. "My colleagues motivate me a lot, they're very supportive and don't let me get side-tracked on the challenging path toward Neurosurgery. Technology in this field is progressing so fast, there are such amazing medical transplants already, and I hope to have the chance to develop my skills and learn more from the best professionals."

"Scholarship covers my tuition fee, expenses for some books, and even part of my monthly apartment rent."

Georgi is one of 74 young Roma students who applied for the Roma Health Scholarship program supported within the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria. That's how he was able to start his second year at the University with almost all his costs covered by the program. 22 of these budding health professionals pursuing degrees in health disciplines, including medicine, pharmacy, and dental medicine, received a scholarship of approximately 2,500 euro - depending on their field of study.

And it doesn’t stop there. Around 240 scholarships will be awarded over the next years (until 2024, with an average of 46 scholarships per year) - that's the number of young Roma students that will receive support through the Roma Health Scholarship program supported through the Active Citizens Fund in Bulgaria, implemented by Trust for Social Achievement. The Trust for Social Achievement is part of a consortia consisted of Open Society Institute – Sofia and the Workshop for Civil Initiatives Foundation, operator of the Active Citizens Fund in Bulgaria.

Calls for applications will be published on a yearly basis, with the next call planned in May 2019.