Roma potential meets American optimism

Last week, nearly twenty students, supported by the Trust for Social Achievement in coordination with our partner organizations,  were invited to a meeting with the Board of Directors of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

During the informal conversation organized by the America for Bulgaria Foundation, the students had the opportunity to meet various representatives of the Foundation's Board, to tell them about themselves, their path to the university and their plans afterwards. The conversations also touched upon the things that inspire and motivate not only the students, but also their hosts from "America for Bulgaria".

Participating students are involved in a wide range of programs implemented by the Trust for a Social Achievement or supported by TSA and implemented by the Arete Youth Foundation and the Student Society for the Development of Interethnic Dialogue. They are studying or have recently graduated from majors such as Medicine, Dentistry, Social Work, Nursing, Elementary Pedagogy, Law, Political Science, Opera Singing, Software and Computer Technology at universities in Plovdiv, Sofia, Sliven, Vratsa, Blagoevgrad.

In addition to hearing firsthand about their experiences as scholarship recipients, participants in preparatory courses, youth camps and a number of volunteer initiatives, the members of the Board of the America for Bulgaria Foundation also talked about their own journeys, about the things that connect them to Bulgaria, and about the lessons they have learned in their personal and professional lives.

Last but not least, guests and hosts also talked about the role of Roma youth as ambassadors for their community, advocates for their peers from Roma neighborhoods and inspiration for many other young people. The young people's stories were as different as they were the same. At a certain point in their lives, each has had to overcome specific difficulties that stood in their paths.

After the meeting, the students were more convinced that they are on the right path and confident in their personal and professional mission. To pave the way for others coming after them, but also not to forget where they started - their Roma family, neighborhood, and  community. For their duty is not only to themselves, but also to Bulgaria’s future.