The notion of “community” is special and very important at Teach For Bulgaria. Mainly because we believe that it is our joint effort for a better future and for equal access to high quality education in Bulgaria that make our vision for the success of every child attainable.
Moreover, our community is the invisible thread which makes us strong, helps us constantly learn from each other, grow sustainably, and stand our ground firmer and better.
Key to our community are our supporters: those who clearly see what their personal contribution to our mission for the success of every child is. They never cease to support and inspire us with their actions, ideas, and engagement regardless of how far from Bulgaria they are, what their area of work is, or what their personal interests may be.
In the past few months one of our true supporters, Bogomil Balkansky, helped us prove how strong our community stood and demonstrated that, indeed, there are no borders for the belief in the success of every child. As early as April, Mr. Balkansky, who is one of the most successful Bulgarians in the Silicon Valley in the United States and a Vice President of Google, accepted our invitation to share his experience and the role that high quality education played in his life. He participated in a very interesting discussion about social mobility and Bulgarian education with the CEO of Teach For Bulgaria, Evgenia Peeva-Kirova. Mr. Balkansky and Mrs. Peeva-Kirova mapped out the importance of education for the development not only of each one of us individually, but also of the society in which we would like to live. The event took place in San Francisco and the guests were Bulgarians from the local Bulgarian community.
A few weeks later, before the end of the school year, Bogomil Balkansky enthusiastically took the opportunity to be a role model for the students of “Vasil Levski” Secondary School in Galabovo, Stara Zagora. He was a virtual guest speaker in Ms. Yanitsa Gospodinova’s English class (one of Teach For Bulgaria’s professional development and leadership program participants). Despite the great time difference, Mr. Balkansky’s busy schedule, and the bad Internet connection, he was able to share his life journey with the students- a journey which also started in Stara Zagora and then took him to a key management position in one of the largest tech companies in the world. Bogomil Balkansky answered the students’ questions and shared the lessons he had learned along the way towards professional success. To prevent future “communication breakdowns” he promised to visit the students in person during his next visit to Bulgaria. Meeting Mr. Balkansky meant much more to the children than a virtual call with a successful Bulgarian. Most of all, this meeting gave them the inspiration to dream bigger, work harder, and have faith that one day they could be in his shoes- helping other children have access to more opportunities.
As part of a strong community Bogomil Balkansky is not alone in his support and engagement with Teach For Bulgaria’s mission. In the past months he organized a considerable matching donations campaign with all donations going to Teach For Bulgaria. The campaign ended on June 30, 2017 with donations from over 150 individual donors proving that education is a cause which has the power to unite people and exceed expectations. We are grateful to all of our true supporters and new friends for the trust you put in us and the opportunity we now have to support even more fervently the meaningful work of the new class of teachers who are starting the program in September. For us this support is a huge responsibility to the children, the teachers, and the mission we stand by.
If Bogomil Balkansky’s story has inspired you, do not miss the chance to read more about Yavor Atanasov’s support and his adventures here.
If you are interested in becoming a Teach For Bulgaria supporter, find out how to do it here. If you have your own ideas on how to support Teach For Bulgaria, do not hesitate to share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.