How high can dreams fly? How much courage and hard work does it take to make 600 rotations with a paraglider? What does it feel like to soar in the skies of exotic lands like Chille, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the Himalayas?
These are just some of the questions which stirred strong emotions at Primary School “P. Parchevich” in the small mountain town of Chiprovtsi at the end of November. The reason behind these strong emotions was a very special visitor – Veso Ovcharov – aerobatic paragliding world record holder and five-time world champion.
Veso was a “role model” and guest speaker at the local school. He was invited by primary school teacher and Teach For Bulgaria alumna Yordanka Zamfirova. The main goal of his visit was to meet with the students and to inspire them to dream big. He also shared more about his personal journey towards success and his experience in extreme sports.
The best way to convey the emotions from his visit and the impact it had on the students, who had the chance to meet the athlete, is to share Mrs. Zamfirova’s thank you letter:
Greetings from Chiprovtsi!
I would once again like to thank you on behalf of all students and the entire school for the incredible opportunity to meet Veselin Ovcharov!
The children were so excited that they waited for him in front of the school. I have never seen them so happy and full of enthusiasm. They invited him into their classroom, showed him around, and started asking questions, sharing stories, taking pictures, and asking for autographs.
They have a hard time saying “verb”, but big words like “paraglider” and “paragliding” seem to be no problem. I barely had time to give Veselin a tour of the school before it was time for everyone to gather in the big hall for his presentation. The older students were in awe while the little ones kept asking questions and making comments. All children had already watched videos of Veso paragliding, so they knew how lucky they were to be able to meet him in person. Some were even jealous because they couldn’t try his paragliding suit on. I could see hope in their eyes – the dream that perhaps someday they will also be able to overcome their fears and make their dreams come true.
This was an exceptionally inspiring, motivating, and memorable visit. The students had prepared a song for Veselin, but they were so nervous that they sang the chorus four times by mistake. Veselin had hardly left our town when all parents started calling me to ask about the paraglider their children couldn’t stop talking about. Two of the children who live out of town didn’t want to leave before the visit was over and nearly missed their bus…
Today, a day after Veselin’s visit, my students keep asking me when he is coming back because they want to fly again. I hope we can make their dream come true. My colleagues told me that they now have another trick up their sleeves, if a student wants to give up: “Would Veso give up?”
Veso is the best role model! It would be amazing, if we could organize another visit in April, but this time with a practical element – paragliding!
Thank you once again with all my heart!
Take a look at some photos from Veso Ovcharov’s meeting with the students in Chiprovtsi:
Veselin Ovcharov is a loyal supporter of Teach For Bulgaria and this was not his first school visit. He has also participated in our Inspirational Leadership Charity Auction twice.
At Teach For Bulgaria we have always believed that successful professionals are the best role models for students. This is why we have encouraged and supported our participants to open their classrooms for role models with diverse backgrounds who can share their experience with students and inspire them to work hard and make their dreams come true. Find out more about previous inspirational classroom visits here.