The Summer Leadership Academy for students It Depends on Us, 2016, in the town of Koprivshitsa, ended with a showcase of 17 students between 5th and 11th grade who had actively worked with their mentors in the period of 20-30th August to make this happen.
The Academy took place for the first time, and it was organized by teachers from Teach for Bulgaria from different regions, partnering with Lyuben Karavelov High School in Koprivshtitsa which provided classroom and boarding to the participants.
The goal of the Summer Leadership Academy is to help students of low social and economic status who have shown an extraordinary progress and results during the previous school year develop further key skills important for ХХI c. by directly committing to solving problems of their community the following year.
In the long run, the participants will try, with the help of their projects, to motivate both their classmates and other adults from their community to start setting big goals and pursue them consistently.
During the academy in Koprivshtitsa, the students from the villages of Oreshene, Dermantsi and the city of Sofia were guided by eight mentors and managed to create four projects aiming to change their schools and communities.
During the work process, the participants also received support from outstanding students from Koprivshtitsa and some residents. The young leaders’ projects focused on themes such as ecology and environmental protection, organizing extracurricular activities, student government and overcoming illiteracy among adults.
“The students identified and thoroughly analyzed problems common for their communities, and found potential solutions for them,” pointed out Denitsa Moskova, an organizer and mentor in the Academy.
The four initiatives were presented during a special event on 29th August at the Living Museum in Koprivshtitsa, in front of a jury featuring entrepreneurs and visitors. They provided useful feedback to the students as well as guidelines for improvement when implementing the initiatives throughout the year.
TFB’s teachers will continue to monitor and assist the project development during the next few months.
“During the Summer Academy, we kept saying that it depends on us all. The students know that the project implementation is up to them. On the other hand, the mentors know that they need to support the students during the school year. That is why we will continue to see each other often. We encourage everyone else to be supportive, too,” said Iglika Atanasova, a mentor and organizer in the Summer Leadership Academy in Koprivshtitsa.
The people who worked for the successful completion of the Summer Leadership Academy in Koprivshtitsa are the teachers and alumni of Teach for Bulgaria: Iglika Atanasova, Denitsa Moskova, Isabela Vladimirova, Radostina Boycheva, Bogdana Dencheva, Bilyana Asenovska, Tsvetelina Mitsova and Sava Dimitrov. Also, there are many other donors who helped by collecting stationary and raising funds through TimeHeroes and Indiegogo platforms.