Over 130 students from 33 classrooms and 22 locations are going to participate in the closing event of the student leadership program “The Big Adventure: It’s Up to Me”. The conference is going to take place on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Faculty of Physics, Sofia University. The event is the climatic moment of the year-long student leadership program which gives students from first to twelfth grade the opportunity to fulfill their potential, develop effective teamwork skills and mindsets such as “it’s up to me” and “I can”. In the course of the program students also learn how to reflect and analyze their work and how to share their lessons learned and experience from the series of challenges a.k.a. missions.
The closing conference in Sofia aims at helping students and teachers see what they can accomplish with their purposeful work throughout the school year, by celebrating their success and giving them the opportunity to share their experience and exchange inspirational ideas.
“The Adventure” is an initiative by the non-governmental organization “It’s Up to Me”, founded and led by Teach For Bulgaria supporters and alumni of the program. The final conference is organized by “It’s Up to Me” for the second year in a row. The closing event is the successor of the annual conference “For the Success of Every Child” which was organized by Teach For Bulgaria from 2012 until 2016.
On June 9, students will have the chance to practice their leadership skills by leading workshops, presenting their accomplishments at the special “success stands”, moderating discussions, and giving inspirational talks. They are going to share how they have grown and what they have learned in the course of the missions which vary from researching the unwritten history of their towns and villages to trying to find solutions to serious issues such as the population decline in Bulgaria, dropping out of school, developing healthy eating habits, and early marriage prevention. The students are also going to lead trainings for children and adults which will illustrate the skills they have mastered in the course of the school year – teamwork, goal setting, self-motivation, motivating others, public speaking, etc.
Parents, teachers, principals, government representatives, NGO and corporate partners, supporters, and public figures who support and participate in educational initiatives are expected to attend the conference and help students celebrate their accomplishments. There is going to be a special celebrity guest speaker to help inspire students even more.
“We expect to witness many inspirational stories about what students and their teachers have accomplished. However, the final result or whether they have been successful in their missions is not the most important thing. The main goal is to challenge every participant to learn something new about themselves or about their classmates, to make them feel personally responsible for their future and the future of their community. Because we believe that when every single child is raised with the mindset “it’s up to me”, society will be able to grow purposefully and flourish,” shared Maria Sendova, chairperson of “It’s Up to Me” foundation and one of the organizers of “The Big Adventure: It’s Up to Me”.
Not only Teach For Bulgaria participants and their students took part in this year’s “Adventure”. Some of their colleagues at school also participated, as did several leadership teams from the School Miracles initiative in the Lovech region. Students from the towns of Stara Zagora, Kazanlak, Kozloduy, Chiprovtsi, Yablanitsa, Lukovit, Panagyurishte, Novi Iskar, Sofia and the villages of Enina, Dragichevo, Ravno, Batultsi, Oreshene, Rumyantsevo, Butan, Dermantsi, Zheleznitsa, Dolni Pasarel, Brestnitsa, and others took part in the conference.
The main partners, true supporters, and sponsors of “The Big Adventure” are Teach For Bulgaria, the America for Bulgaria Foundation, T Market, Bankia Mineral Waters, Etem Bulgaria, AQ Cert, the Faculty of Physics at Sofia University, Sofia University Students’ Council, the online reading platform www.AzCheta.com, and the NGO portal – ngobg.info.
Ream more about last year’s conference here.