What awaits School of Success 2016 participants

The youth educational project School of Success is starting its sixth season. This July, 50 girls and 50 boys will make new friends and learn from the experience of Ukraine’s most successful people.

Alina Nosenko, Klitschko Foundation executive director and Anna Terletskaya, project manager tell us how to realize a massive social project, which skills today’s children need to develop, and what awaits participants at School of Success 2016.

What is the “School of Success”?

Hanna Terletska: The “School of Success” is a summer educational intensive course aimed at the carrier orientation of children. It is not like a traditional, as adults imagine, camp, where children just play, make parties or have a rest. Every day we introduce children the new jobs and companies, teach to develop their talents and hit the target.  

Who works with children in the camp?

Hanna: Lectors and volunteering mentors. We gather soulmates, people who are on the same wavelength and willing to work together for a worthy cause. Seeing the project is charitable, fees are not provided; instead, the volunteers participate in programs along with children, so they can gain the same knowledge and skills. To become a mentor, guys should be at least 18 years old; often the participants of previous “School of Success” and Foundation’s interns become the mentors. They spend almost the whole time and communicate with children more than others. Lectors, specialists-practitioners from the various fields, give workshops which are the basis of the educational program.

Do you invite psychologists?

Hanna: Psychologists are necessary for such kind of programs. We felt it especially strongly in 2015 when a boy with disabilities came to the project for the first time. In the hometown, he was abandoned by peers. And firstly the atmosphere where equals share the knowledge and lessons are held in light playful style was a stress for him. In such situations, we surely need the psychological help. Their task is to teach a child to adapt to the new surrounding and build the communications with others. To explain that society is the way it is, such communication is normal, and the previous experience should not be perceived as normal.

You receive a lot of applications and every next year a number of candidates growth. Who has more chances to become a participant?

Alina Nosenko: We evaluate who need the participation in the project more. How to feel it and define is a very subjective question. But also there is an objective side - we think, a chance should be given children from remote small towns and villages where are no opportunities for growth and realization. The problem of our country is that children have a little imagination about the world surrounding them. They do not understand that they are living in the era of new technologies that erase frontiers. There are not only their town, region, country, but the entire world. You should only have a desire to sweep this world. That’s why we believe our target is to let children know that their life depends on their own, but not on the place of their birth.

This year you decided to establish special different programs for girls and boys. What is the motivation for such decision?

Alina: Firstly, because of different level of girls and boys’ growth in the age of 14-16. In this age girls are, as a rule, more active and socialized. The second reason is gender programs created precisely according to the needs of the group switching currently around the globe. We want to make a pilot with these differences, learn to manage homogeneous groups, as boys and girls are completely different. It is usually normal in our society to consider that, having in mind biological peculiarities, women do not have as many opportunities as men. When the questions of marriage, birth and bringing up arise, women should choose: “to climb the career ladder” or “to be a good mother”. We want to inspire girls to rise professionally and to balance between job and private life. In boys camp, we will emphasize the necessity for boys to be socially active and also to be able to work with hands. It is not enough to be a good lawyer, economist or politician. But if you are a politician who can make a table and sell it for 1000 euro or even win the international design competition, chances to catch success growth dramatically.

What changes you see in children for so short period of School?

Hanna: They are opening from absolutely different sides, sometimes unexpected for themselves, what’s more, for their parents. Children come to School from different families, with different competencies, outlooks, and psychological guidelines. We consider these peculiarities with respect and do everything possible for a child to feel comfortable. In such atmosphere -  the participants open new sides of their personality. And at the end of camp, we see children with sparkling eyes willing to pursue their dream at all costs.

When is the “School of Success” finished? Are the participants in touch with the Foundation, do they go on communicating with their friends from camp?

Alina: The concept is that it never ends because children come in their towns and villages start to start sharing their knowledge which they received in the project. They held lectures, workshops are joined and make their own regional projects - from the dance studio to touristic programs. So, we have a large number of followers sharing our philosophy. Now we have 100 000 followers on social media. The kids always stay in contact both with each other and with the Foundation. It is very satisfying to how participants from different years develop themselves. We plant a seed now, and in time it will grow for sure. That is what an investment into the future is.

What kind of difficulties could arise whilst carrying the project out?

Hanna: Any social project depends on the material support, and because of Ukraine’s economic situation, getting it can be rather difficult. But during the times of social change in the country projects like “School of Success” are simply necessary. This is why the Foundation’s team not only carries the project out but also raises funds. Charity is, first and foremost, sustainable development, and if we work on the projects year after year, then we can make a significant change both in charity and in education.

Can your methods be applied in a traditional school?

Alina: They ought to be applied. But there is a problem of a big gap between teachers and students, since because of profession’s low prestigiousness and financial instability there are not many young and active professionals amongst teachers. I think we will eventually come to making a camp for teachers and parents. As long as the “child-teacher-parents” triangle of communication is not adjusted, there could not be a successful and confident country. What is a Ukrainian dream? It is 42 millions of wishes and dreams. The same way, a successful country is 42 million people that know what they want in life. And the more there are people like that - the more safe and certain our future will be.



An online educational project about 21st century skills for teens who want to be the creators of changes in their local communities.

More about the project