#history2020 How to get the most out of the online format

06 August 2020 · 5 minutes reading

Sabina, a participant of the School of Success project, about this year's project

I consider myself quite active, I have a constant feeling that I am doing too little, so I am constantly looking for opportunities. I read a lot and communicate with people, which helped me find the School of Success project. My hobbies include music and theatre, poetry recitation. Before the project, I was selected for two Peace Corps camps, but due to various circumstances, I was unable to attend them, so the School of Success became a good opportunity for me to realize myself.

I live in Kupiansk-Vuzlovyi, which is in the Kharkiv region. It is a small town and very few teenagers live here. I have only one friend among my peers here. He participated in another project from the Klitschko Foundation, Zero Waste School. During it, he heard about other projects and spoke very enthusiastically about the School of Success.

I also have interesting stories to tell about being selected for the project. I like to write various prose texts, which helped me in writing the application form, although at first I was a little scared of this huge questionnaire with a lot of boxes. Video was a bit more difficult, because I had no such experience, and I had problems with self-presentation. I thought for a long time about how to do it creatively, but in the end I just told about myself, walking through the park and showing my Red Cross certificate and my membership card in the Youth Council of my city, where I am now a leader. The most important tips for the interview (which was the next stage of the selection process): feel comfortable and be sincere, don't be afraid to talk about your shortcomings, because this is the way to overcome them.

I liked that we had homework assignments before the project started, which were quite challenging and already gave us some insight into the project. Teamwork was one of my favorite parts. It allowed me to better understand other participants. In a team, people open up better, and you wonder how you could have overlooked certain cool traits in another person. A team is something that brings people together, unites them with a common goal.

Communicating with my mentor Maria is a completely new kind of connection, and I've probably never experienced it before. You don't know her like you know your friends, but you can't tell your friends what you tell your mentor. A mentor is several people in one: a friend, a teacher, a mentor, and more, and more, and more. I think that in a few years, when I am sure that I have a certain amount of knowledge that I can share with those I used to be, some experience, leadership qualities, I would be able and willing to become a mentor.

I have big plans for a local project. The biggest success, in my opinion, is to understand my peers and what they need. My goal is to tell them about opportunities for young people: projects, grants, funds, things that can change them, set them on the right path. I have an idea to create a platform for philosophical debate. This will help the participants of my project to better open up and understand themselves.

The Shushniks community is incredible, and I'm glad to be a part of it. I understand that I am free to write to our chat for advice and support. I did that once and received a lot of advice and ideas, one of which I used for myself. Now I am ready to implement a very large-scale project with my Youth Council, we are working on getting a grant from UNICEF.

I realize that the online format took away a lot of opportunities from us, for example, we couldn't hug our mentors when we wanted to. It was really sad to realize that one part of the project is over, but it means that the project has really become a very important part of my summer, and perhaps a window into a successful future.

During these 10 days, I have matured, become more confident, and motivated by meeting so many active people who are ready to change something. I also became less shy because of the constant communication and stopped being afraid to express my opinion. I would advise the next participants of the School of Success not to be afraid, because everything is possible!

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