While being a university student, the majority of us feel an urge to get involved in something meaningful. We are full of ideas and dreams. We want to be a part of a change for better days, for a brighter future. On the other hand, nowadays, the society I live in praises people who become successful within a few years after graduation, who build up a remarkable professional career. It is expected that we find a good job in our field of study. But if we don’t, it automatically is a sign that we aren’t capable of succeeding in what we studied, in what we should be good at. The general mindset set uniform values and when someone is brave enough not to follow the lead, that person finds herself on the edge without being aware of the real reason. Bearing all these factors in mind, it has become hard to go the other, different way, to set one’s own direction.
Fortunately, there are projects that encourage young people not to be afraid to stand for their opinions and to do something they find truly meaningful. The example of such a project is a worldwide network of organizations called Teach For All. I would like to point out a particular one – Teach For since I think it is a success that should be heard. It is a nonprofit organization that tries to create a community of people in order to make changes in society. They focus on the educational system which is not favorable for children from a “handicapped environment”. By the term handicapped, we can imagine families in disadvantaged social situations. Moreover, regional discrepancies cause the differences between educational levels in the country.
I realize how lucky I was as a kid to have teachers who were not only teaching us various subjects but who even helped me to develop my personality as well as opinions and critical thinking. One of my friends decided to participate in the 2-year program of Teach For and I admire his determination. He says he believes that every kid should have the right to study, to shape herself or himself and this formation needs to start at an early age. He emphasizes that it isn’t possible without education and teachers who are as well leaders and role models to these children. I remember that one time we were talking about being accepted for the project and he told me: “…all I can say is that 2 years of my life are nothing comparing to the outreach of the whole program. For some people, it represents a big sacrifice and it’s completely okay. We all are different personalities and the phrase “make an impact” means something different.” He explained to me it’s not only about giving. During the first year of the program, they were preparing for the role of the teachers (because the application conditions allow students from other fields of study to take part in the program). They had many workshops aimed at improving soft skills and leadership in order to be able to communicate with children. And only after passing this phase, they are sent to the cities all over the country to transform their acquired knowledge into practice. He is currently finishing his second year and already has some very good ideas on projects that could enhance the quality of the education system.
And why do I talk about it? Because the potential of the so-called “third sector” is fast. And people who decide to run a nonprofit organization are in front of many challenges including financing, the right people to be involved or continuous persuading the society about the importance of its vision. The Teach For represents the best example of how well-motivated individuals under advantageous circumstances can improve step by step the educational system of one society.