Bulgarian Chevening Association flagship project is Shapers of Tomorrow Mentoring Programme, developed with the support of the British Embassy, BBBA and British Council to Bulgaria, with Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF) support. The mentoring scheme was established 2018 and is trade mark registered [certificate 108999 of 16 July 2020].
The mentoring scheme targets the efforts to bright and talented youth (students in the UK or recent graduates) and to support their transformation to tomorrow’s leaders and shapers of societal change reflecting on the value of mentorship and the power of the support and guidance mentors provide via formal or informal mentoring relationship. Shapers of Tomorrow is on its way of Regional expansion and potential global rollout through stepwise inclusion and leader-mandate of other Chevening Associations.
Shapers of Tomorrow has active Moodle platform with resources for tailored mentorship training and provides for networking events and annual award summits at which mentors and mentees are awarded for being inspirational role models during the respective mentoring year. The Programme success results in establishment of lively and engaged mentoring community in the Region with mentors’ network beyond the life of the mentoring cycles via active forum and social media groups, targeted events, etc.
Based on lessons learned, currently we target to further boost positioning of the mentoring activity as key enabler of the process of transformation of bright and talented youth to tomorrow’s leaders and shapers of societal change. Proven success would be establishment of Mentoring Lab [under development as part of Shapers of Tomorrow initiative] as sustainable mentor training initiative with committed support of variety of stakeholders.
Pilot mentoring year [2018-2019] outperformed targeted results and proved as huge success with 39 mentoring teams. Annual summit was held on 22 March 2019.
What mentees said for our mentoring programme:
“My experience as Chevening mentee was truly inspiring. It motivated me to initialize new projects and continue working on already established ambitions. The ‘Shapers of Tomorrow’ programme definitely reflects positively on my agenda. I find it extremely useful that I have had such a great opportunity for networking with various people, institutions, etc. In my opinion, the greatest benefit is gained simply by giving the chance to young graduates establish a long-term relationship with highly-qualified professionals.”[MS, 2018/2019]
“This program exceeded my expectations. I am thankful that I was given the chance to benefit from the knowledge of such an exceptional person as my mentor, who was always open to questions and ready to help in terms of future career options and how to make the most of the possibilities. This, I believe, will result in a positive change in the way I approach issues. Moreover, the Award Ceremony in Sofia was an amazing opportunity which allowed me to communicate and exchange ideas with mentees who are at the same stage of their lives as me, and mentors who were willing to share some of their experience with us…”[VP, 2018/2019]
“The ‘Shapers of Tomorrow’ has been an amazing and enriching experience. Having the chance to meet my mentor, learn, receive advices for my future career has helped me a lot in my decision making as a soon-to-be a graduate. I believe the programme has been useful for both the mentees and mentors because we had the chance to collaborate with professional working in our field, look at their career paths and choices they have made and reflect. My mentor and me developed a strong relationship where I felt I am talking to a friend. The advices and ideas were always tailored to what I aim at, knowing my dreams and motivations. … Hopefully one day I can contribute to such an amazing programme by mentoring a student based in UK.”[MA, 2018/2019]
2019-2020 cycle proved sustainability of results with 36 mentoring teams incl. some former mentees engaged as mentors and mentors also from Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as mentees not only from Bulgaria, but also from Kosovo and Serbia. Due to COVID situation, annual summit had to be postponed and held as ZOOM meeting on 13 Jan 2021. The event attracted some 60 participants and was launch event for the Chevening Association Kosovo adherence to the programme for 2020-2021 year.
Поканата за участие за менторска година 2020-2021 приключи с 49 студенти, кандидатстващи за наставничество и около 40 първоначални менторски екипа. Приветствахме присъединяването на Чийвнинг Асоциация Косово към Програмата и тяхната активна ангажираност с прилагане на менторската схема Shapers of Tomorrow.
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