Half a year ago began my personal story with National Youth Forum by joining an academy for civil rights, organized by EYCA (European Youth Card Association) & the American Embassy in Bulgaria's Youth Council. I was not aware of all the possibilities I could benefit from. I didn't even suppose that I'll get ever involved in something big...
Last week, I had the honor to participate in the penultimate level of National Youth Academy 2018. NYA is a tradition, which for the past six years has gathered about 900 youngsters with a passion for change. Compared with the previous ones, in this year’s edition the majority of participants was below the age of 21 years, which only proves that there's a tendency of growing interest in informal education among the younger students.
What is NYA? According to a survey, conducted by NSI, only 22% of the pupils and students below 25 are involved in these educational methods. Even I was not aware of informal education before I went to my first Erasmus+ mobility. National Youth Academy is all about that - it is a mentor programme which aims to promote civic engagement, democracy and youth via informal methods. All the topics are divided into three levels:
Democracy & Civic Engagement
Training for Ambassadors of Youth Empowerment
Personally, NYA was another challenge for me. I improved my ability to lead, my communication skills and exchanged experience&knowledge with everybody. I overcame my fears because our personalities came forward and we had the opportunity to redevelop them.
I am currently waiting for the last level’s selection task. I already participated in the previous two – in Atiya and Borovets. They met me with active citizens, changing our broken world from the age of 16. We all participate in Youth-NGOs, volunteer and organize events with a cause. Priceless memories with inspiring people, hardwork and learning from 9am to 9pm. By the sea, in the mountain forests, NYA2018 leaves me open-hearted to new adventures with new acquaintances and sense of self-belonging. Be active and do not hesitate to join in 2019!