"I wanted to do public service work because it helps me influence the local culture in an impactful way."
What program or project did you participate in?
I was a Davis Projects for Peace Fellow during the summer of 2016.
How would you briefly describe your service project?
I launched Networking 101: International Youth Networking Academy, an international interdisciplinary youth program aimed at bringing talented and passionate students from all around the world together to initiate change locally and globally. At Networking 101, we prepare students to think critically, expand their worldview, and prepare for international competitions while developing a new educational curriculum for talented students.
What did it mean to you to be able to do this?
For me, Networking 101 was my brainchild and seeing it come to life was the most fulfilling thing I have ever experienced in my life. Together with my co-founder, Ana Arsovska, we were able to create an environment where talented and engaged students could meet and learn from each other.
Personally, seeing the evolution of Networking 101 gave me the confidence to pursue further entrepreneurial endeavors in education. I decided to take a gap year and spend it in Macedonia to try to establish a year-long school curriculum for talented students based on the model of Networking 101. The school that I am launching is called the School of The Future.
What do you think it meant for the community in which you served?
In Macedonia, there are few opportunities directed towards talented and engaged students, so Networking 101 created a social environment for these students to collaborate. Although relatively short in length, the ten-day workshop was a very memorable experience for every single one of our participants, as shown by the incredibly positive feedback we received from them. Since Networking 101 was a meeting place for some of the most talented students from Macedonia, it created long lasting friendships and collaborations between them.
I wanted to do public service work because it helps me influence the local culture in an impactful way. This experience has taught me that investing time and energy into a community of talented and engaged students is the most worthwhile endeavor for an entrepreneur.