Natalia Karbowska: Today one can see first years participants on TV, many of them work in governmental agencies, political parties, many created their own civil society organizations and stand actively for their position and change life of their communities for better. Definitely, they are already sucessful!

New competitions and proposals in the section USEFUL INFORMATION FOR GIRLS

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Striding to Success - Kozlyuk Olha, 2006 program winner, Kamyanka, Rivne region

Greetings to organizers of my first important step! It's increadibly pleasant to understand that you remember about each of girls, please us with new and new proposals and give new opportunities to approve ourselves!
   What could happen with provincial 16 years old girl after she lunched at one table with Mash Yefrosynina? One needn't be Sherlock Holmes to understand that I turned into the star. Full of pathos, I, without shyness and having forgotten about all complexes, told about my success in every place possible. Everybody in school, mother's and father's colleagues, brother's friends, neighbors, relatives, all "nodding acquaintances" knew about it. Moreover, I wrote about my trip impressions in raion and oblast newspapers. I still can't understand what happened to me. I always was shy and had never «thrust myself forward». For me it was something incredible to come out to the stage of school hall to take some award and not to burn with shame. For some reason I'd always thought that I was not worth all those praises, awards and first places. And here was such change! Chnage in myself! I opened some new possibilities and aspirations in me. I wanted something completelt new… Of course, I didn't dare to take part in beauty contest, but I wanted greatly to become the presenter of this contest. And to my great surprise I was chosen. And then chosen again and again… I thought long, how to describe my feeling on the scene, but could choose nothing except «drive». It is a kind of drug: once tried and can't live without it. Can't live without your squeaky voice sounding load through a microphone, can't do without audience which accepts you warmly and laughs at your jokes, can't do without this eternal holiday, the holiday of life…
   But at that I learnt and tried to find myself in the sphere of some science to support the right to talk from the scene.
So, I made one more step and took part in the contest «Modern Intellect of Ukraine». The topic of my scientific research was «How to turn Ukraine into leading center of world tourism?». As a result I got the thrid place. Considering that I won this place among the best intellects of the state, it is quite good. Lies. For me it was not just quite good, I was flying of happiness!
   All school life was like this. Having completed my speech at graduation event and having dried tears, I started thinking what to do further? Principal's words «Olya, your place is only in the best university» were buzzing like bees in my head. Will I be able to enter the best one? Do I deserve it? And there was another thought… I painted in bright colors my life after graduating Karpenko-Kariy University. But… sound sense of my parents prevailed and now I am a third year student of the Institute of Philology at Shevchenko Kyiv National University. I dared climb this mountain, find courage in my soul to take this step… the second important step in my life.
   Tears at entering, tears at leaving home, tears at session—such was the beginning of my life in the capital. Independent life that required my own decisions and actions. A lot of unexpected problems appeared. It turned out that if I didn't invent something quickly, I would have to live at the station. It turned out that if you made noise at the lecture, you would be sent out. It turned out that instead of desired English language I would have to study German. Though the latter is not so important, as it turned out that studying native language in the University is absolutely different from what I imagined. And I like this study less and less. Volumes of literature you have a week to read stopped inspiring. And the thought that I became cleverer wa not so comforting… I am not at all lazy, I am just depressed by library walls and groupmates' questions: «Have you read ths or that?». Mother was comforting that in the modern worls a person's education and line of work can differ greatly  and I shold thank God, as it is the best University in the country! And I was grateful, but the thought today somebody else was a presenter at beauty contest, didn't let me sleep well.
    Gradually I was seized by sorrow. I started to think I am incapable and stupid (maybe the words are not pleasant, but I felt so). I looked at surrounding world and saw it as injust and black-and-white. Having numerous problems I stopped being a «star». First in my life I felt depressed. But something happened…
    During one of lectures there was a discussion concerning the differene between classical and post-modernist literature. And it turned out that there were very few supporters of classical literature, who could counteract numerous supporters of Irena Karpa (young Ukrainian writer) works. And I agreed to make a speech. After I started speaking something happened. I looked at my mates and… I found voice, told jokes accepted by the audience. Even best students applauded to me. After some time one of my written works was acknowledged. And a little later I got excellent mark in Gernam language. And these events made me look at the world at another angle.
   I couldnot believe, but life seemed wonderful. I understood that I was in the right place and decided to «take the bull by the horns».
   Generally speaking, nothing had changed. I, as earlier, do what I like, but I have no problems because of that. Maybe I became more attentive to my desires and don't pay attention to any trifles. Maybe I am not a lady able to run big business and maybe I am not the first in everything. But I am REALLY the leader, as I am able (as it turned out) organize myself and change the world around. I mae this worldlike I want to see it. It is bright, kind and generous. I AM THE LEADER, as now Iknow for sure, what I want from life.
   I have serious abmbitions. And the most surprising is that I am not afraid to express or realize them. I went to casting on TV and again took part in contest «
Modern Intellect of Ukraine». I wasn't lucky both o Tv and contest, but hadn't fallen in despair. It's just somebody gies you trials to see if I am realy a leader. And I promied myself that I would get through these trials ad had no road back as I am not going to trick myself by promises. I promisd myselfthat I would become somebody who would be able to help others in despair. I promised that I would be somehow connected with art to bring pleasant emotions to people. I promisd myself that I would show my gratitude to everybody who helped me. And I promised to achieve everything I had promised myself!
   And I even don't know what to expect from First Step to Success program. You gave me confidence in my strengths, wishes and abilities. I go this understanding not so long ago, but, if not your program, I hadn't got it at all. I am grteful you are here, you have desire to help others. You should be taken for a model. Under influence of your program I became interested in difficult life of orphans. Though my help is not like help of rich sponsors, but children are not less happy with second-hand toys and candies bought by pople, who are not indifferent to my articles in newspapers or speeches.
   I think I already know what I would like from First Step to Success program. I want you to exist always! I want you to give people self-esteem and feeling of non-indifference to others. Thank you that you influenced me!!!

Video success stories of 2012 projects
Success stories of the program winners. Natalia Kryvoi, Zhytomyr
Story of one project, Plyuta Chrtstyna
Success events of te current project - Kit (Plyuta) Khystyna, Lviv, 2007 winner
Story of one project - Zanyk Khrystyna, 2007 program winner
Striding to Success - Chabanenko Tetyana (Kostina), 2007 winner, Simferopol
Story of one event - Vdovichen Anastasia, 20100 program winners, Okhtyrka, Sumy region
Striding to Success - Havrylova Anastasiya, 2008 program winner, Mykolayiv
Year after Victory - Yana Verteba, 2010 program winner, Mariupol
Striding to Success - Kozlyuk Olha, 2006 program winner, Kamyanka, Rivne region
Striding to Success - Dekhtyariova Oksana, 2007 program winner, Luhansk
Shcherbakova Valeria, Zaporizhia region, Melitopol, Project: Treasure-Hunter
Tvardovska Vita, Mykolayiv region, Snigurivka, Porject: Healthy Child Healthy Nation
Samiylenko Yulia, Poltava region, Novy Martynovychy village. Project: The Spring of Soul
Sozonik Olha, Volyn region, Lutsk
Bahatska Lubov, Zaporizhia rgion, Tokmak; Project: Media Pelette: Youth Information page
Migali Zhanna, Zakarpattya, Uzhgorod, New Family
Kozachenko Olha (Balyuk Natalia) Lviv
Bilousenko Yulia - Kryvoy Natalia, Zhytomyr, Porject: Socialization of female students, including young mothers
Shteyuk Uliana, Lviv region, Vovkiv village. Project: Revival of theatrical and ritual traditions of Vovkiv village
Akopyan Karine, Kirovohrad, Project: Equal Access
Aleksiychk Khrystyna, Kherson, Project: Let`s make Kherson clean!

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