It seems my real hgh quality life started in 2007, when I won the First Step to Success contest. Then feelings were incredible, as I met famous women-leaders successful in professional and social life; I received knowledge for my further development and, in fact, today have result, - Evelina Gurnytska, 2007 program winner, tells her story

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Striding to Success - Chabanenko Tetyana (Kostina), 2007 winner, Simferopol

First Step to a new life

Everything started so long ago, and now, maybe, it's high time to remember, what happened during previous years. In 2007 - young first year student, now - University graduate. Only five years and a whole life behind, and the First Step to Success became a window to this life, defined what it would be.

Submitted proposal, long waiting (then it seemed it lasted eternally) – and success! First success! Invitation to Kyiv and unique opportunity to take part not only in the UWF trainings, but in the Vital Voices International Summit. This was unforgettable! Acquaintance with women-leaders from Ukraine and abroad, spirit of leadership, diverse meetings and discussing the most acute problems. It seemed a fairy tail. And then - writing a project and understanding my responsibility for its implementation. New trainings in Kyiv, receiving financing and difficult and completely unknown work waiting ahead. And if trainings of Ukrainian Women's Fund were the first I took part in, while imlementing the project I had to conduct them myselves, and not only wit children, but with adults as well, teachers and parents. It was not so easy! And so firghtening! but I had support, and not only from Ukrainian Women's Fund, bt form my scientific adviser, the person who told me about First Step to Success and from organization that helped me implement it and then opened the topic of gender research for me.

So, First Step to Success was completed, we implemented the project. I learned a lot, and the main thing is that I became more confident in myself. What waited me ahead? I deepened in education, which, certainly, was very important for me. It turned out that leadership abiliies help a lot in this: to be active during practical classes, stand for own point, protect scientific work at conferences and in defending course work, compete with the best students of Ukraine at all-Ukrainian contests. Leadership abilities became so useful for me, when practice in school started and I had to stay alone with children! To organize noisy fifth-formers, make performance with them, teach high school students who looked older than I…

But during these years I was engaged not only in education. In our city I had opportunity to take part in diverse trainings for non-governmental organizations, got interested in gender research, took the 1 place in Crimean republican students' contest of scientific works in nomination «Gender in the view of scientific disciplines». Interesting events took place in the end of 2010. First I could take part in the round table evoted to studying the problem of implementing the Law on Ensuring Equal Rights and Opportunities for Women and Men in the Crimea on the example of implementing equal rights and opportunities of women and men in the Crimea. And then I became one of members of Women's Initiative Center non-governmental organization. We took part in All-Ukrainian action «Safe for women - safe for everybody» and conducted audit of safety on our campus territory. It turned out to be much more interesting than w expected, and we presented audit results at the round table «Innovative strategies to overcome gender violence» and within the forum «Ukraine as the society of equal opportunities»,that were conducted in the beginning of March this year in Kyiv. There were so many imprssions, so much knowledge, new information! And we brought new knowledge to Simferopol, and that brings fresh air in our life and in our activities. I feel that a lot of new things are ahead.

And now I understand that five years of my study are coming to an end. For me these years look like a cycle. I started with First Step to Success, which supported my beginning in fight with domestic violence. Now through the project «Safe for women - safe for everyone» I met the problem of gender violence, and during the forum «Ukraine as the society of equal opportunities» I received new information and learned baout experience of non-governmental organizations counteracting domestic violence. This cycle completed. There is a new life ahead and I am entering it with courage, as I am a leader, I became confident in it through many things owing to the First Step to Success and my further activities; I realized myself as a leader in my family and was able to take a leading role in a hard time. I managed to overcome obstacles, now I have a new, young family and I know that I would never become a victim of domestic violence. And I will not forget I am a leader.

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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