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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Meeting of the contest winners on June 20-21, 2010 in Kyiv


On June 20 Kyiv gathered the girls who became the best in First Step to Success essays competition entitled: What problem do you consider important for your local community in the period of crisis and how could you help in solving it?

Starting from participation in trainings (on the 1st day) the girls demonstrated their activism, desire to learn, develop and act. Owing to experienced trainers Tetyana Lytvynova and Natalia Kostyuk the girls acquired and generalized knowledge on gender stereotypes in contemporary society, peculiarities of social activism, got skills of team work and developed own leadership qualities.

The program winners devoted the whole first day of their stay in Kyiv to trainings, which was reflected in their final questionnaire: «For me first day trainings were the best. I, personally, got interested in the topic «Gender and Sex» and it was very important to hear every girl’s thought» (Brychenko Khrystyna).

On June 21 there was the ceremony of awarding diplomas to the contest winners and their meeting with famous and successful women. The meeting was conducted in the format of talk-show with opportunity of direct communication between young leaders and experienced successful women who achieved success owing to their energy and confidence in own capabilities. 

This year the following persons came to share their experiences and open secrets of their success:

Melanne Verveer, the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues

Larysa Mudrak, Member of the National Council on Television and Radio

Tetyana Piskariova, singer, honored artist of Ukraine

Anzhelika Rudnytska, singer, TV presenter, vice-president of “Territory A” creative agency

Natalia Yaresko, co-founder of Horizon Capital investment company

Olena Skachko, the editor-in-chief of “Yedinstvennata” women’s magazine

Natalia Sumska, Honored Actress of Ukraine, TV presenter

As a presenter-moderator Danylo Yanevsky was invited, his comments and remarks added a special note in the atmosphere of serious and at the same time friendly conversation. 




Beside famous successful women, the winners of previous years also told their stories of though small but bright and educative success. It was an interesting and effective experience of uniting generations.

 During their presentations the girls took opportunity to tell about their rather small but extremely interesting experience. Some of them alreadyhave own organizations, others actively join socialwork in more matureorganizations, some ofthe girls stride to success in the sphere of personal development, make careers. They earnestly told about importance of the firststep in achieving successin any sphere. «It will take long to list all positive results of my particpation in First Step to Success program. I am absolutelt sure that owing to the UWF and ... financial crisis I became more self-confident, started to look for alternative variants in, it would seem, hopeless situations, found a lot of new firends and, maybe, my real - social activism.».Akopyan Karine, Kirovohrad, winner of2008, after intheprogramstarteddevelopingnewspaper for young people with disabilities (participation). 

 After completion of the official part the meeting participants continued communicating during standing lunch, when young leaders could approach any of women and tell about themselves, about their ideas, ask for their opinion or advice. Thus Melanne Verveer sincerely talked to Oksana Kvitka, who had become the program winner 5 years ago. And in 2007 they had already have conversation during Vital Voices of Eurasia Regional Summit. At present Oksana is a graduate student of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, works in one of political parties and continues her civil socity activities

In the second part of the day the winners hadexcursion to Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament), ask the guide their questions. Who knows, maybe among these young ambitious non-indifferent girls there are those who would create our country’s future, who in several years would work in these very places as people’s deputies and had opportunity to visit places where deputies work, remember the history of creating independent Ukrainian state. 

After the excursion girls were returning home. But we said good-buy not for long, as First Step to Success program continues, and in several months we’ll meet again to have trainings on proposals writing and projects management. Now we’d like to thank those who made possible these two wonderful days: 

International Renaissance Foundation
filia.die frauenstiftung (Germany)
Innovation Medical Clinics
METRO Cash and Carry Ukraine
Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine
Avon Cosmetics Ukraine

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