“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
Recently, I had the huge honour to represent the U.S.-Bulgaria Alumni Associations and more specifically the YES Program, together with Kirilka Angelova, Project Manager for the Junior Achievement Organization in Bulgaria, at the ENAM Spring Bootcamp in Cagliari, Italy.
ENAM (European Network of American Alumni Associations) was founded in 2010 and is a permanent coordination unit of more than 65 American Alumni Associations established in the region-Europe and Euro-Asia. Its mission is to promote all the cultural exchange programs administered by the Department of State and bilateral commissions alike, by designing and implementing through its member organizations projects and initiatives such as conferences, seminars, workshops, awards, information campaigns, editorial products and other. IVLP/ VOLVIS and Fulbright are some of the bigger alumni association members of ENAM.
During the 3-day Bootcamp me and the other participants had the opportunity to learn more about leadership, management, team building and additionally did case studies on previous successful projects implemented in different European and Euro-Asian countries. In our free time we managed to get to know each other, exchange personal and work experience, talk about important problems that each one is trying to solve and battle in our countries and communities such as gender inequality, racism, discrimination, social and political injustice, etc.
At the end of the Bootcamp I felt inspired by all the amazing participants to work harder in my community and solve the existing problems. I am thankful to the YES Program, U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, the U.S.- Bulgaria Alumni association and ENAM, for this incredible opportunity to establish connections with different countries in Europe/Euro-Asia to tackle together the problems that we all face. Because in the end, it does not matter how we are different, what matters is how we are alike. Our common goals and willingness to work together as a team to benefit the communities is what will help the world move forward.