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LEADERSHIP & SERVICE


Pathways Center for Education and Entrepreneurship
  During my first year as an MPA student at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) I wrote a business plan for a multi-layer public-private partnership that would deliver high-quality computer science, English language and entrepreneurship training to Bulgarian youth.
My business plan was evaluated by USAID and selected as the winning proposal under the US-Bulgaria Partnership for Information Technology and Innovation. The $500,000 seed capital the project received made it the largest USAID initiative in the country during 2010. The Pathways Center for Education and Entrepreneurship opened its doors on September 21st, 2010 to 65 high potential students.
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San Francisco Rotary member
  Inducted as a member of San Francisco Rotary Club, the second Rotary club in the world, on September 11th, 2007. Officially the youngest member in the history of the club.
Induction Ceremony >>

"Going Forward" Project (2009) – successfully completed. This project builds upon the three projects I have completed in my hometown since 2006. With the help of Rotary clubs from the United States and Bulgaria I was able to raise $30,000 and equip two modern computer labs at the Technical School of Pazardjik and also provide much needed multimedia equipment to the local “Kalina Malina” kindergarten. The high school was in dire need of new equipment and this donation will enable the launch of a much stronger major in computer science. Furthermore, the donation at the kindergarten would enable the staff there to offer a much more engaging learning environment with the help of the laptops, cameras and projectors donated.
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“Back to the Library” Project (2008) – This $25,000 project was designed to bring the resources needed for a children’s library to appeal to youngsters and students and induce them to spend more time there and focus on studying and self-improvement. The project allowed for the creation of two computer labs at the library, enabling users to utilize educational software related to English language training, mathematics, computer literacy, etc. The labs had multimedia projectors installed in them, which would be used for screening of movies, tutorials and other visual presentations. Furthermore, the project secured desired books and educational materials in English and other popular foreign languages to cater to the interests of the children. Last but not least, the project attempted to upgrade the common areas in the library and improve the displays of the resources available, thus creating a more appealing environment for the children. As a result of the success this project, Nancy McEldowney, incoming U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, sent me a letter of commendation.
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Letter from Nancy McEldowney, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria >> 

Give Vision” Project (2008) – The purpose of the project was to help eradicate blindness in India. Sankara Eye Society’s history of successfully curing blindness in India is a testament to the potential of like-minded individuals coming together and sharing a common vision. Similar to the “Give Sight” project from 2007, this $25,000 project’s goal was to raise sufficient funds to purchase much-needed medical equipment for SES’ hospital in Bangalore, India. My team and I were able to raise the funds needed to purchase a specular microscope used extensively within the cataract identification process and later surgeries.
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"Differently-Abled Children” Project (2008) – I was selected as one of the leaders of a major service project initiated by Bellevue Rotary. This $400,000 project combines the efforts of Rotarians from Washington, California and Nepal and aimed to promote understanding of people with disabilities via a two-year integrated disability awareness campaign, piloted in seven districts of Nepal. Traditional belief in Nepal concerning people with disabilities is that they are cursed and not worthy of further education, training or support. The multi-media campaign we undertook created awareness of disabled people's living conditions, potential, abilities and personal rights that led to the establishment of new educational and professional opportunities for them.
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Rotaract District 5170 Governor
  Inducted as Rotaract Governor for Rotary District 5170 after serving as president of the Stanford Rotaract club.
 
"Pay it Forward" Project (2007) – successfully completed. I initiated this project as a follow-up to the "Computers for Bulgaria" project from 2006. With the help of multiple Rotary and Rotaract Clubs, the Rotary International Foundation, Lehman Brothers Gift Matching Program, Interact District 5170 and BCC Phi Theta Kappa, I was able to raise $25,000 for computer equipment for the Foreign Language High School and the Regional Public Library in Pazardjik. More than 1,000 students enrolled at the high school and more than 10,000 registered readers at the library benefited from this significant donation of up-to-date equipment. Last but not least, I received a letter of appreciation from John Beyrle, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria for my continuous work to bring the United States and Bulgaria closer.
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Letter from John Beyrle, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria >>

"Give Sight" Project (2007) – successfully completed. This project was a result of the joint efforts of Rotary and Rotaract clubs from the United States, India and Bulgaria. With their support and that of the Sankara Eye Society and Rotary International Foundation, I was able to raise $25,000 for medical equipment and other needed supplies. I also led a team of Stanford students to Coimbatore, India, where we built an eye camp in which local villagers were examined and later on taken to the Sankara Eye Hospital for treatment against cataract. More than 300 people were successfully treated and we donated much needed medical equipment to the Sankara Eye Hospital.
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"Computers for Bulgaria" Project (2006) - successfully completed. This project was a joint effort between five Rotary and two Rotaract clubs from the US and Bulgaria to provide disadvantaged youth with access to up-to-date technology. Two new computer labs were officially opened in July 2006 at the Mathematical High School of Pazardjik benefiting approximately 1,000 students. This unique project was the largest Rotary initiative in Rotary District 2480 for 2006. Rotary District 2480 includes Bulgaria, part of Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
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Stanford Rotaract President
  Worked with Bellevue Rotary, Palo Alto Rotary, Pazardjik Rotary and BCC Rotaract and managed multiple domestic and international service projects.

"Kenya" Project (2006) – gathered thousands of books in cooperation with World Books to be shipped to Kenya, where a member of the Stanford Rotaract worked to create a library facility.

"India Rainwater" Project (2005) - raised approximately $4,000 for the construction of dams and wells in small villages in India. These structures will provide a source of water during dry months.

"Orphans of Nepal" Project (2004) – raised $1,000 for an orphanage in Katmandu, Nepal supported by Bellevue Rotary Club (WA). Bellevue Rotary has been an ongoing partner in providing resources to the orphanage to become self sufficient.


BCC Rotaract Vice President
  Worked with Bellevue Rotary and Auburn Rotary clubs and managed multiple domestic and International service projects.

"First Harvest" Project (2004) – participated in work parties to package surplus food items in Seattle, which were later distributed to disadvantaged families.
 
"Rotacare" Project (2004) – served as a translator in this initiative of Bellevue Rotary where free health care is provided to people in Bellevue.
 
"Soccer Balls for Africa" Project (2003) – funds were raised for the purchase of 20,000 soccer balls to be shipped to Zimbabwe and donated to schools.


Relay for Life Co-Chair - Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Volunteer Coordinator
  Raised over $500,000 for cancer research, advocacy and education, coordinated more than 7,000 participants in my efforts to contribute to the cause of the American Cancer Society (2003).
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Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society President
  Led a team of eight outstanding students to promote academic excellence, community service and civic awareness.

Project Graduation (2003) – organized food and book drives throughout the academic year 2003-2004 to be donated to this nationwide initiative.
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