Volunteer's Space

“Step Forward” Summer School

Between 10th and 14th of July we participated as volunteer trainers of Youth Studies Institute at ‘Step Forward’ summer school hosted by Eurasian International University in Yerevan while cooperating with volunteers from Center for Community Mobilization and Support in Alaverdi – Renata Jankūnaitė and Olga Plesińska.

We were given opportunity to conduct seminars about overcoming the stereotypes, critical thinking in decision making and general self-development where we shared our personal experience and knowledge with the students of Eurasian International College and University.

During the first seminar participants were presented with activities concerning the idea of working without any barriers while in the meanwhile learning the sole definition of a stereotype. Questions like: “What really is stereotype?”, “How stereotypes are created?” and “Why stereotypes are usually bad?” were asked – answers to them were given thought the process of brainstorming with participants.

The second seminar meant to present the idea of critical thinking in decision making. Critical thinking is the art of rising what is subconscious in our reasoning to the level of conscious recognition. It is the art of taking control of our thinking processes so as to understand the pathway and inputs that our thinking employs. Students learned the ways of critical thinking through catchy games and activities that made them question their standard way of perceiving situations.

The third and last meeting was tackling the topic of personal development. Being the most complicated of all the others seminars it was a great way of introducing students to the concepts of awareness improvement, identity building, talent development and general realization of dreams and aspirations.

Rather open form of the seminars allowed us to use non-formal education methods to present our topics. We tried to make sure that our meetings with students are going to be interactive, full of surprises and stimulating for the participants.

Language barrier was dealt with thanks to our skilled interpreter – Tatev Ghazaryan. We would also like to thank Meri Shahbazyan for making the summer school happen in the first place. We were more than happy to take part in such important and well organized meetings.

Mateusz Kaczmarek

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