PH International

Olha Horina (Vinnytsia)

Ukraine | English Access Microscholarship Program | 10 Oct 2018

«ACCESS in My Life»

Undoubtedly, we all expect something when we open new doors for ourselves. We want to get incredible impressions, rare knowledge, new friends and acquaintances, gain experience...
Honestly, by submitting the necessary package of documents to participate in the selection of Access, I did not even have a WHERE I dream of getting. It all started a long time ago. To the first general meeting after the selection, I came with my dad. How many people were there! I did not feel right at once. By the coincidence, my future best friends whom I met in Access sat next to me. We did not even get acquainted then, but let me tell everything in order.
The first impression is always the most emotional and best remembered. Mine was: “where am I?” Honestly. As soon as I went to the office, I immediately realized that this is not an additional, not a school, but absolutely something new and unusual. Despite the fact that I arrived on time to the first lesson, I could not hide somewhere in the scratch. There remained only free space there - in the center, on the soft puff. A small room was filled with teens.
The start took place with Anna Yuriyivna Kynal. The first thing she said to us was: "Do not you think that I always smile and that I am good." I will never forget that. Later, we all understood what it was said: Anna Yuriyivna always knew how to divide learning and just fun, because we, like little children, wanted only the second one. In the first lesson, we all met and laughed at once from the very beginning of the project, an incredible atmosphere of friendship and laughter was created. The second and third lessons were not so tangled in my memory.
For two years, we have been studying English in all possible ways. However, in order not to overcook us and to make lessons more interesting, we sang and danced, went beyond the limits of our boxes, resolved, at first glance, unrealistic tasks that were set for us. Often, there were such classes that helped us to develop our communication skills - not in groups with mixing us before the start of the exercise, as we all knew each other, but on the street. We were often spit out on the street and were given a type of job to ask ask people what they gave their beloved or beloved on Valentine's Day, or name their favorite meal. Words do not convey WHAT I felt when I first heard such a task. As it turned out, it is incredibly difficult to overcome the fear of approaching a person and ask for an elementary, even childish, question. I remember the biggest shock I had was the task "What would be the super power you would like to have?” The third person of four people that our group interviewed turned out to be a priest. We liked and were interested in his reflections on the theme of what \ as, but because of them we did not manage our task in the allocated time... Meetings of this type were numerous. After three, probably, we were not afraid of such "run-ins" as much as before, and were even asking for more time for these tasks.
I would never have thought that people can talk frankly and sincerely with completely unfamiliar people. Every interviewed person in such a task is my personal small victory over myself, and their answers are rewarding. One question with an "obvious answer" is to hear incredible stories from ordinary passers-by. Something resembles magic, is not it?
Also, teachers in every way developed our creativity. This bike on the photo was presented to me at the 16th anniversary (Was it a bicycle?). Every Friday our classes with Yuliia Kashpruk began with puzzles. After them, I always began to look at the world with a different look. The most striking example was the task, when we were divided into two teams and told to take as much as possible empty cells in a row. Modified cross-ticks. She spoke the task twice, but we did not do it anyway. We all focused on getting a victory for our own team, not the group as a whole, because the task that was actually given to us was to make the most lines, and not to beat others. And, sometimes, we turned the office where we were studying up-side down! I do not even know where else you could stick the room with tape, just to keep the tower of paper!
We have been always involved in community works, and it brought up with us the correct understanding of what is good and what is bad. Our first summer camp was called "GO GREEN". It was an incredible eco-camp that combines socially useful and fun tasks and minilectures on the importance of sorting waste. We even created our own Earth song! The most interesting day of the camp, undeniably became a trip to a garbage collection station. We have gained a lot of impressions and once again we were convinced of the globality and importance of waste issues. Sometimes even rubbish may be interesting. Every day - a new location. Not every camp can boast so.
A special feature of Victoria Mykolayivna Herasymchuk was ‘little palms’. When the lesson ended, nobody could go, until she gave him or her ‘five’ with both hands. She was the best in instantly determining who was wrong, who had a mood. It has always been a pleasure to understand that at least someone knows how you feel. Always smiling and friendly, Victoria Mykolaivna saved my Mondays. Incredible impressions would not have been possible without incredible friends. Access has lifted up me with the dearest and best friends. It was this project that taught us to be friends, to be a team, not to be afraid of opportunities.
And everything started with the extra opportunities that we received during the training - from the ‘SpravaVholos’ (translated as ‘BusinessAloud’), where we studied journalism. We all got incredible experience. We have been discussing what to write, how to write, who will be responsible for the texts, and so on, did not sleep at night in order to make it, dreamt about the victory.
In addition to ‘SpravaVholos’, Access provided opportunities to participate in trainings, diverse projects, seminars, summits. Every time I told YES such opportunities, new ones were opened. All of them helped me become what I am today. Without them, I would continue to be an old one - a closed, timid Olya, who is better at sitting reading a book at home than being among people. With every occupation, I became more inclined; with every occupation I became more and more open and thanked the fate for wonderful people it introduced me to. Thanks to my self-confidence and the ripples of what I did, I realize that I am special in this world and I can do something. Last summer, as part of one of the public organizations, I served as the project manager. I do not think I would manage to do this without what Access gave to me...
Two years were full of events and impressions and they flew imperceptibly. I remember when I returned home after the project was completed, and the next morning I was about to go to English Access Program class and … understood everything. No lessons, no smiles, no jokes of our coordinator Serhii Ivanovych Protsenko or boys - nothing. Already, there will not be a Eurovision from Vlad, no Skoropadsky, and, and, and, and… Like, if someone have torn off a piece of the dearest, most important, most insolent from you. Often, I recall the times when we all were together in the class when they gave the Access tests, and then we checked the answers ourselves. I loved getting scores from Leo.
At Access we could all be ourselves. Nobody ever tried to change us there. The only thing that they did with us was filling. Filling with knowledge, memories, faith in ourselves and in others. I love you, Access. Now we will all SET A FIRE! Thank you for being in my life.”