From 2005 to Present, Blue Heron’s efforts have been focused on The University Scholarship and Mentorship Program in an effort to provide much-needed college funding to students who come from placement centers (orphanages) throughout Romania and Moldova. The goal is to instill in them the values and skills necessary to navigate life as productive, self-reliant adults.
In an effort to shape our students into independent adults, we have conceived our program in a way that offers tangible help but also asks that certain responsibilities be met.
We offer our students:
- a $55 monthly living stipend to cover personal expenses
- Full tuition coverage: up to $600 of their course fees per year and up to $2,200 for those attending medical school (for students accepted in our program whose tuition is not subsidized by the Romanian Government)
- up to $400 per year for supplementary coursework such as foreign languages, computer or auto driving lessons (for students accepted in our program whose college tuition is subsidized by the Romanian Government).
- All students are paired with adult mentors who follow their progress and provide crucial emotional support these young men and women would otherwise lack as they enter university. Students communicate with the foundation and their mentors in part through a monthly journal. They are encouraged to share their successes and challenges, forging a meaningful relationship with their mentors and developing a deeper understanding of themselves.
- The opportunity to participate in a yearly summer camp where students and the foundation team come together to celebrate the year’s achievements and participate in activities that range from horseback riding, hiking and dancing to resume workshops and mock job interviews.
Scholarships are awarded by contract between the Foundation and the Scholarship Recipients and in collaboration with the State Directorate or the NGO the students belong to; they are renewed every school year until graduation upon satisfactory completion of students’ academic and program requirements.
We ask our students to:
- attend class regularly
- pass the year-end qualifying exams
- write their monthly journals to the foundation & mentors
- perform 5 hours of weekly volunteer work