I lived in social care until I was 25 years old. My mother abandoned me in the maternity ward because she has no means to take care of me. I grew up in several different placement centres. In every one of these places, I met teachers and social assistants who contributed to my development. They raised me as best they could.
My story with the Blue Heron Foundation started in 2008, when I applied for a scholarship. When I obtained the scholarship, I was so happy and excited. In the environment where I grew up, I wasn’t supported or encouraged to do what I liked, but I didn’t give up. I continued to work and study.
For three years I had a Blue Heron scholarship, which financed my studio fee and provided spending money on a monthly basis. The Foundation offered not only material support but also a mentor – Nicolae Ștefănescu, an engineer, who guided me to carry on my studies but also to progress in my social life. I am still in touch with him, even though I am no longer in the Blue Heron program.
In 2015 I left Romania and now I am living in Britain and I work in social services and I study at the Interior Design Institute in London, a specialty I have been passionate about ever since high school.
In March 2017 I was granted a fellowship at the Art and Design Institute in New York.
Besides studying, I also work as a freelancer and support worker for a residential centre, thus mixing my work and my outside passion for service. In the future I plan to focus more on my career as a designer but without giving up working in social services. I love it, I wouldn’t want to stop.
I thank the Blue Heron Foundation and Stefania Magidson for naming me an alumnus-donor. I chose this way of paying forward the help I received from the other members of the Foundation when I was a student. It is a good feeling to help those who are now in the same situation I was in, and support them to reach their ideal of having a university degree. I know exactly how important this is to them. One of the most meaningful commands is “Help your fellow man” and I am happy to put it into practice.
A big thank you to the whole Blue Heron team.
B.A., Social Assistance, M.A., Human Resources Counseling & Management, Ștefan cel Mare University, Suceava
Presently studying at the Interior Design Institute in London