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Why I Became a Member of the Youth Council

When I was selected to be part of the first Youth Council of the US Embassy in Macedonia, I felt both honored and overwhelmed with emotions. I was nervous and felt great responsibility, but moreover privileged to be part of a group making changes and influencing the youth of Macedonia.

Upon reflection, today I would say I am part of the Youth Council because of my inspiration, my motivation, my urge, and my belief in the change and in the youth. I trust that the youth have the power to make changes, to be active, and to greatly influence their future and present. I thank the US Embassy in Skopje for giving me this opportunity, for recognizing my passion, and for encouraging me to further inspire the youth in Macedonia. I am thankful to all my peers and friends of the Youth Council that during these years proved that the passion and the motivation are worthwhile.

Have we created change? Yes, I believe so. I am proud of all projects we have implemented the people who were inspired by our effort and work. Here I will mention the young people from the three Career Expos in Skopje and Tetovo. More than 1,000 young people visited the fairs, made contacts, received training, and became more active in their community. Many started volunteering or interning and the luckiest among them have found gainful employment.

Then there was “The Hardest Job is to Find a Job” workshops, where we trained 30 motivated young people from Berovo, in preparing for their first interview, for finding their dream job, and for creating their personal and professional portfolios. There is also our volunteering initiative, YANA (You Are Not Alone) which we developed with our friends at Summer Work Travel Alumni. YANA seeks to empower young people to volunteer and give back to their communities.

I would say we made a change by spreading our mission and vision for more proactive youth, sharing

our experience from the Council, empowering the youth giving them support and showing that there are

like-minded people who believe in change.

I became member of the Youth Council because of these people and many others I met along the way.

Ruzica Stojanovska

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