Horizons Scholarship Programme | Closure of another edition

This year’s secondary school leavers are a special generation. Their education progressed against a backdrop of difficult, unexpected and completely new developments, such as the pandemic and the months of remote education it entailed. Despite all that, we sent out to the world another group of scholarship beneficiaries, who celebrated the end of the Horizons Scholarship Programme on 31 May 2022. The event took place at the Syreni Śpiew club in Warsaw. Special guests were in attendance, including Jerzy Starak, a businessman and philanthropist. 

Another generation completed their secondary education with the support of the partnership between the Starak Foundation and the Roman Czernecki Educational Foundation and with the assistance of the programme coordinators. For years, together with the Starak Foundation, we have provided support to our scholarship beneficiaries on multiple initiatives only to bid them an emotional farewell and give a positive pep talk before they move forward to new challenges in life right after they sat for their final exams. During the meeting, we handed out diplomas and yearbooks commemorating all scholarship beneficiaries who completed that stage of their education in 2022. 

The evening brought much joy; it was not only good fun, but also reminiscences  shared straight from the stage by the EFC Foundation’s President, Aleksandra Saczuk. We could hear about the achievements and multiple dreams and goals that young ambitious people had set for themselves. Jerzy Starak was quick to provide his support, congratulating the school leavers on completing such an important lifetime milestone. We was eager to share insights from his personal experience. 'Your ambition and aspirations are a chance for a better world. Erase the word "impossible" from your dictionary because in my observation of success stories of many people over the years, I can see that if someone really cares about something and is resolved, they achieve what they set out to do.' He also offered some valuable guidance: ' Look for your specialty in line with your aptitude and an occupation that will give you satisfaction and then you will never feel like you are at work.'

The Horizons Scholarship Programme has a history of long-standing collaboration between two family-run foundations, as pointed out during the event by Igor Czernecki, the head of the EFC Foundation’s Governing Council. 'Our partnership with the Starak Foundation is not only an accomplishment in terms of the scope and scale of our scholarship program. It is also an unprecedented example of the fact that NGOs are ruled by different laws than the market here, in Poland. There is no competition or patents for good ideas in the third sector. Working together we can achieve more.' He also shared a reflection on the directions that young people should take going forward. 'Engage in something that will help you leave this world a little better. If you make this your goal, the side effect will be that you will feel happiness that is so difficult to attain.'

Dear Beneficiaries, we wish you both to achieve, and to experience happiness. Good luck!