It was March 10th, 2011. I was with Derek in New York University’s Brittany Hall. We were organizing a “Bulgaria Night!” fundraiser for Step for Bulgaria Foundation in the evening. But more about that later.
I checked my phone. I saw an email from Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Student Activities Office and read it out loud:
“Georgi Kardzhaliyski, you’ve been nominated for the WPI Student Employee of the Year award. The Student Recognition Awards Ceremony will take place on April 11th, 2011 in the Rubin Campus Center Odeum.”
Derek winged at me and congratulated me. I smiled and wondered who could’ve nominated me.
I was scheduled to assist with A/V needs in an e-classroom on the night of the ceremony. I walked into the Academic Technology Center’s Office to pick up equipment, when Kaitlin, my supervisor, said:
“Georgi, I’ll find someone to cover your shift tonight. You’re going to the ceremony.”
I wondered why, but I didn’t question it. I went back to 14 Dover Street to change into my prom suit and headed to the Odeum.
I was sitting quietly when I heard Kris struggling to pronounce someone’s name:
“At this time, I would like to present to you, the WPI Student Employee of the Year: GEE-yor-gee KARRD-za-lisk-ee.”
I stood still. I had become the first Bulgarian to win the award!