Fulbright & EducationUSA Publication

Published by the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange (Fulbright), the EducationUSA Stories is a collection of stories by Bulgarian students who have studied/are currently studying the Unites States. This collection of inspiring stories by students from all around the country give an insight into the experiences studying in the U.S. offers.

I contributed to the project by sharing some of my most memorable experiences about my journey coming from the small town of Septemvri to graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The stories that I share are my way of showing my gratitude to those who’ve inspired and encouraged me; passing it forward to others; as well as passing it back to those who’ve supported me on my journey. 

You can download the PDF from the link below.

Summary of stories:

Georgi is an 18-year old boy from a small town in southern Bulgaria. One frigid February morning, he takes a trip with his grandfather to Fulbright’s EducationUSA Center. From there, he applies to U.S. colleges and receives admission to one of the top tech schools in the country, with just enough funds to cover his first semester. Georgi writes letters to Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Sergey Brin, Eric Schmidt, and foundations from his home country and around the world. One of them responds and gives him a scholarship. Georgi prepares to move to the United States, knowing he won’t be returning home anytime soon.

Georgi goes through the process of adapting to a markedly different environment, overcoming the challenges and anxiety of being in a country where no one speaks his native language, and making new friendships. He reconnects with his cousin who he hasn’t seen in 15 years.

Georgi appreciates the opportunities that come his way and likes to spread his joy to others. His positive attitude and desire to get to know those around him wins the sympathy of his co-workers, two Rotary Clubs, and a Rotarian who becomes his U.S. Godmother.

There’s a powerful contrast between all of the wonderful opportunities that come his way and the anxiety of trying to cover his tuition and living expenses, not knowing if he’ll continue his education at the end of his freshman year. Georgi comes to consider the school’s campus his second home and completes his degree with his cousin and co-workers cheering for him in the crowd against all odds.

Bank of America Chicago Marathoner!

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about yourself, you can learn it in 26.2 miles / 42.2 km.

A week ago on 13 October, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries set out to accomplish a personal goal by reaching the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in Grant Park. Alongside the Boston, New York, London, Berlin, and Tokyo Marathons, it is one of the six World Marathon Majors.

This time last week, I crossed the finish line and became a Bank of America Chicago Marathoner!

Running for quality access to education for every child in Bulgaria meant the cheers of support were even louder on Race Day. Thank you all for the support!

You can still donate to my fundraiser for Teach for Bulgaria:


Short video live from the Chicago Marathon. Thanks to everyone for the support!

Chicago Marathon Finisher!

I call myself a marathoner. I joined runners from across the country and around the world on the streets of Chicago on Sunday, 13 October, and conquered 26.2 miles / 42.2 km. I am a Bank of America Chicago Marathon finisher!

I had a great experience at the marathon representing Bulgaria. I ran over 120 km to support Teach for Bulgaria’s mission of providing access to quality education for every child in Bulgaria and raised close to $3,000. Thanks to everyone for the support.

You can still donate to my fundraiser:


1st parkrun at Roosevelt Island DC

1st parkrun* and 1st at Roosevelt Island DC parkrun last Saturday (17 August) with Cory, 3-time marathon & 2-time ultramarathon finisher!

She, too, supports my fundraising campaign for Teach for Bulgaria! I’m halfway to my $5,000 fundraising goal. Thanks to everyone for the support!


Parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5K walk/ jog/run in 20 countries all around the world.

Queens NYC Half Marathon

Ran The Queens NYC Half Marathon yesterday! Beautiful day for a run in Flushing Meadows Corona Park!

My goal is to raise $5,000 for Teach for Bulgaria by the end of October and through the generosity of family, friends and even perfect strangers, I am approaching $2,500.

Small Donations Add Up To BIG Change This August:

This week, GlobalGiving is celebrating the power of the crowd. All donations up to $50 to Teach for Bulgaria’s project are eligible for a 60% match through the August Little by Little Matching Campaign while funds remain, so your giving this week is amplified!


Birthday Fundraiser for Teach for Bulgaria

Thanks to everyone for coming to my birthday fundraiser on 31 July! 

Thanks also to 730 Tavern in Cambridge for donating a percentage of the total sales from the event to my fundraiser for Teach for Bulgaria:


BBQ Fundraiser in Essex, UK

A big THANK YOU to my family for hosting a BBQ fundraiser in Loughton, Essex, UK in support of my campaign for Teach for Bulgaria. They raised £450!


I really appreciate your support!

Namely, I’d like to thank:

— Rumen&Geri
— Hristo&Hristina
— Ivan&Maria
— Ylian&Lydia
— Vlado&Mariam
— Simon&Sarah
— Georgi
— Plamen&Sonia

Paying it forward through Rotaract

Paying my Rotary experience forward by running 4 half marathons and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to support Teach for Bulgaria.

Published in Rotary Voices, the official blog of Rotary International:

I’ve raised close to $2,000 out of my $5,000 goal by the end of October:


Rotaractor Runs 128 km for Teach for Bulgaria

Thank you, Rotary District 7930, for sharing my story about my experience with Rotary and paying it forward through Rotaract:


My love affair with Rotary started when I was a junior in high school and was selected by the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission for their United States Achievers Program. One of the participants told me about Interact during the break of a preparation course for applying to U.S. colleges and inspired me to start my high school’s first ever Interact Club, which I ran successfully with my co-president and about 10 members for a year until I graduated.

I got a scholarship to attend a college in Massachusetts and moved from my small town of Septemvri, Bulgaria. After several flights, I found myself in the USA on 17 August 2009. The moment I landed at Boston Logan Airport symbolized my departure from a world that was familiar and comfortable; I realized I had left my family, homeland, and culture behind yet to discover a whole new community, country, and new friends.

Within the first few days of my arrival in Massachusetts, I was immediately accepted, blanketed in warmth and kindness from the Rotary District 7930 community. My 3.5 years in college were exceptionally amazing because of everyone in Rotary who welcomed me, thanks to a Rotarian from a local Rotary Club. I would’ve been lost without her, and I felt so grateful for having her in my life.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to return the same sentiment in some way. I participated in Rotaract throughout college and have been an active member of Boston Rotaract for the past two years.

I became a Rotaractor because I believe collaboration towards a common goal leads to stronger ties within communities, promotes cultural and economic advancement. Rotaract has provided me with the opportunity to identify with people whether they are from Bulgaria, the EU, the United States, Asia, Latin America, Africa, or anywhere in between. As a result, I have friends of different ethnic and/or social backgrounds and have been able to taste the richness of their cultures, while being part of a group of young people genuinely excited to volunteer and provide service above self.But still, I felt something was missing. I wanted to pay it forward but was unsure how.

This year I decided to challenge myself with the goal of running four half marathons in the summer and participating in the Chicago Marathon in October. While running the distance of over 120 km, I will be raising money to support Teach for Bulgaria, an organization very dear to my heart because of their mission – quality education for every child, regardless of where they live or what their socioeconomic status is.

I already ran two half marathons, I have 86 km left! I’ve raised $1,161out of my $5,000 goal by the end of October in support of this organization.

By supporting Teach for Bulgaria’s cause I want to make sure that more students are going to have role models like the Rotarian who was also a teacher and provided a loving heart when I needed it the most, so that they can help them develop their potential, regardless of where they live or where they come from, to help them gain the confidence to believe they are capable of anything. This is my way of paying it forward to her and Rotary.

I believe that only by strengthening the ties which unite us in Rotary, we are capable of transforming an entire community and can together make a difference by contributing to every child’s access to quality education in Bulgaria; quality education which leads to a functioning economy and a strong society. I believe in Service Above Self: it’s easier to make a positive change when you have the world of Rotary working together.

I’ve raised $1,161 of my goal of $5,000 by the end of October in support of Teach for Bulgaria.

You can  support my effort by donating to my GlobalGiving fundraiser or sharing the campaign on social media with your network.

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