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Ștefan Cazacu - When dreams overcome fear

At the beginning of 2020, Ștefan Cazacu was a 12th grade student at the Gheorghe Vrănceanu National College” in Bacău and had just found out that the University of Manchester accepted him as a scholarship holder to study psychology. However, this great news was overshadowed by the material difficulties that Ștefan knew he would not be able to overcome on his own. Even if the scholarship covered educational costs, there were additional costs with housing, transport, meals… and that was not at all something small, especially in the UK.

Following the discovery of the Facebook page of the Adoptăm Studenți platform, Ștefan has recovered hope and dared to believe more and more that his dream, that of studying at an internationally prestigious university to become a well-trained psychologist, stands a chance of materialising.

At his mother's advice, Ștefan registered on the platform and followed the necessary steps to start the fundraising campaign. He wrote a presentation text (although it was not easy for him to open his soul to the world, as he was an introvert young man), he filmed the video, and it was posted on the platform. The inconsistency between the pace with which the campaign became productive and the expectations Ștefan had designed led to disappointment. It seemed that the money he needed would not gather in time to go to Great Britain, and that all the work he had done had been in vain. His hopes were close to zero and Ștefan was one step away from giving up. At that moment he has received a piece of advice, which he also gives to all students: “Find in yourself the strength to dare! If you manage to realise that you have a choice between remaining in the current situation or giving everything you can to pursue your career, everything becomes meaningful and easier. ”

Ștefan Cazacu describes the experience he had in working with Adoptăm Studenți as an opportunity for growth and development:

"I have learned a multitude of new things - how to eloquently and clearly present my story, how to ask and accept help without affecting my self-esteem, and how to use constructive criticism to become better. I have realised that a fundraising campaign involves a real combination of efforts - the student's readiness to open up and present his story correctly and honestly, the work of the volunteers from, the ability to overcome refusals and persevere in sending mail and messages, the financial effort made by all those who donated for my campaign. The warmth of the people who stood with me during the campaign has turned this experience into a fascinating and emotional journey.”

He believes that the success of a fundraising campaign is a result of an optimal mix of the story presentation and the goodness of the people around him.

Ștefan's campaign ended on October 25, 2020. 46 donors from Romania and abroad contributed to collect 19.130 RON and giving him the opportunity to study at Manchester. At the end of the campaign, Ștefan realised that was his chance to achieve his dream - "A key aspect of the campaign was to establish a friendly relationship with the people in the association, so that communication was productive and free from inhibitions."

If in years to come his life would bring him into the situation of "adopting" a student himself, Ștefan believes that he would choose a story similar to his own, with which he could resonate. The most important traits that the student should have should be the confidence in his dream and the desire to fight to achieve it.

Now that he is studying psychology in Manchester, it is easier for Ștefan to make plans for the future: he wants to specialise in forensic psychology and travel. His opinion is that the information acquired in school must be supplemented with experiences lived on their own and with the observation of as many people as possible, from different cultures. He feels that the first step towards the future has been taken and that, following the campaign on Adoptăm Studenți platform, he has become stronger and more confident.

Good luck, Ștefan! The future is in your hands!

A text by Corina Pârvu