We are preparing the GROW Winter edition, so it’s time to meet some of the local coordinators, the ones who make magic happen! Today we present you Alex.

Alex StreteI’m Alex Strete, a high school student from Targu Mures, studying at the “Unirea” National College. I like to think that I’m an ambitious person. I love challenges and I always try to find something new to do. I’m also really happy when it comes to meeting new people, but that doesn’t necessarily mean than I’m an extrovert – I tend to get lost in big groups and crowds. Some people tell me that I’m mad or nuts, but I think they’re just jealous they’re not as funny as I am.

I love hanging out with people that I’m close to, that means doing anything from sports to just chilling in some cafe. I try to be as active as possible, both physically and mentally. I love reading (even though I don’t always find time for it sadly), going to the gym, watching TV shows, cooking and listening to music. I like to think that I’m a jack of all trades when it comes to recreational activities.

I also love chocolate.

I first got to know GROW project about 3.5 years ago, when I was in the 9th grade. I remember that at that time I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to volunteering activities, I was still getting used to high school and I just wanted to meet new people. It just happened that on one day when I was at school, some guys from AIESEC came and presented the project to my class – it was an instant success for most of my colleagues, but not for me, really. I wasn’t 100% convinced.

A colleague of mine convinced me to join the project (most of my class already did) after a few days of persuasion. It turned out to be the best decision of my life, really. I didn’t think that it would have such a great impact on me, since then I’ve been a participant on every edition possible. I was ambassador, team member and now, team leader of the project. It’s funny how life works sometimes.

Joining GROW was one of those moments in my life that you can call an “aha” moment. I went from a confused and anxious teenager to a person that knows what he wants to do in his life: that is, changing people as much as GROW helped to shape me as a person. By being a GROW OCP, I want to help people discover their inner selves, to develop both on a personal and professional level so that they can continue, on their own, to change not only other people as well, but also Romania as a whole. I believe that individuals do make a change in the community, and it’s due time that we start doing something towards it.

My message for the GROW participants – students and trainers:

Try to take as much as you can out of the project. Remember most of all that GROW doesn’t feed you experience and information, it just makes it available. Whether you choose to take it or not is your decision. You can leave the project as a completely changed being or just as you were before you joined. This is all up to you!