This summer, GROW offered to the teens a fresh, exotic mix of life lessons, multiculturality, friends, community challenges and fun. We spread the GROW magic in 21 cities and know we collect the good vibes from the participants.

Sebastian Dobre, a GROWzav 10th grader from Calarasi, told us about his hesitation at the beginning and how it transformed in joy when being part of the project.

“After hearing about GROW for the first time I wasn’t that excited or even willing to discover more, maybe because I am too shy for my own sake, or just because a learning project during summer didn’t sound too appealing. But a relative of mine told me that “In life, every opportunity given to somebody has its purpose”, so I have decided to give it a chance… and I do not regret it!

At the beginning, GROW seemed to me like a tentative of getting children to try speaking in English during summer but how wrong I was… In reality, speaking English is just the outer layer. Communication, discovering new ideas and mentalities, developing yourself in a new, unique environment where you can’t save yourself in the convenience of your natal language. It’s truly a challenge, surprisingly more rewarding and pleasing than I have thought.

As I was saying previously the idea of speaking full time in English was troubling at some points but learning about other cultures, as a travel enthusiastic, was thrilling. Even if I was set in a total unfamiliar scenario, the need to communicate with others was worrying me but I quickly discovered that all the fear and anxiety was just in my head. Maybe the trainers or the group I was placed in had something to do with this but I can sincerely assume that was the most welcoming feeling I’ve had in a long time A follow up of this feeling was me being more talkative than usual, thing that persisted until now. That was the first time when I couldn’t be and better said wasn’t feeling as being the shy guy that needs to stay in a corner and talk as little as possible, the lessons helping me open my mind about trust and relations with other people.

For me, GROW started as something that tries to convince the children to do something productive, but ended as a list of activities that aimed to change the mentality of the youth mainly about themselves and about the others around. It was a time well spent developing myself for the best.”