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THEIR STORIES / Anna, Kalamata
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We all need some advice and guidance

Anna from Kalamata
PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS - 2nd Junior High School of Kalamata
16 July, 2023

Anna is 17 years old and lives with her family in Kalamata. She spent her early school years in Mani; however, five years ago, her family moved to Kalamata so that her sister could finish high school. Today, Anna herself attends High School in Kalamata and is very happy within her school community. "We are like a miniature society , and in each class  we all know each other, so I would say, we are kind of like a family," she says,  and adds that the entirety of the class has pretty good overall  performance, attributing this, to some extent, to her own and her classmates' good relationship .

Her favorite subject is mathematics. "Since I was young, I had a knack for mathematics; I always liked calculations, dealing with numbers."

When Anna was still attending the 2nd Junior High School of Kalamata, the school went into lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic and she and her classmates continued their lessons remotely despite the difficulties of the period. During that time, one of the teachers suggested that their class participate in a program through which they would meet people with different professions. The students chose professionals they would like to talk to based on their interests, and so Anna's journey in The Tipping Point program began!

In the following years, Anna attended many sessions with professionals such as economists, doctors, etc. Along with her classmates, she got to meet different mentors and gradually saw parts of herself in the professions that interested her. "Each one of us was helped, even a little, because as children, we don't fully know what path we will follow, and we are never quite sure if what we ultimately choose will be something that suits us or something we can actually cope with. Through the sessions, each mentor helped each child individually."

Anna remembers two mentors, two women in the field of business and economics. "I remember I singled out a lady who worked in a company, dealing with imports and exports, if I remember correctly, and she impressed me a lot because no matter what she shared about her daily working life and how she got there, I liked it a lot, and it influenced my choices.." "Personally, from a young age, I imagined myself in a similar position [to that of the mentors]. When you hear about something that you initially only imagined and how someone else is living it, in a way you “see” through that person, you step into their shoes for a bit, and I think that’s beautiful. It is a very nice feeling when [a mentor] talks to you about her professional life and emits an energy, and ignites in you the desire to achieve it, too, to reach her position, to reach that level. It  motivates you  to keep trying, to set goals, in order to reach that moment when you’ll say, 'I made it!'"

Anna also mentioned the practical help she received from the mentors. "[The mentor] was very friendly towards me, and she covered any topic I had questions about,  fully (...) She was very helpful because she gave me some advice. For example , how I should behave in an interview and what a CV should look like. Something I liked very much was that she suggested ways I could start searching for a job in the future. Many children do not know how to start in their lives, in their careers, and we often feel desperate because we constantly hear about unemployment, especially in our country. We all need some advice and guidance. She gave me hope that I can make it."

In closing, Anna gave us a little idea of what the pulse her entire class shared while participating in the program was and noted the benefits they all had from attending sessions related to different professions,even beyond their own individual interests. "We now know, at the very least, something about each profession, which I consider necessary to have an understanding of the different career fields." "Everyone was very active [while participating in the program], asking questions, and the mentors answered and encouraged us. Each session was helpful, prompting  us to say, 'Ah! I like this! Or I don't like this.'"

"This program really helped me a lot. As soon as I had the first session with the mentor who worked in the company and described the way she works to me, I immediately understood that there is no other choice for me; I am born for this."


About TTP

The Tipping Point (TTP) is an NGO aiming to empower today’s youth to enhance their consciousness, when they are called to make their once-in-a-lifetime decisions, ultimately preparing them for the workplace of tomorrow and to make learning more experiential, engaging and relevant to real life.

With the help of technology, students and teachers set the agenda of their meetings with professionals worldwide who interact with the students via live video and/or asynchronous video-responses.

Through a secure and structured digital environment, students on islands, in remote regional villages, marginalized urban areas or large cities, broaden their horizons and choices, receive answers to their questions from professionals worldwide - it could be doctors and farmers from a village nearby, or a NASA engineer from Florida - whom otherwise they could never meet.
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About THI Australia

The Hellenic Initiative Australia (THI Australia), is a non-profit organisation operating at a national level. Its mission is to bring together Greek Australians and philhellenes to contribute to the recovery and revitalisation of Greece.

By partnering with innovative non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Greece, THI Australia aims to implement programs that offer immediate relief, foster social and economic benefits, and create a lasting positive impact on Greek society. Since 2015, THI Australia has dedicated more than $1.7 million to various projects and initiatives in Greece, collaborating with eleven inspiring partner NGOs.

These efforts primarily focus on four key areas: Health, Social Services, Education, and Employment Pathways. Starting in 2019, THI Australia started a collaboration with The Tipping Point, initially involving three pilot schools.

Over the years, the number of participating schools has expanded, thanks to tailored approaches designed for Greek Australian Associations and individuals interested in supporting schools in specific regions of Greece. Associations and individuals have provided support to schools located in different areas such as Kastellorizo, Crete, Kalamata, and Kos.
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Join us in empowering each & every student, even at the most remote Aegean island, to consciously take their once-in-a-lifetime decisions, by enjoying the TTP experiential journey. One classroom at a time.