The PročByNe? project changes the lives of students – and more

Text a foto Martina Dlabajová Publikováno

He’s just over twenty years old, and his dream is to become a product designer. Martin is preparing for his future career at university in Pilsen, and this year he will take his BA exams. School gives him the necessary foundations, but it cannot give him everything. They say the best thing you can invest in is young people. I agree with that, and that’s also why I founded the PročByNe? (“WhyNot?”) project nine years ago. Intended for students, it encourages their motivation to achieve something special and pursue their career dreams.

"I learned how to use my time in the right way, to be active and more productive. I also learned that nothing is impossible and everything can be created," Martin recalls. Thanks to the PročByNe? project, he recently got a unique insight into one of the leading design firms in the Czech Republic. He shadowed the company’s technical director and worked with the design team. "I wanted to know how design works in practice. I appreciate the internship a lot, because I know that it’s not easy to get into such a company," he adds.

The PročByNe? project has run since 2015. The trainees have shadowed many inspiring personalities. They experienced first-hand what it's like to work at the highest political level as they were closely following the President of the European Parliament, going to meetings together with a Czech representative in the European Commission or an MEP, or saw what it takes to be a minister or governor. They had a first-hand look at the work of senior managers in renowned and successful companies and learned the honest trade from the best. To give specific examples, such traineeships have included experiences with a Michelin chef, a celebrity hairdresser and stylist, a winemaker or a master plasterer.

Students appreciate the opportunity and often return to the traineeship site when they complete their studies, and apply for a permanent job – with success.

Honesty is the best policy. But a mentor is equally important

Motivating young people is not only about the options and opportunities, but also about building confidence and self-esteem. In today's society, which puts enormous pressure on performance, it is important that young people have someone who believes in them and stands by them.

That’s also why the PročByNe? project stresses the importance of mentoring. Young people need role models and mentors who can give them the right direction and valuable advice and share their experience. Mentoring is not only about passing knowledge, but also about creating environments in which young people can feel safe and motivated.

I am convinced that investing in the future generations has long-term significance. It's about finding your worth, recognizing your abilities, and realizing that it's possible to achieve great things. And most importantly, that it’s possible to make your dreams come true.

Written by Martina Dlabajová

Photo credits: Martina Dlabajová

Martina Dlabajová has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014.

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