Iulia was the Local Project Manager (LPM) from Slobozia this year of GROW and she coordinated two editions: GROW Academy and GROW Games 2018. 

“Heyo, I’m Iulia, but the GROW family calls me Iulea. Basic facts, I live in Slobozia and I’m 17 yo. Besides being a volunteer and seeing the changes I try to make my local community come to live, I love debates. Besides this, food & travelling will always be the things I enjoy the most while sharing them with my friends.”

  • What are your 5 main things that you were left with after the experience of being the Local Project Manager of GROW Games 2k18 in your city?

The first thing that crossed my mind are the people, as I had the chance to meet amazing teenagers, other hard working LPMs and lots of interesting trainers. I also have an impressive number of GROW-related memories that never fail to cheer me up. The following 3 things aren’t actual things, but feelings and wishes that I thought about both during and after this project: a strong will to help my local community more, curiosity for volunteering opportunities and gratefulness for what GROW has taught me.

  • What do you think you’ve accomplished in this experience?

Maybe the most important thing is the impact I managed to have upon teenagers through GROW. It’s amazing to see how involved they are in this journey and how comfortable they become with other participants they didn’t know before, with speaking publicly and with expressing their believes. Being a factor in their development equation is incredibly rewarding.

  • How would you describe the international trainers?

Never have I ever had it easier describing people. Simply, perfect. Besides being diligent and thoroughly preparing their sessions before delivering, they were the role models for participants. Funny and friendly, yet understanding and ready to offer their advise, Rocio, Alby and Fer have created strong bonds with the teenagers due to being amazing people!

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think you developed yourself and why?

10, for sure. It’s my second time as an LPM and that means 8 months of being involved in GROW in this position. Looking back, I see this girl with unused potential, who used to be messy and who wanted to help but didn’t know how. Attending conferences, going through situations that required being self-contained and reconsidering the already planned strategy, meeting people that approach things totally differently, all of these things made me a better organiser and leader, taught me that stress isn’t necessarily bad and that everything can be solved as long as you smile while trying to find solutions.

  • What will be your favourite memory from this edition? Show us in a photo you made and describe it.

My absolute favourite moment was at the closing, when people were designing their “GROW book”, in which anyone could write cute stuff. Along with the diplomas, they were hung on the walls.  After the closing was over, everybody stayed for at least half an hour in order to write as much as they can and to share their feelings. That’s when I knew the bond is real and people are genuine. It was a bit emotional, but moments like this one assure me that everything was worth it.