Romani college prep student in Czech Republic and ROMEA scholarship recipient hopes to become a dentist someday
Adéla Cinnová is beginning her second year at a college preparatory school in Přerov, Czech Republc. She already knows what she wants to do when she grows up.
Her favorite subject is biology, and she wants to become a dentist. She is doing brilliantly at school.
This intelligent, purposeful young woman is already well on her way to achieving her goal. News server Romea.cz has interviewed her as one of the many Romani recipients of scholarships from the ROMEA organization who attended the 10th BARUVAS gathering this summer.
Q: You're beginning your second year of college prep school. What was the first year like, what was your perception of the transition from primary to secondary school?
A: I expected it would be much worse, because all my acquaintances said the transition to high school is difficult. In the end it wasn't so terrible. It's true that it's different than primary school. I can't come home from school, throw my bag in the corner and do nothing the rest of the day. In high school I have to consistently study. However, if one dedicates at least some time to the preparation, and studies regularly, it's manageable, overall.
Q: Which subjects do you like at school?
A: I love them all, I love educating myself, but if I had to choose my favorites, they would be biology and Czech language.
Q: How are you getting along with your schoolmates?
A: I don't much fit in among them. I believe my interests are not easily understood by the others. I don't like talking about fashion, I don't follow celebrities, and the interests of the girls in my class don't correspond to mine. I prefer to dedicate myself to schoolwork, I watch documentaries, I educate myself overall. Naturally I love having a good time, I go out with my friends, but it's not my priority.
Q: Doesn't it confine you a bit at school, the fact that you don't chat much with your schoolmates?
A: A bit, yes. I see that my female schoolmates are friends and get together every weekend. Nevertheless, I do my best to dedicate myself to school, and I work every weekend. I have a part-time job. I want to make some money so I can aid my parents at least a little bit - they have hard jobs.
Q: Maybe it's too soon for such a question, but do you know what you would like to do after high school?
A: I've been attracted to dentistry for quite some time. I would like to become a dentist. My biggest wish is to attend the Medical Faculty in Olomouc, at Palacký University, but naturally I'm applying to different colleges that offer dentistry as a major.
Q: Why dentistry in particular?
A: Ever since I was a little girl my parents have said it would be good if I became a dentist. I really enjoy biology, chemistry, and physics. I believe classical medicine would not be for me, so I'd like to become a dentist. The more I think about it, the more I feel that would be the best choice for me. I will attempt to see it through so I can have my own practice someday.
Q: How do your family and friends support you?
A: My parents have always wanted me to go to medical school after high school. They are enthusiastic about my interest in the field and they support me a great deal. They are constantly motivating me and it would really mean a lot to them for me to go to college.
Q: Who has been or still is a motivator for your studies?
A: Ever since I was a little girl, my uncle has been a big motivation to me, he was the first person in our family to graduate from college. He's always talked to me about how it works at college, how the lectures and the tests work, and what a brilliant feeling it is when one graduates. Thanks to that, I have been dreaming of college since I was a child. My parents also motivate me. Both of them just have vocational certificates, and they work in a factory. When I see how tired they are when they come home from work each day I'm sorry about it, and I know that if I graduate from college, we will all be better off. That's an enormous motivation. I don't want to just live from month to month, I want to have some financial reserves, I want a higher job status - in sum, I want a better life for myself and my family.
Q: How do you make use of the finances provided to you by the ROMEA organization's scholarship program?
A: Each day I have to commute to school by train. The scholarship mainly aids me with paying the cost of that commute. Another item that is not negligible is the purchase of textbooks, which I must cover myself. In primary school they loaned us the textbooks, but in high school we must each have our own textbook, which also costs a couple of thousand crowns a year. The courses that ROMEA pays for me to attend also aid me a great deal. I'm not so good at English or math as I'd like to be. For that reason I mainly take advantage of the opportunity to be reimbursed for the cost of attending extra courses and slowly but surely I'm improving.
Q: Right now we're at the 10th BARUVAS gathering. How do you like it here, what does BARUVAS mean to you?
A: This is my fourth time at BARUVAS. This gathering always brings me many new experiences. I really like that we learn new things here, we get to know our Romani culture, history and language. The instructors are always nice, they know a lot about the subject at hand and they convey it to us in a form that amuses us. I also meet new people here. During the time I've been coming to BARUVAS I've met many new friends with whom I am still in contact. I know that if I will ever be in need of something, I have people to call. I always come away from BARUVAS with enormous motivation to study. There are always so many interesting people here with interesting stories. Some have already made great progress and are successful. That gives me a lot of energy. When I see them, I know that I can also make my dreams come true.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I don't have much free time. The commute home from school takes a long time. Sometimes the train is delayed and I don't get home until the evening. What's more, I have tutoring, and I do my best to always prepare for the next day at school. Sometimes I fall asleep very early because it's too much. On the weekends I work part-time so I can have some money for my personal needs. Once in a while I have a day off, and I do my best to relax, or I go out with friends.
Q: This is my final question: Where does Adéla Cinnová see herself in 10 years?
A: I see myself in 10 years as a fresh graduate of medical school. By that time, I will probably be thinking about establishing my own dental office.
YOU, TOO, CAN SUPPORT ROMA STUDENTS!
ROMEA is heading into a fourth year of supporting Romani youth with their studies. The new school year begins in just a couple of days. We must rise to meet the challenge ahead, which is that the financing from our main donor for the scholarships, The Velux Foundations, is contracted to gradually reduce over time, and eventually we will have to get by without any more investment from them.
We have one month until the end of our current campaign, called Together We Can - Společně to dokážeme, the aim of which is to raise CZK 500 000 [EUR 19 000] to support 60 Romani students. More than 170 individual donors have already contributed so far and we are 73 % of the way to our goal.
We believe that together with you, we will achieve this aim and reach our target amount. We thank you in advance for your donation..
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