When I was 16, I dreamt about studying at a British university. Thanks to DofE this dream came true and today I am walking through the corridors of the University of Southampton where I study three languages. Who would have guessed so few years ago? I come from a small village in Moravia and in my family no one has a degree from university, no anyone speaks any foreign languages. They all told me my dream was too big, but I would not listen. And so I started working on myself with the help of the DofE programme.
I first encountered the programme while working in the Extracurricular Activities’ Centre in Všetule. My dedication to completing all my goals set under the programme was so powerful that I worked seven days a week in the Centre. At first I could not notice any change. However, the reward came later. Once all my goals were met I experienced Nirvana, stemming from the satisfaction of achieving important goals with hard work and conscious effort rather than inborn talents.
I hugely improved my English and I also gained healthy self-confidence and self-respect. Never before would I believe that volunteering can be so satisfying and entertaining at the same time. At the time of completing the award I tried a large number of activities that I would have never tried otherwise. And all of this made me grow personally much more than mere study at school ever would.
Life is a challenge and that’s what DofE is also about - that is what I got from the programme. Whenever I start thinking about any new decision, I always think: “It is a challenge! If you can manage it, you will feel even better about yourself.”
While completing the award I also met huge amount of new friends. I visited foreign countries and I experienced hours, days and months of high quality time.
And thanks to DofE I will never again be that timid village boy, whose dreams fall apart due to the mistrust of others.