Since the beginning of the program in 2008, we have attracted 160 fellows, most of whom (79%) continue to work in education also after the two-year program. Our alumni are teachers, school principals, policymaker, social entrepreneurs and professionals working both in public and private sectors. All committed to bringing quality education to all children across Latvia. We asked some of them to share their experiences with us so that you could get to know us better hopefully get inspired by their amazing stories!  

 

Meet our alumnus, math teacher Jēkabs Jurdžs! 

 Jēkabs in his classroom. Photo: liepājniekiem.lv

Jēkabs in his classroom. Photo: liepājniekiem.lv

I remember myself sitting in the lobby of my university back home in Latvia and thinking what to do next. My studies were essentially over, most of my friends, not being Latvian, were soon leaving my life, and, moreover, while I had enjoyed studying aspects of my BSc in Business and the teaching had been good, the greater truth was that I was never altogether thrilled about the subject area.

Even in my internships, I was always looking for ways to indirectly apply my skills and knowledge doing something outside the sphere itself. An alumnus of both my Alma Mater and Mission Possible approached me in that lobby and asked if I had ever considered teaching. He said the program was very well run, full of inspiring, knowledgeable and commited people to better opportunities for kids and society at large. The thought seemed daunting, but over time it dawned on me that it was exactly what I was looking for - an opportunity to use the skill set I now found myself with in doing something that really matters, something, where I could give back to society, help broaden horizons and encourage students just like I was by my professors and parents.

I soon fund out that very little marketing talk had been involved on the part of my fellow alumnus - the experience of training for being in a classroom and the teaching itself turned out to be one of the most emotionally satisfying, as well as personally and profesionally enriching experiences I've had. The look in a pupil's eyes, when they realize they understand at the end of a long road of filling gaps in their knowledge and fighting for their self-confidence, is beyond words. As are the moments of shared laughter in fellowship with other teachers and the Mission Possible team and the sense of purpose, which, thank God, accompanied and sustained me in my two years of teaching like perhaps never before.

So much was accomplished and in so little time. I've now, in no little part thanks to what I learned through Mission Possible, went on to fulfill my dream of studying in Oxford. Yet I feel that Mission Possible has left a lasting impression on my vision of what is worth doing, but even more so on what can be done with one's life. If more of us would act with the same dedication and enthusiasm towards bettering our societies, my heart leaps to think what my country and others would look like. And that, God-willing, is something I look forward to doing as I return back home.