INTERVIEW: STANISLAVA DIMITRIJEVIC, student of the Secondary Vocational School in Bar: If you have a goal, nothing is impossible

From the previous year, in the Secondary Vocational School in Bar, students have the opportunity to enroll in a new program - beauticians. This profession is very promising, and Stanislava Dimitrijevic, an excellent first-grade student, also realized that. In addition to offering a great opportunity to find a job and start your own business, the profession of the beautician is very humane because it helps people feel more beautiful, and maintain a healthy and beautiful appearance. Stanislava plans to be further trained as a health technician, and then continue her education. Her desire to acquire knowledge and new skills are also confirmed by the straight A's, and she singles out anatomy as her favorite subject.

She is also good at writing, so her mentor Milanka Okuka, engaged in the Learning support for secondary school Roma students initiative conducted by the NGO Young Roma and the UNICEF office in Montenegro, points out that her essays are for a straight A.

Stanislava is a girl of an interracial marriage - her father is Roma. Her parents support her in every decision and encourage her to be even more diligent, and we do not doubt her abilities.




Why did you choose the cosmetology department? Who encouraged you? Are you happy with the subjects?

DIMITRIJEVIC: By chance I enrolled in this department. I was planning something completely different – I was going to study for a freight forwarding and a customs-agency technician. I had no idea that it would turn out to be something I love and that started to interest me from day one. The subjects are neither easy nor difficult, but they are very practical and interesting.

How satisfied are you with the mentoring support program provided through the initiative of the NGO Young Roma and UNICEF Office in Montenegro Learning support to secondary school Roma students and how much does it help you in learning and getting along at school?

DIMITRIJEVIC: My mentoring support, that is, our pedagogue, is above all a wonderful person, and therefore her support, not only for me but also for all students in this school, is very important and means a lot to us. My mentor is another reason why I am happy that I enrolled in Vocational High School because I know that no matter what happens, she will always have an open door for support, advice, and a solution to any problem. Now I can already point out that I have no problems with learning, although we are talking about that as well. I got along and got used to the new school environment.



You have straight A's in all professional subjects. Describe to us how one day of practical classes at your school looks like. Which area are you most interested in?

DIMITRIJEVIC: Yes, I have excellent grades and I am very happy about that. Since I am a first-grade student, I have several general education subjects, and practical classes as part of the subjects themselves because it is such a modularized educational program. I realized that it is very important to master the theory of dermatology and anatomy, to learn to recognize a problem that belongs to medicine but not to get involved in solving it. We have the introduction into practice only once a week, which lasts an hour and a half, and that number of hours will, according to our doctor, increase from year to year. I am most interested in anatomy, and as for the practical part, it is yet to come. Facial and body skincare, as well as all types of make-up, are definitely of interest to me.



Do you plan to pursue this profession when you finish high school?

DIMITRIJEVIC: After completing my three-year education, I plan to further train as a health technician, and I will probably continue my education.

You are engaged in the purchase of work equipment in the beauty salon. How did that come about? Describe your work tasks to us.

DIMITRIJEVIC: Right at the beginning of school we visited a beauty salon, learned about the workspace, work equipment, and various types of appliances used by beauticians. The work tasks are within the framework of professional theories and possible ways of implementation in practice.

Describe your family to us. How many members are there? Do you have siblings? Do they attend school? Do your parents support you in choosing a profession and in schooling? Are they employed?

DIMITRIJEVIC: I live in a family of five. I have two brothers. The older one is 11 years old and attends the fifth grade of primary school, and the younger one is six years old and has yet to start school. My parents met through mutual friends. My father was born in Novi Sad and has lived in Bar since 2000. They are not employed, they support me in everything, in schooling, in choosing department. We are the recipients of material assistance for the family, but my mother and father never allowed us to feel that. It could be much better, but we can meet our basic needs.

Would you change anything at school? Do you have a best friend?

DIMITRIJEVIC: As we attend school in extraordinary circumstances, there is a lack of movement through school, there is no student murmur, we are directed only to our classrooms, there is no socializing over the breaks, no communication with students from other classes, and I think my school is a beautiful community ruled by order and discipline. I met a very dear person from my department, her name is Vladana and we still don't fully know each other, but I like hanging out with her and I hope that we will achieve common goals.

What is your advice for peers of the Roma population?

DIMITRIJEVIC: I advise them to stand in the way of all negative issues and fears, to set a goal they will fight for without giving up. Everything can be done even though it seems impossible, you just need to be interested and open. I am telling them something very important - to build their character and to always have themselves, because when you respect yourself, others will respect that even more. As you respect yourself, so you respect others.


Translation: Milena Cavic, NGO Young Roma

Edited by: Milos Knezevic, NGO Young Roma

The interview was conducted within the Learning support to secondary school Roma students initiative conducted by the NGO Young Roma and the UNICEF Office in Montenegro

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