SparkOpportunity Winner: Anastasia Tsiligianni
ANASTASIA TSILIGIANNI - ATHENS, GREECE
ADULT ALLY AWARD
Our first and only international winner, Anastasia Tsiligianni of Athens, Greece knows that access to education would help society both financially and civically. With her ideological suggestion for higher education in the states, she is one of the Adult Ally winners of the SparkOpportunity Challenge.
Here, Anastasia shares more about her idea in a Q&A with SparkAction.
What's your idea? It would be amazing to see more universities find ways to provide free courses, housing, food and healthcare to students so that young people, no matter their financial situation, could have access to a great education. I would also like to find a way to help universities coordinate with private companies to help students connect to jobs.
Are you currently a student or working? I have worked as a teacher, mathematician, and in other professional roles in the past. In September I plan to start my Masters degree at National and Kapodestrian University of Athens.
Why did you decide to submit to the Challenge? Whenever there are problems, we must find solutions. Sometimes it's not that easy, but it's important that we have the right to share our ideas and beliefs. Even if our ideas are not realistic, we may inspire someone else to find better ones. I believe that nothing is impossible.
That's why I submitted my idea— hope that someday we can find a way for education to be free for everyone. If we don't fight for it, it will only become more difficult to acheive.
What in your life or background inspired you come up with the idea? I studied in Greece, where a lot of education is free. However, I have paid a lot of money all these years to complete my studies, and I can imagine how hard that would be for people who can't afford it. I've met a lot of young people who didn't go to university because they couldn't afford the educational costs.
What will you do with the grant money? I'm not sure yet—my project is more of an idea. I might donate the money to someone who can help this idea become a reality.
Why do you feel it is important to help other youth? I believe it's the way to build a better world. I'm a big believer in the power of education of all kinds, from science to art and sports. Making education more accessible would produce more people who can contribute to society financially and civically, making the world an all-around better place. All children have the right to study and money must not be an obstacle for that.
Ultimately, what are you hoping that your idea accomplishes? Free education for all, and a way to help to the youth in need.
Any fun talents or hobbies you would like to share with us? I love going to concerts, traveling, photography, singing, playing guitar, playing volleyball, and solving jigsaw puzzles.
The SparkOpportunity Challenge was a crowdsourcing competition for young people to share their ideas on how to create local jobs and opportunities for youth. The Challenge was developed by SparkAction and the Youth Leadership Institute and joined Jon Bon Jovi in support of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Learn more >>