Elena Panagopoulou is not new to the AEGEE world, she has a lot of experience both at the European and local level. She now decided to start a new adventure candidating for the Network Commission. Here are a few questions for her.
The AEGEEan: Please, introduce yourself.
Elena: I am Elena, born and raised in Athens, subsequently being a member of AEGEE-Athina for two full years. I got involved in AEGEE unexpectedly when, as I have said multiple times, I needed it the most. AEGEE has been giving me inspiration and a whole playground of possibilities and dreams, where I can unfold my creativity and passion for making the Network and the world a better place to be part of. Besides the dreamland called AEGEE, I am trying to finish my studies in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture, keep writing and exploring life and people. I am a neophiliac, a person who is craving for novelty, adapts in extreme situations and works constantly into bringing a change, shedding new light.
What is your previous AEGEE Experience?
During my very first moments in AEGEE I joined the Democracy in Practice project, since human rights education and raising of awareness of young people on hot topics related to their rights and how to act upon them, was something which has always moved and inspired me as a person. AEGEE is a wonderful platform for educating and creating active European citizens. In this sense, I was also part of HR of the Language Interest Group, which is creating guidelines and activities on the language perspective. Most AEGEEans are multilingual, isn’t it awesome? The field of human resources is kind of my specialty, as I have served my local from this position and simultaneously being a proud member of the Human Resources Committee. Effective HR is a solution on multiple “common problems” locals are facing and I have the experience to make them realise and work towards the solutions of their problems.
What would you like to do if you get elected ?
A change!! I want my locals to live and breathe for their Identity, AEGEE Identity, to work always answering their inner “why”. So many times in AEGEE we forget the “why”, why we are doing what we are doing. Keeping that in mind, my most significant goal is to make my locals realise their potential and explore various ways of solving their problems and opportunities. I am always a person who runs against the stream, and that is what I want to bring.
In your programme you’ve marked the importance of trainings, Can you tell us something more about that?
Many people join our brilliant association, because they want to improve themselves. To be the best version of themselves, and to learn in a different way from which they are accustomed to within the frame of their academic life. Learning with non-formal education tools is what AEGEE is doing for more than 30 years now, and this through its trainings and events. But we need to improve our trainings and give our members better chances of joining them. There’s an interesting idea that we can recruit the AEGEEans of the future, simply by pinpointing out the learning possibilities through our trainings. As a part of HRC, I’ve started working with the Network Commission and the Academy into figuring the best platform and interface of making the “training culture” more vivid and fully adopted. We are still at the very beggining, but I am really optimistic for the future. I am very happy that the new Focus Area of Youth Development will start its three-year journey this summer. For me this a clear indicator that AEGEEans have realised how much we need the trainings.
Question from the Network: What is the area of the Network you would like to work with?
I want to be elected because Agora will believe in me and my programme, because people will feel touched by what I want to accomplish and be willing to be on board with me. On that regard, I could work with any local, from the so called Nordic Stars or British to Greek, Turkish- speaking or even some Italian ones. Or maybe German, Balkanic, Russian. I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter, since actually I am really intrigued into working with any single antenna, because each one has its own uniqueness and need to be served, and I cannot wait to embrace the challenge. As you can see in my programme, I will focus into creating an Identity culture within my locals, a connection with AEGEE’s values and collaboration with local communities, in order to bring a better and more efficient impact.
You can read her full candidature here.
Written by Paola Letizia Murru, AEGEE-Cagliari