Scholarship Promotes Social Entrepreneurship 
Elfenworks, Kiev Taras Schevenko Partnership Flourishes

San Mateo, California (May 1, 2017) – The Elfenworks Foundation, in partnership with Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University and Elfenworks Productions, LLC, announced the selection of the winner of the University’s first-ever scholarship for budding social entrepreneurs at the Elfenworks Scholarship Competition. The winner, Vitaly Oleksyuk, was announced on Tuesday, April 25th amidst joyous celebration. The event was led by Dr. Valeriy Kopiyka, Director of the Institute of International Relations. Social entrepreneurs from across the country were on hand, showing the breadth and depth of efforts already underway. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for an Elfenworks Center on Social Entrepreneurship at the university was graced by two adorable children bearing korovai, a traditional bread.  Addressing students, Elfenworks CEO Lauren Speeth, who was honored with both an honorary doctorate and the honorary title of Professor at the event, compared the making of this bread to the process of social entrepreneurship itself, starting with the vision for beautiful bread. To bring it to fruition requires various special skills, including decoration, and there will be local variation. The bakers, who work in partnership, don’t duplicate each other’s efforts. The process involves feedback, such as knowing if the bread has risen, if the oven is hot enough, and so on. Stay the course until the work is complete, then share in the credit, and the whole community is the better for the effort.  

The university is a powerhouse, and there’s every indication that the students of social entrepreneurship will “cook up” exceptional results. In the inaugural year alone, an initial pool of one hundred thirty five participants were reduced to twenty four finalists in a second, juried phase, assessing their in-depth knowledge of the field, its current status and importance for Ukraine, as well as their own personal involvement and vision. This year’s finalists, Anna Kikesheva, Vitaly Oleksyuk, Valeriia Slinko and Oleksander Yaroshenko met with the Elfenworks team for in-depth discussions during their ten-day stay in the country. “I congratulate every one of the students who submitted for this scholarship,” reiterated Elfenworks Executive Director Kenneth Tam, adding, “Each of the finalists was a winner in our eyes, confirming that they indeed hold the key to tomorrow’s hope.”  

Preparations are already in place for the coming year’s competition, to take place at the Institute of International Relations of the Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University. We invite members of the press to contact us with any questions, and to please check our Ukraine Detail Page, www.elfenworks.org/ukraine. 

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About Elfenworks “In Harmony With Hope”  Scholarships Fostering Student Ripplemakers
The Elfenworks Foundation works for hope by fostering creative and technological solutions that advance change. Elfenworks identifies chasms, creates change, and amplifies success, whether promoting peace initiatives, assisting nonprofits safely navigate IT security, or helping people cope with stress through the Breathing Butterfly project.  Working together with domestic and international university partners, we are fostering a new wave of student social entrepreneurs, through teacher tools, outreach, and scholarship competitions [ http://elfenworks.org/schoolpartners/ ]. Students, we’re so proud of you. Never underestimate your ripple! Visit http://www.elfenworks.org/ripple for big and small ways to make a difference.

About Kiev Taras Schevchenko National University
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, a classic university with a distinct research profile, is the leading contemporary academic and educational hub of Ukraine. The staff at the University have a broad range of formal achievements recognized, such as the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology, as well as awards from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and branches of the National Academies of Sciences. University page at www.univ.kiev.ua/en; partnership page at www.iir.edu.ua/en/business_school.