"My mother supported me in achieving the best possible results, enrolling faculty and completing it. She has finished only primary school, and from her own personal experience she made sure that I do not follow her footsteps."
Marija is currently attending an internship at a Lawyer’s office and at the same time preparing for bar exam. Being from Kruševac, she graduated from the Faculty of Law in Niš. During her studies in Niš, she was always trying to finish all her obligations at the faculty as soon as possible, so that she could return home to Kruševac and spend as much time with her mother. During her education, Marija had the greatest support from her mother.
“My mother supported me in achieving the best possible results, enrolling faculty and completing it. She has finished only primary school, and from her own personal experience she made sure that I do not follow her footsteps.”
Marija points out that young people should think about their education on time and set long-term goals for themselves. She states that graduating from faculty is one of the basic things needed for finding a good job, then providing for family and achieving independence. She adds that intelligence is not crucial for graduating from faculty, but hard work and effort, persistence and patience are crucial, and success then comes on its own. Marija had a great desire for success and self-improvement, and the only thing she was lacking during her studies was financial support.
“REF RMUSP program helped me the most and I don’t know how I would survive in another city without it. Young Roma should use all the available opportunities, because there is no use in doing nothing. I have found the Call for Applications for RMUSP on the Internet, applied and achieved my goal – became a REF scholar and overcame financial difficulties.”
During final year of her studies, Marija became a mother, which is why her persistence in achieving goals was further strengthened. After she graduated from faculty, she had to decide between several options, but kept her long-term thinking – what does she need to do in order to fulfil conditions for Bar Association enrollment? The answer to that question was completing a two-years long internship at a Lawyer’s office. Even though she knew that the internship at a Lawyer’s office is not being paid, Marija did not give up, bearing in mind that after completed internship, her costs of Bar Association enrollment will be significantly lower. For several months, Marija was looking for a Lawyer’s office where she could do her internship, but unsuccessfully. Finally, recommended by a fellow lawyer, she was invited for an interview with a lawyer who runs her own office. The next day, her internship began, and that lawyer is still her mentor, from whose experience she learns every day.
Marija then began her internship without any compensation. However, in the meantime, she informed herself in more detail about the active employment policy measures implemented by National Employment Service. She applied for a Professional practice open call and obtained a compensation for a period of one year.
“I did not hope to receive any compensation during the second year of my internship too, and the costs of taking the bar exam are extremely high. I was given an exceptional opportunity within the project “Employment Empowerment of Young Roma – phase 2″, so during the second year of my internship I received a paid internship and preparatory classes for taking the bar exam. There was no other way I could receive that kind of support. That is why during my internship I tried to be the one who can provide support to someone else. I do my best to help Roma community by giving legal advices and preparing submissions.”
By the end of the year, Marija will pass the bar exam, enroll the Bar Association and become a lawyer. The goal is to start her own Lawyers office, through whose work she will continue providing legal aid to Roma community – and goals that Marija sets for herself, she manages to achieve them.