We believe that words are powerful, and can engage diverse viewpoints to contribute to the well-being of societies.
By providing English-language speech and debate tournaments, student leadership opportunities, and international programming to Bulgarian students, the BEST Foundation promotes critical thinking skills and free thought so as to foster a community of engaged, democratically-minded citizens who are committed to creating a bright future for Bulgaria.
BEST accomplishes its mission through the following activities:
Regional, national and international speech and debate tournaments for high school students in Bulgaria and the larger Balkan community
Trainings for high school students, coaches, tournament judges and volunteers
Professional development through internships with the BEST management team and the Student Leader program, a formal year-long leadership development program for experienced BEST participants
Though no two experiences through BEST are alike, the following characterizes significant patterns of change experienced through participation in BEST’s programming:
1) Exposure: Through BEST, participants are exposed to new ideas, views, and perspectives.
2) Conviction: Participants then begin to care about certain idea(s) that they have been exposed to.
3) Education: Once they find an idea they care more about, they begin to learn more about this idea, and become more critically aware of what is going on.
4) Action: Based on what participants have learned and care about, they take action. Action can take many different forms.