So, full disclosure: we have an amazing staff here at the NDF, and we’re partial to them. We get to come to work every single day and collaborate with like-minded, kind-hearted individuals who are passionate about what they do, and have awesome, inspiring reasons for why they do it.
We’d like for you to get to know them the way we do: as friends and partners in our quest to make available a quality preschool education to every child in Serbia and beyond- so that no child is ever left behind.
Who is Bojana Rangelov and what’s so interesting about her?
Bojana Rangelov is just one of those people who you meet and immediately think there’s something special about her. She has this twinkly, undefinable quality that not only animates her person but changes the very air around her: she brings an infectious positivity to everything and every person she encounters.
One word that comes specifically to mind when thinking about our Bojana is joy– she both embraces it in her own life and takes great delight when others find joy of their own. It’s this lovely ability she has to unselfconsciously celebrate the lives and the successes of others that makes Bojana uniquely qualified for her role as a project manager assistant at the NDF, where each day she diligently works to improve the lives of children in her native country of Serbia.
Bojana didn’t first come to the NDF as an employee. As a matter of fact, Bojana first came to us as a volunteer: giving freely of her time and skills because of her love of children and her belief in their potential. The quality of her work and the passion with which she executed her tasks showed us very quickly that she cared deeply for our cause. We as a foundation greatly value and esteem individuals who display an enthusiasm for learning and a desire to continually better themselves and their environments; and Bojana is truly the epitome of just such a person. And while her time as a volunteer for the NDF was of great importance to the development of our programs, she is quick to clarify that she considers her time as a volunteer to be valuable on a very personal level as well.
Volunteering for an organization like the NDF allowed me to learn what it truly means to give of yourself and to do good for others. You know, it was as a volunteer that I realized that you can only truly receive in life when you first are able to give, which is why it is so important to value the chances you get to help others, she told me one rainy afternoon.
Bojana was quick to make friends in our offices, and her familiar laugh often brightens up an afternoon. I wonder if she has any specific anecdotes to share with the world at large about any office shenanigans. (Because with Bojana, you just sense there’s a shenanigan or two up her sleeve.) She laughs.
Well, you know there are no shortage of funny moments in our office, because we are a young and energetic team, especially in spirit. No single story comes to mind, but it is because the atmosphere in our office is such that every day is filled with jokes and laughter.
I asked her:
So, were you pleased when you were offered a paid position here?
She answers with conviction, because for all her humor and light she is also remarkably focused and passionate about her work.
Beginning my professional career as a member of the NDF team was the best start I could have possibly hoped for, which is why I feel a deep responsibility to give my all to the work I have been entrusted with. It’s the most important thing to me, working for these children.
And her professional hopes for the future?
She plans to learn as much as she can and to continue to expand her knowledge and skill set, things she hopes to share with the NDF team so that the team can keep growing together. I think how typical that is of her, that her hopes for herself naturally swing back to her hopes for others. It really demonstrates her deeper belief in what we’re capable of as a whole, when each member of a team is passionate and committed to their work,
What might be something we don’t know about you already? I ask.
Well, most people tend to know a lot of what there is to know about me because I talk a lot, but I guess something that most people don’t know about me is that, like everyone I suppose, I also have my sad or angry or frustrated moments. I just don’t often share them.
And what do you do when you feel that way?
She walks around the city she loves.
Belgrade is so beautiful by foot. Walking always gives me time to think. Good days or bad days. In fact, my perfect day would be a day in which I complete all of my tasks so I can spend time with my family and friends. And if the weather is nice, take a long, leisurely stroll through the city.
Lastly, and just because I’m curious, I ask her who her favorite colleague is, and she scrunches her nose a little in thought.
It’s tough to pick a favorite when the whole team feels like a big family to me. But perhaps two individuals with whom I am closest to in spirit and with whom I am able to share the most with are Andjelka and Maja. But every member of this team has an important place in my heart.
Believe us, Bojana. The feeling is mutual.