Igniting Dreams: The Transformative Power of Volunteering

In a world full of challenges and uncertainties, there is an ever-present need for inspiration and guidance, especially among the young.

This year, we selected a group of extraordinary volunteers from the UiPath community of employees with captivating life stories willing to share their learnings as a part of the second edition of Inspirational Speakers. The project is dedicated to the kids in the Future Acceleration Program, and is meant to expand their horizons and help them pave their path to the future.

The second edition of Inspirational Speakers

Six exceptional volunteers came together to motivate and uplift the kids, and through their heartfelt responses, the children gained a few glimpses into the ups and downs of their lives, on the lessons they’ve learned along the way and how they garner the transformative power of their stories.

Every year, this project leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the children fortunate enough to receive their words of wisdom, so let us celebrate the invaluable role our volunteers play in shaping the future of our world, one story at a time.

Dana Maria Vasiliu, Senior Manager at UiPath & our volunteer

Meet Dana, enthusiastic emotion seeker

How do you believe your personal experience benefits the children in the program?

We humans learn best when we don’t know we’re learning…through stories. This was my deepest motivation to sign up as an Inspirational Speaker.

Stories allow us to empathise and experience. This motivates and inspires. “Emotions” is the best word to describe me and through them, I wanted to encourage kids to aspire to be the best version of themselves, to dream, to act and be confident!


What is the moment that stands out to you from your session?

I realised again that we cannot change our past. It is good to focus on the present and the future. Sharing my life map showed me on one side how lucky the kids are to discover our stories, how easy we can create impact and on the other side I see me now, I know who I am, what I want to become.

I am what I am today because of the good or bad decisions I made.

Meet Cristina, human accelerator & learning enthusiast

How do you believe your personal experience benefits the children in the program?

The motivation to join this program is closely tied to my personal mission: to have a positive impact on as many people as I can. I wanted to show the children that they can dream and follow what they set out to do, no matter what. In my life, I have had to overcome many obstacles. I’m grateful for them, however, because I’ve also got the chance to learn things I probably couldn’t have otherwise. Now, I got the opportunity to impart some of those learnings with children who needed to hear my message, just like I would have, when I was their age. I told a story about how you can look for and create opportunities for yourself, even if you feel stuck. A story that showed how wings can grow (back) with time, even if it’s hard. A story to instill courage and curiosity, and to nudge them to learn with intention, as every second can hold a valuable lesson that might help one build their future. I don’t believe in failure. I believe in gaining wisdom and building up resilience to navigate even the most difficult situations. I truly hope my story helped the children in the program toward that perspective, as well, for a bright future.


What is the moment that stands out to you from your session?

I was reminded to more often take moments to exercise gratitude and offer appreciation to those around me. The time spent with the kids was refreshing, full of warmth, and it made my heart glow. I am so lucky to have encountered wonderful people along the way who guided me in tough times and showed me to see the best in every situation, as well as people and situations that challenged me to evolve, as tricky as they were! Thank you, children, for the wonderful energy surge I got from you, and for the reminder to give more thanks!

Cristina Danovschi, Senior Learning Developer at UiPath & our volunteer

Andrei Erghelegiu, Product Manager at UiPath & our volunteer

Meet Andrei, dad, husband & amateur photographer

How do you believe your personal experience benefits the children in the program?

I categorise myself as a generalist, because in my work role I’ve done a lot of jobs, from testing, developing, project management to my current role in product management. This is because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my work role and I had to try things out. My motivation to be an Inspirational Speaker is that we should always give something back to our society and I think that speaking about my experience I can show to children that nothing is impossible and you should not be afraid of trying things out.


What is the moment that stands out to you from your session?

It was a funny moment in one of the sessions, where a kid asked me if I also made voices from characters in cartoons because I sound a lot like Batman. I didn’t, but it made me think maybe I should try some acting classes in my free time. There are always things to learn from everybody, and from the sessions I learned that I need to be careful with what I say, because otherwise the kids will deviate very easily from the meeting subject. (context: I said that I was a game tester for Ubisoft and all the kids started asking what games do I play…with a very long list of games, some of them I haven’t even heard about).

Meet Irina, lifelong learner & IT Project Manager

How do you believe your personal experience benefits the children in the program?

As I’ve grown older and navigated the hardships of personal life and the jungle we call work/career, I realised I didn’t really have role models I looked up to, because none of those people resembled me and the storms I’ve always encountered along the way. Everyone seemed to know the path they were on, and I have felt like a misfit, at times. Not that I would think of myself being anywhere near a role model for the kids in the program, which I guess is the point. Instead, being able to be vulnerable and share the fact that no adult has their life together, and that it’s okay to try out different things and make mistakes along the way – that can help the kids that feel lost to become more emotionally healthy adults. I feel it’s important to model not only something inspirational, but also something real, and give them slices of hope mixed with the best intentions and down to earth advice. Bottom line is I wish I had heard all I’m saying now, when I was younger. So I can only hope I’ll be that someone for a kid who needs to hear it.


What is the moment that stands out to you from your session?

At the end of my presentation, a boy asked me (and rightly so, after I have went through my vast work experience in so many different domains!) if I regretted any of it, any of my choices. It was such a strong question coming from a kid, and it instantly made me gasp for air. The truth was no, I never regretted any of it, cause no harm was ever done, none that was irreparable, anyway. And after all, all my choices had brought me to UiPath and enabled me to be present that day and talk to them. I said it with an open heart and it made me so happy to have been there for the kids that day!

Irina Cetverousov, Team Lead at UiPath & our volunteer

Izabella Geapană, Program Manager at UiPath & our volunteer

Meet Izabella, lifelong learner & inspirational speaker

How do you believe your personal experience benefits the children in the program?

I think we live in an era where you can  have 4 different lives into one, and can connect with people from a great variety of backgrounds as my experiences span from the rural pre-technology setup, to a fully digital one. And my story can serve as inspiration to many.

My kids were my motivation for signing up to be an Inspirational Speaker. They’ve encouraged me, consulted and supported me into selecting the right stories and telling the ones that are the most age-appropriate/ relevant for the audience.


What is the moment that stands out to you from your session?

Their willingness to look for ways to find inner motivation even for the subjects that are not their strong points and have very little traction for. From these kids, I learned an important lesson: that personal preference for passion doesn’t need external validation. If they have passion for something they show up and own it.

Meet Alin, experience seeker & sports addict

How do you believe your personal experience benefits the children in the program?

I believe that the children of today are the adults of tomorrow. Since the children in the program are in the period when they become more independent and start experiencing the natural consequences of their behaviour, I found this a great moment to share some of my personal experiences so far.

Just like my peers from the program, I had ups and downs throughout my personal and professional life, and I truly hope that, throughout their life, the children will be inspired at least by one of them, to use it as advice from a friend.


What is the moment that stands out to you from your session?

At some point in my session, I showed them a picture of myself holding a trophy and some of the reactions were: ”How did you feel when holding the trophy?”. It was obvious to me that they have the desire to succeed and that it’s important for them to build their personality and strengths through authentic, direct contact with real-life experiences that can help them develop their curiosity and self-confidence.

Alin Copoiu, Senior Product Manager at UiPath & our volunteer

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