One of the top 2019 graduates of the Social Pedagogy Program, Andriy Rubtsov, during the ceremonies at which diplomas were awarded to graduates of the Health Sciences Faculty shared his impressions on study and self-development at the Ukrainian Catholic University.
Through four years of study, the Ukrainian Catholic University became for me significantly more than simply an institution of higher education. In order to understand me better, I will characterize what I am grateful to the university for.
UCU is about people. UCU is about possibilities. UCU is about love.
People. Those who made UCU what we know it to be today. Regardless of some hardships and a number of challenges that lay on the path of the university’s development, these people, with God’s help, achieved that which now draws the interest of people from various corners of the world. I am grateful that I was able to spend time among people who, in their daily activities, inspire and motivate movement forward. I want to thank sincerely the administration of the university, the staff, students, each and all, because you made my time here the best experience in my life.
Possibilities. Often enough we hear that “UCU is a smorgasbord of possibilities.” But I would dare to modify this phrase slightly, adding that “UCU is a smorgasbord of possibilities” which lead you to implement positive changes. In order to express in the best way possible my thoughts about possibilities, I will share my own experience.
As I was finishing my studies at school, I, perhaps like a number of other graduates, didn’t know what I wanted to do next. During my years at school, I never imagined that I would have the possibility to implement changes in my local environment, influencing the welfare of those around me and that, with small steps, it is truly possible to reach a great goal. UCU, thanks to its “smorgasbord” of possibilities, helped me in this.
Studying in the Social Pedagogy Program (now called Social Work UCU), I knew from the first year that, for us as students to successfully complete a bachelor’s degree, it was necessary to implement a social project. At the start of the fourth year, we received the assignment of the social pedagogy project from the acting director of the Lviv Education Foundation, Marjana Kashchak, now with specific requirements. Eventually, my classmates Viktoria Skira, Khrystyna Kupcheva and I launched our social project BullyBunny. After successfully implementing it in schools of the Lviv Region, we started receiving invitations to participate in public events on the theme of bullying. In particular, we presented our project to Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko during his visit to UCU. Also, materials about our initiative were published on one of my favorite resources, Platforma. I believe that this is a new stage in the development of our project, which began with our social internships.
In particular, I want to mention our student government, for that’s the place where I found my potential and learned to take responsibility. So now I thank everyone who in one way or another was involved in the preparation and partaking of this “smorgasbord of possibilities.”
Love. I mention that love is one of the key factors in the university’s success. Love of God, love of neighbor, love of everyone around you. I am grateful that the university pointed this out and taught me that love demands nothing in return. Our whole big community is built on this idea.
I am grateful that I have the pride to carry the title of a graduate of the Ukrainian Catholic University. Nevertheless, we graduates have to remember that, in addition to pride, this is an exceptionally great responsibility. So it is still necessary to witness, serve, and communicate, in all the environments in which we will find ourselves.