Blue Heron Foundation
NURTURING RESILIENCE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
THIRD CONFERENCE OF ROMANIAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONALS
June 5th 2021
Community civic engagement and social entrepreneurship panel:
The second presentation of the panel on community civic engagement and social entrepreneurship was the Founding President of Blue Heron Foundation in Los Angeles, Mrs. Stefania Magidson, whose organization was featured during the previous annual conference for its program of excellence within the national diaspora with the largest palpable impact on the lives of disadvantaged youth in Romania and Moldova. An advisory board member of the IRF, Mrs. Magidson brings a long-term perspective on the effective mobilization of remarkable diaspora professionals who give back as mentors and donors actively involved in the lives of young scholarship recipients in the two countries. Blue Heron foundation has provided steadfast assistance for almost two decades primarily to orphans in Romania or to youth from harsh social backgrounds. About 10% of the scholarship recipients graduate medical schools in Romania and even within the restrictive pandemic environment Blue Heron was able to support 95 students in Romania and 50 in the Republic of Moldova at a cost of about two hundred thousand dollars. Their interventions at critical formative years in the lives of this youth and the supervised mentoring create lifetime bonds and vestment in the success of these young people. A truly commendable effort rests in the reach of the foundation throughout the two countries in the poorest undeserved communities, not just in major urban centers more accessible to international non-profits. The organization adapted to virtual peer support meetings both for the youth and for the volunteering mentors, realizing that such socialization must supplement acute needs in times of physical distancing. Raising to the moment, Blue Heron Foundation accepted 50 new scholarship recipients, twice the number of annual grantees and the diaspora donors stepped up commitments allowing them to function beyond their usual capacity accessing the services of lawyers and psycho-social therapists and several other professionals who assisted as needed in timely addressing challenges. Mrs. Stefania Magidson invited participants, members of the scientific diaspora to get involved as mentors and donors and spread the word about this program in their local communities.