Executive Director Bulgaria
Jodi Stewart-Miteva served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria from 1999-2003. In four years, she taught over 1,000 individuals in the areas of English and computer technologies. Outside of the classroom, she launched various community initiatives that helped raise awareness of AIDS, human trafficking, women’s issues, and orphanage conditions throughout the country. In 2001, she began her work with the Roma by collaborating with other volunteers and leaders in the Roma community. Together they created motivational camps that helped children learn more about their culture, heritage and history. The camps allowed Roma youth to explore how they could help their communities and find effective voices in Bulgaria’s emerging democracy. In 2003, Jodi helped to expand the camps and allow more children to participate. As a result, the camp was replicated in three cities in Bulgaria. It was an honor and privilege for her to be a part of something so special and unique. Some of Jodi’s most memorable and rewarding experiences during her service include her work with the Roma community. There was no other organization or group that she had worked with that empowered, motivated and had as much of a positive impact on Roma youth the way these camps did.
The creation of Arete has ensured the sustainability of these worthwhile camps that have inspired and mobilized so many communities and individuals. Roma are one of the most marginalized groups in Bulgarian society and Arete gives them hope. It allows Roma to realize their potential and provides deserving individuals the opportunity for a higher education.
Jodi currently works as a Director of IT&Marketing for a nonprofit civic education organization in Washington, D.C. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org