Youth Heroes of Serbia Announced

Winners of the second national competition “Youth Heroes”, initiated by EXIT Foundation in cooperation with NIS, were announced in a ceremony in Novi Sad and Serbia got a new generation of youth heroes.

The competition was announced early this year and a jury of experts selected the best 17 candidates from across Serbia, who were awarded for their achievements in four fields: education/science, entrepreneurship/creative industry, social activism and culture/art.

The competition is aimed at presenting successful young people to the public and promoting them, so they could become inspiration, pride and role models to the generations to come.

The competition was announced early this year and a jury of experts selected the best 17 candidates from across Serbia, who were awarded for their achievements in four fields: education/science, entrepreneurship/creative industry, social activism and culture/art. The most winners were selected in the field of education and science, and they include secondary-school and university students.

The award ceremony also included a panel discussion entitled “Are You Born a Hero or Do You Become One?”

The “Youth Heroes” project was supported as part of the “Together for the Community” programme of NIS for the purpose of improving, helping and supporting young people in Serbia. This is the second consecutive year that NIS and EXIT have announced a competition for youth heroes, whose chief purpose is to promote successful young people.

The award ceremony also included a panel discussion entitled “Are You Born a Hero or Do You Become One?” with the following participants: Milan Raspopović, a former headmaster of the Mathematical Grammar School, Snežana Lakićević, on behalf of NIS, and award winners Mihailo Martinović, Valerija Spasojević, Ana Vrtačnik and Nikola Ranković.

Prize winners:

The first prize in the field of education and science for secondary-school students and graduates was won by Mihajlo Sporić, a multiple winner of gold medals in Olympiads and state champion in Physics and Astronomy. The second prize was won by Marta Avramović, who invented an aid for the blind and partially sighted, while the third prize went to Tijana Stanić, a student of Molecular Biology at Yale University.

When it comes to university students and graduates, the winner in the field of education and science is Mihailo Martinović, a holder of two PhDs, in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The second prize was won by Đorđe Đurica, whose research facilitated electronic transactions, and the third prize went to Ivan Zalatel, a young Teaching Assistant at the Medical School.

The first prize in the field of social activism was given to Jovan Milić, who helps young people living in poor conditions. The second prize was won by Milan Srdić, a disabled person who teaches others of the importance of not giving up by example, while the third prize was won by Jelena Ognjanović, an Art History graduate whose mission is to make art closer to everyone.

Valerija Spasojević is the winner of the “Youth Heroes” competition in the field of entrepreneurship and creative industries. She got an award of NASA for creating a smart suit for astronauts. The second prize went to Ognjen Vlaškalin, whose platform “Outimagine” makes it possible for young innovators in the region to place their inventions and ideas in the global market. Jovana Lea Simić is a heroine who used traditional jam to create a Serbian brand, whereas Lazar Jovanović devised remote plant watering by text message and became the hero of modern Serbian agriculture accordingly.

The first prize in the field of art and culture was won by young painter Ana Vrtačnik, the second prize went to Dušan Čeganjac, a world champion in accordion playing, and the third prize was given to Ana Krstajić, a young composer and future student of the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

A special prize was awarded to Nikola Ranković, a thirteen-year-old resident of Belgrade and the youngest musician and humanist who released a rock and roll album featuring songs composed and performed by him.

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NIS is one of the largest vertically integrated energy companies in Southeast Europe. Its principal activities are exploration, production and refining, sales and distribution of a broad range of petroleum products, as well as the implementation of petrochemical and energy projects. Read more at http://www.nis.eu/en/about-us

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