This year, Bohdan Somchynskyi, a student of the Department of Industrial Marketing of the FMM, and until recently, the Deputy Chairman of the Student Council of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, became the winner of the Kyiv Mayor's Award for Special Achievements of Youth in the Development of the Capital of Ukraine - the Hero City of Kyiv in the nomination "Contribution to the Development of the Youth Movement". A correspondent of "Kyiv Polytechnic" met with the youth activist.

- Congratulations, Bohdan. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute students have always been distinguished by their cohesion and active citizenship. However, they usually received honors and awards for participating in professional competitions/ Olympiads. You were recognized as a youth leader. When you were choosing your future university, did you plan to do community service?

- I must admit, this is an unexpected question. I'll start with the fact that until I was 17, I lived in the city of Kovel in Volyn, a town of 70,000 people. A city with its own unhurried everyday life. I was not an activist at school. I chose Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute not only to gain knowledge, but also for comprehensive development and teaming up with friends/colleagues. The university provides ample opportunities for this.

- Were you disappointed with student life? Did you find an opportunity to realize yourself?

- Yes, from the first year I started working in the KPI Student Council and tried to keep abreast of university events. But for the first year or two, I could not call myself a very purposeful or active person, I rather just went with the flow. I studied, played computer games, sometimes helped students resolve conflicts with teachers, participated in planning the work of the Student Council or writing some business papers.

- What happened next, what was the impetus for change?

- After the end of the 2nd year, everything changed dramatically. The covid epidemic began, and while I was in Volyn, I plunged into depression, you could say I dove deep (smiles sadly). After all, I was forcibly "pulled out" of the active youth environment, deprived of a social circle and the opportunity to act/create in this circle. I'm 19 years old, what have I achieved? I realized that my goal/dream is to live in a big, bustling city, to take an active part in creating the present - here and now, to contribute to the development of the country.

Since then, everything has changed. I returned to Kyiv, deleted all the games, started participating in everything I could, became the head of the KPI Student Council department, an expert at the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance, and so on. In my 4th year, I was elected deputy chairman of the Student Council, launched the blood donation project "On the Pulse" with my colleagues, submitted a dozen projects aimed at developing the city to the Kyiv Public Budget, and much more.

- And then February 24, 2022, happened, dividing our lives into "before" and "after."

- I met the full-scale invasion in Kyiv. He refused to move to his parents' house in Volyn and immediately started organizing blood donations. On February 25, after standing in line for 7 hours, he donated blood. Also, from the first day, together with his friends from the Student Council, he joined the newly created Solomianskyi District Charitable Foundation, which still helps defenders, rescuers, and civilians. We create and implement projects that bring Ukraine's victory closer.

And then, in March 2022, while Russian troops were standing near Kyiv, he organized volunteers who collected and packed everything necessary for the military and civilians, was responsible for supplying items from the Kyiv railway station and searching for and distributing camouflage nets, delivered military equipment to checkpoints, etc. After the liberation of the Kyiv region, he participated in humanitarian trips to the de-occupied territories, conducted mine safety lessons, first aid and tactical medicine trainings, stocked first aid kits for the military and equipment for sappers, organized cultural events, etc. When the energy terror began - racist attacks on critical infrastructure and power outages - I became the coordinator of five points of invincibility in different parts of the city. I think it was for this activity that I received the Kyiv Mayor's Award, which rightfully belongs to all my friends and colleagues with whom I worked during those difficult days.

- So, the front line has retreated from the borders of Kyiv region, although air raids do not allow us to relax, KPI has started to study. What do you do now?

- I graduated from KPI with a bachelor's degree in economics and am now a second-year master's student majoring in management. In addition, realizing Russia's goal of destroying the energy sector, I decided to be useful in this area. I started working at DTEK, the largest private investor in the energy sector in Ukraine. I try my hand at the corporate finance department and the strategy and business development department. I help my more experienced colleagues in finding investments, interacting with current and potential investors, analyzing the energy market, calculating and analyzing the company's financial position, etc. I am the youngest in the team and, frankly, I still have a lot to learn.

- Do you plan to continue working in the energy sector?

- As long as the energy sector suffers from Russian aggression, I plan to stay here. And when the country starts to recover after the end of hostilities, there will be a lot of work there too. There are many things to do, and who else but us.

- What would you like to do in peacetime?

- After the victory, I'm very interested in inclusion and the sports sector. (The young man loves athletics and team sports - football, basketball.) Of course, it's prestigious to be a top manager of a large corporation (dreamy). Or to start your own business. Time will tell.

- You've become a person who is visible in your environment, you are consulted and listened to. What would you like to say to younger colleagues who have not yet decided on their preferences and aspirations?

- Do not stand still. This time, while you are young and full of energy, is worth investing in your future and the future of the country. Study, both at the university and on your own, learn English, take an active part in the life of the university, and help Ukraine win this war in every way possible.

Interview by Nadiya Libert