The United Macedonian Diaspora (Canada) proudly announces eight recipients of the 2015 UMD John L. N. Bitove, C.M. Macedonian Heritage Scholarship Awards (UMD Bitove Scholarship) in the amount of $1,500 each: Natasha Carovska, Zharko Daniloski, Natasia Kalajdziovski, Mile Lazarevski, Stefan Milevski, Boban Petrovikj, Tamara Popovska, and Filip Simeski.
Four out of the eight scholarships were generously donated by the Fruit of the Spirit Foundation, for a total of $6,000, in memory of Pavle and Fania Klashovski. UMD Canada cannot express enough gratitude to the Fruit of the Spirit Foundation for matching this year’s scholarships.
This is the largest amount of money to the most students UMD (Canada) has given scholarships to in a given year. With this year’s scholarship, UMD (Canada) has provided over $50,000 in funds to ardent and outstanding students of Macedonian heritage worldwide.
“Congratulations Natasha, Zharko, Natasia, Mile, Stefan, Boban, Tamara, and Filip – keep making us proud! This investment in your education is an investment into your future, which we are certain will be promising,” said UMD (Canada) Director Jim Daikos. “Thank you to the late Mr. Bitove, Mrs. Bitove, the entire family, the Bitove Foundation, and the Fruit of the Spirit Foundation in memory of the late Pavle and Fania Klashovski for believing in us and making this possible – we are indebted to their generosity in furthering our youth’s higher education.”
"My family and I congratulate these eight talented individuals on receiving this year's UMD Bitove Scholarship - we are certain their dedication and hard work will make us very proud in the future. My father was very proud of UMD's work and would have been pleased with all of these recipients. We thank Fruit of the Spirt Foundation for rising to the challenge to match this year's scholarship program and paving the way for others to get involved in providing resources for our youth's higher education," said Vonna Bitove, Executive Director of the Bitove Foundation.
Biographies of the recipients:
Natasha Carovska was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, to Macedonian parents Ljupco and Vesna Carovski, who originated from Kukurecani (Bitola), Macedonia. Natasha is currently a full time student at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA, majoring in Digital Media with a focus on film. Natasha also works part time as a teacher’s assistant. She hopes to one day become a concept and visual effects artist and even a full time director. She has won many awards, which include 1st place for the 31st Congressional District Competition. Her painting titled "The Life of My Community" was exhibited in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. for one year. Natasha has also placed first in the regional and national Latino Art Beat Competition to which she received a scholarship to The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and in Mayor Antonio Villaragiosa's Latino Heritage Month competition. She has received both a Duane Hagen Scholarship and The Christa McAuliffe Scholarship, both which celebrate young and aspiring artists and promote the arts. She has exhibited in various shows and exhibitions such as "Sacred Memories: Cross Cultural Celebrations of the Dead” located in Downtown Los Angeles as well as in the Gabba Gallery for their collage exhibition titled “Kool Layed.” She has also had her work featured in the Painted Monkey and on the cover of Xtra News. In the summer of 2013, Natasha was given the opportunity to work on a commercial where she conceptualized and styled the fashion and wardrobe to be used in the piece. Natasha’s main dream and goal is to conceptualize, script and direct her own Macedonian film telling her family's story.
Zharko Daniloski is a PhD student at New York University in New York. He was born and raised in Kichevo, Macedonia. As a high school student, he participated in numerous national and international science competitions including ISWEEP project competition in Houston, Texas and INEPO competition in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he won several awards. He decided to continue his passion for science at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany where he obtained a Bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Zharko was a teaching assistant for several courses and he earned the president’s list honors for every semester at Jacobs University. As a result of his outstanding performance and interest in science he was accepted to pursue his PhD degree at New York University. Working towards his PhD, he co-authored a scientific article and received his MSc degree in Cell Biology in 2014. Currently he is conducting exciting research in cancer biology where he is trying to understand how specific gene mutations contribute to cancer initiation and progression. In the future he plans to stay in academia and he hopes that his research will contribute to better understanding of cancer and lead to novel treatment therapies.
Natasia Kalajdziovski is a first-year PhD candidate at Middlesex University in London, England. She is currently based at the university’s School of Law, where she was awarded a fully-funded research studentship to complete her studies. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on moral conduct in intelligence practice and counter-terrorism as it pertains to domestic conflicts in liberal democratic states. Natasia holds a first-class MA (Hons) from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London and a BA (Hons) from the University of Toronto, where she was the recipient of both the Pinkham Family Scholarship and the Anne Marjorie Beer Scholarship. Resulting from research conducted in her MA year, she was published in the Georgetown Security Studies Review, and this publication would go on to form the basis of her doctoral studies. Prior to the commencement of her doctorate, Natasia worked at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, interned at the Security Governance Group and was a lead analyst with the G8 Research Group, where her work was published numerous times in collaborative reports. Most recently, she completed a research position at Analytica think tank in Skopje as part of UMD’s inaugural “Birthright Macedonia” program, where she published a policy report on intelligence oversight and transparency.
Mile Lazarevski is currently in his third year of studies at Concordia University in Montreal, pursuing a double major in Public Affairs and Geography. In 2015, he was the recipient of the Campaign for the New Millennium Student Contribution Bursary. In his spare time and since 2013, he’s been volunteering at Entraide Bénévole Métro, a non- profit organization dedicated to helping seniors through an array of services. An important aspect of his life has been to learn and embrace other cultures. As such, he has dedicated much time to travelling that has taking him across the world. Mile was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
Stefan Milevski was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is currently a third year medical student at the University of Melbourne, having previously completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine where he earned Dean’s list honours in his third year. He received a scholarship through the John Flynn Placement Program, allowing him to experience healthcare in rural and remote Australia. He also received the Sir John Eccles Summer Vacation Research Scholarship during his Bachelors, which gave him invaluable experience in a laboratory. Upon completing medical school, Stefan hopes to intern and then pursue specialist training.
In addition to his studies, Stefan has vast experience in several student and community organisations. Stefan has volunteered with the Melbourne University Health Initiative in fundraising roles as well as the organising of public lecture events with prominent scientific and medical speakers. This student run charity aims to make a constructive difference in local and international health issues.
Stefan has also played an active role in his local Macedonian community, having founded the Macedonian Youth Initiative based at the St. Dimitrij Solunski Macedonian Orthodox Church in Melbourne’s southeast. The main aim of the initiative is to guide young Macedonians of the parish with their educational needs through fortnightly mentoring sessions where students receive free help with their schoolwork.
Stefan’s paternal grandparents immigrated to Australia in the 1950’s from the Prespa region of the Republic of Macedonia, whilst his maternal grandparents originate from the Prespa and Kratovsko regions. His grandparents’ values of hard work and persistence continue to inspire Stefan in everything that he does.
Stefan would like to thank the UMD and Bitove Foundation for encouraging young Macedonians to pursue their passions.
Boban Petrovikj was born on February 3,1990 in Skopje Macedonia, to Ljubisa and Svetlana Petrovikj. He has two sisters Bojana and Aleksandra. As a young boy, Boban had a passion for the arts, and at the age of six started dancing with the ensemble Aleksandar Makedonski. He found that his talents were not restricted to dancing when started learning how to play instruments such as the accordion. Boban attended “DMBUC Ilija Nikolovski Luj,” where he chose to specialize in professional Macedonian dancing as well as playing the kaval. Throughout high school and ensemble Aleksandar Makedonski, he had many chances to perform in many other European countries. After he graduated high school, he was accepted at “Goce Delcev” University in Macedonia. Here he continued developing his skills in Macedonian arts and traditions. After two years at “Goce Delcev”, Boban heard about the ensemble Tamburtizans at Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and thought it was the perfect opportunity. Being accepted to Duquesne, and the Tammies, Boban’s dream of coming to America would be fulfilled. He is majoring in Web Design and Development and minoring in Business. In addition to his studies and performing with the Tammies, Boban also dedicated himself to several jobs. In his spear time Boban enjoys being surrounded by his friends and loves making memories. In the future after he graduates, his goal is to find a successful job and eventually open his own business.
Tamara Popovska was born in Stip, Macedonia in 1997 and moved with her family to the United States in 2002. She grew up in Chicago, IL, visiting Lake Michigan often, where she developed a passion for marine organisms and ecosystems. During high school, she was a leader in her school’s IB Student Leadership program where she organized community service projects, in addition to her volunteer work in the Forest Preserves of the District of Cook County and internship at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Tamara earned her International Bachelorette Diploma from Taft High School and graduated as salutatorian.
She was awarded the Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship, a full tuition scholarship to attend the University of Miami in fall 2015. She is double majoring in Marine Science and Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She has conducted lab work with various marine organisms including dolphins, aplysia, and copepods, and is looking forward to studying abroad in Australia her sophomore year. In her spare time, she is a member of APO, the co-ed national service fraternity, as well as various marine science clubs on the university’s campus.
Filip Simeski was born on December 3, 1994 in Skopje, Macedonia. He lived there for eighteen years before moving to Providence, RI to pursue his undergraduate studies in Engineering at Brown University. Filip started exhibiting his organizational and leadership abilities through various academic and extracurricular activities during high school. During this time, he was often awarded for his knowledge and skills at both the national and international level. Since coming to Brown, Filip not only excels in his studies, but also has taken on numerous leadership positions in various student organizations both on- and off-campus. Most notably, he is one of the founders of the Macedonian Association at Brown University and was president of the Brown International Organization. Filip works as Research Assistant to Prof. Keith Brown in the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Institute for International and Public Affairs and as an Undergraduate Researcher in Prof. Jennifer Franck’s group in Computational Fluid Dynamics at Brown University School of Engineering. For his research work, Filip was awarded the Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Research and Teaching Award. After his graduation from Brown in May 2017, he hopes to go on to graduate school in Fluid Mechanics. Filip attributes his hitherto success to the traits obtained from his family and traditional Macedonian upbringing, and aspires to contribute to society by applying his knowledge to world problems.