I’m very proactive, always doing something different and working in a lot of projects at the same time. My girlfriend is my exact opposite, she’s lazy, she likes to cook and has a lot of free time, and that’s pretty cool because we can always share time together. If she were like me, we couldn’t live together. The same with my parents, my mother works as a director in a social non-profit organization and my dad is a doctor and, of course, he always has something to do. Actually, when I was a child, I wanted to be a doctor like him, but not anymore, because I couldn't be in a hospital my whole life. I need to travel and be productive in many places.

I was in high school when my teacher asked me what I want to do or be in the future. I didn’t know then, and I don’t know now. In fact, I haven’t gone to college yet, despite knowing it’s important for me to get a degree. Maybe I’ll end up studying diplomacy or Law, both are important for entrepreneurs. 

I don’t like sitting in one place, in a chair doing just my job. I can’t imagine myself sitting in an office working all day. I think I want to do whatever I like, if I can be helpful and honest. If I see that something might be good to society, I’ll always follow that vision... I need to be productive, that’s why I’m working in different startups and projects that keep me busy and focused, these can be educational or socially oriented, or about leadership.

One of my actual projects is to tell stories about homeless people in Ostrava. I feel satisfaction when I talk with them, because they have so much to tell us about their lives, about the city, the difficulties they have, things that no one would imagine. It’s interesting to hear their stories. I began not long ago, and so far I’ve realized that every one of them is different and have something else to say. Normally I talk to them for two hours and I just like to listen, sometimes they tell stories to tourists and even to inhabitants of the city.

I always remember the amazing story of a guy who lost his parents and ended up on the streets, he was some kind of prostitute for a long time, no one helped him. One day he discovered a homeless’ theater, which is the place where I found him, and now he is one of the most famous homeless man in Ostrava. He gives tours through the city. Like this, I know there are lots of similar stories, I still don't know all of them, but I think I will.

In this process I’ve broken some paradigms and presumptions. We used to think that homeless people just ask for money, but we didn’t see the other side of their lives. For example, it’s common to hear one of these guys saying “hey man, please give me some coins for food,” and the first thing we think is that he’ll use the money for beer or something. But now that I’m getting to know them, I’ve discovered that not everyone is looking for alcohol, and that not all of them are to blame for their situation. There are people who were accused of something they didn’t do, went to prison and couldn’t get a normal life ever after that. There are many reasons that no one knows and there comes all the social prejudices.

Besides helping, I want to earn my own money. I can’t live with my parent’s money for the rest of my life. That’s why I work in projects that help people and give me some earnings, unlike many other people who are getting money just signing papers but doing nothing. Maybe I’m ambitious, and I don’t know if that's good, but I want to be good, I want to be a leader and that pushes me to give my best, day by day.

Andrés Piña
Ostrava, Rep. Checa
I want to be good, I want to be a leader and that pushes me to give my best, day by day.
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