Bulgaria is Stone & Compass’s home away from home. In the small, central village of Stolat we own 2,200 acres of land that we call The Center, complete with a 980 square foot restored barn, 18 bedrooms, a fire pit, and a pool. The Center is used for service learning trips, educational programs, international forums, and more.
Stone & Compass recently purchased a communist era theater in Stolat that is in the process of being restored. Our vision for the theater is to provide storefronts for local business opportunities, refurbish the existing theatre for children to celebrate arts and culture, create a medical clinic to provide much needed health services to the local community, and establish a school, library, and museum to promote education and cultural preservation. During our 2020 service learning trips to Bulgaria, students will help clean up and restore the theater, eventually turning it into a community and cultural center for Stolat by housing a library, museum, theater, free health clinic, and classroom space. The theater will be open for anyone in Stolat to use for any reason that applies.
With our real estate agents, Stone & Compass is researching the opportunity to purchase a new property in Vidin so that we can expand our programs to this region and help revitalize North Western Bulgaria. Stone & Compass is building a cafe business to bring foods from around the world to Bulgaria. Our first cafe will be located in Veliko Tarnovo with future cafes opening up in Plovdiv, Sofia, Burgas, Varna and Vidin. In addition, we are developing a sustainable honey business in Stolat. Soon we will be expanding our hives to Vidin with a goal of 500 hives producing honey to the public.
In addition, we are partnered with multiple Bulgarian entities to preserve archeological excavations, run service learning programs, teach English as a second language, and run free summer camps for local Bulgarian youth. The students will also meet with local high school kids in Veliko Tarnovo to participate in a cultural exchange. Activities include interactive games and learning about one another’s similarities and differences in culture.
Grace is a freshman at Fitchburg State University where she is studying Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Her studies will focus on international politics. She also intends to play lacrosse at Fitchburg. She first traveled with Stone & Compass to Bulgaria in the summer of 2018 and went back to Bulgaria in 2019. Shortly after her return, she joined the Intern Program. She will be traveling to the Azores in 2020 and hopes to work with Stone & Compass on future projects designed to help many different people around the world.
Annie is currently a senior at Marblehead High School where she is apart of the swim team. She is also the Vice President of a club called Venture Crew. Annie has traveled to Bulgaria two times for service learning trips, where she soon after discovered her passion to be an intern. She loves to travel, and is very excited to be working on the Bulgaria service learning trips. Annie looks forward to traveling to the United Nations and to work on more projects.
Maya Amsler is currently a sophomore at Marblehead High School where she sings in the choir and performs in the spring musicals. When not at school, Maya horseback rides and is a competitive dancer. She has travelled with her family a lot during her life, which has opened her eyes on her perspective of the world. This has inspired her to want to do all she can to make a difference in the world. Maya travelled to Bulgaria this year with Stone and Compass and had an amazing experience. She is going on the service trip to Dominica this February. Currently, she is involved in the Bulgaria and Dominica projects. She hopes to successfully complete the goals for these projects and maybe create a project of her own in the future.
Camille is a freshman at Marblehead High School. She enjoys playing Volleyball in the fall and Tennis in the spring. She is passionate about helping others and making a difference where she can. Camille traveled to Bulgaria in the summer of 2019 to restore a theatre. She will be traveling to England this April to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival to Massachusetts. Camille is very excited to be working with Stone and Compass and can not wait for all the exciting adventures to come.
Ben is in his second year at the College of William and Mary planning to double major in economics and international relations. Ben graduated St. John’s Prep in 2018, where he volunteered as a tutor for underclassmen and ran the Future Entrepreneur’s Club as president. Ben began his internship in 2017 after traveling to Bulgaria on a High School Service Learning trip and falling in love with the country, people, and organization. Since then, Ben’s involvement with Stone & Compass has consisted of recruiting for and returning to Bulgaria as a tour leader, representing Stone & Compass at the United Nations, and assisting in expanding the business aspect of the company.
Malachy is currently a junior at Essex Technical High School where he is a culinary student. He is also apart of the swim and dive team. This is Malachy’s second summer going to Bulgaria and not his last.