Do you remember your first day as a TFAS student? Like most, you probably sat wide-eyed and eager to learn, make connections and ultimately take steps that would change your life.
You might even remember TFAS Chairman Randal Teague speaking to you and your fellow students at orientation, and telling you to look around while he predicted that the person sitting somewhere near you could be your future spouse.
Though students continue to respond with laughs and giggles as Teague says this year after year, we at TFAS know he was, and continues to be, correct in his TFAS love predictions. The connections people have made through TFAS have led to more than 85 TFAS love stories, with chapter one starting on orientation day.
Darko Blazevski (AIPES 97) and Anita Popovska (AIPES 07) are proof that the number of people in-TFAS-love is growing, not only by the number of couples who are meeting in classrooms, at alumni events and at TFAS conferences, but also through their growing families.
The couple was first featured in our 2014 love story while they were still engaged to be married. Almost two years have passed, and they’re raising a future TFAS-er, Viktor, who will turn one-year-old later this month.
Anita and Darko met in Prague in 2007 while she was attending AIPES and he was serving as the chapter president of TFAS Macedonian alumni chapter. While visiting Prague, he asked her for a tour of Prague, and she showed him all that had changed in the city since his last visit five years prior.
After losing touch for a few years, they got together again at a mutual friend’s wedding and discovered they were neighbors while sharing a ride home after the ceremony. After this encounter, they began to see each other more and more. Their TFAS love story grew during the summer of 2013 when Darko proposed to her at a TFAS friend’s summerhouse in Hvar, Croatia.
They were married in April 2014 and many of their TFAS friends attended the ceremony to celebrate their marriage. Guests from both of the couple’s TFAS summers attended as well as friends they met through TFAS alumni chapter reunions including Natasa Stojanova (AIPES 97), Ana Georgievska (AIPES 07) and Barbara Filipicic (Golubicic) (IIPES 97).
Both Anita and Darko have experienced great success since their time as TFAS students. Anita worked at the Ministry of Finance and now serves as the corporate affairs manager for the Macedonian affiliate of Philip Morris International.
“I very much enjoy what I do. It’s quite an interesting job and quite an exciting one,” Anita said. “I think this past year was very nice in terms of professional experience as well.
Darko works as the head of research and development at the Insurance Supervision Agency.
“He’s quite happy with his job as well,” Anita said. “But the most exciting news of last year is Viktor of course!”
Anita says her son Viktor will grow up learning about TFAS, and he will hear all about the many memories and adventures his parents shared through the organization that brought them together.
“Both of us have very excellent memories of Prague and TFAS,” Anita said. “It will always be the place that we met.”
Anita added that she and her husband continue to support TFAS and wish for a successful future where the programs will continue for many years.
“I think it’s an amazing experience and it should continue,” Anita said. “I think a lot of students, myself included, who attended the programs look at the world differently than before attending the program. It really contributed to opening new horizons, and it was an important experience.”
As a full scholarship recipient herself, Anita says she is an example of the investment a TFAS supporter is making when they contribute to a program.
“Without TFAS, I would not be where I am today, from both sides: meeting my husband Darko, whom I love so much, and having Viktor, but also through all of the friends and connections I’ve made professionally as well.”
While TFAS may be in the cards for the Viktor’s future, for now he is enjoying his days as an adventurous little one.
“I see him as an ambitious baby because he’s so small, but these days he does whatever he wants to do, and he doesn’t care about anything else,” Anita said. “All he wants to do it pop up around on all the furniture, and he’s learning how to walk!”
We think Viktor already sounds like a great candidate for the TFAS class of 2034!
To read more about TFAS Love, visit our 2014 TFAS Love Story.
Do you have a TFAS love story you’d like to share? Email us at alumni@TFAS.org.