Five Bulgarian High School Students Win the 2020 Yale Book Award

Two of them are ACS Students!

The Yale Club of Bulgaria (YCB) is delighted to announce the five winners of its first annual Yale Book Award for Exceptional High School Students. Through this award, YCB seeks to celebrate high school students who exhibit outstanding character and intellectual promise, as well as a commitment to their local community. The award is part of the Club’s commitment to recognizing academic and personal excellence and to encouraging potential candidates for admission to Yale College. The prize consists of a specially selected book from the Yale University Press catalogue, accompanied by two important memorabilia: a personalized bookplate and a brochure portraying Yale’s excellence and student life. Over 30 candidates were nominated for the award, while the five finalists selected represent a true cross-section of young Bulgarians’ diverse talents, interests and commitment to community engagement. Thanks to all the schools, principals, teachers and students who supported YCB in this initiative!

Stefani Angelova is a rising senior at First Language School in Varna and part of the “Opportunity Funds – Bulgaria” program preparing promising students to continue their education at an US university. Her interests are in the fields of creative writing, journalism, theatre and public speaking. She is a member of a theatre studio and a literature club in her town, as well as a writer for a student newspaper and a leader of the English Speech and Debate Team in her school. She aspires to master the arts of writing and theatre and, combining them with social activism, to leave her mark in the world by making a positive impact through her works.

Teodor Baltov is a rising senior at the American College of Sofia, where he serves as co-editor of the ACS newspaper, student representative to the Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee, and local organizer of the European Court of Human Rights Mock Trials competition in Europe. A native of Burgas, Teodor’s interest in Yale was incited greatly by his visit to the university as a Yale Young Global Scholar. Outside of school, Teodor is an avid reader, gym, pilates, spinning and hiking enthusiast, and an aspiring, but inexperienced cook and folk dancer.

Mark Kirichev is a rising senior at the High School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Varna. He competes in math and science Olympiads on a national and international level and has won many awards, including being the only medalist for Bulgaria’s national team at the IJSO in Bali and the Netherlands and winning a gold medal at the World Mathematics Invitational in South Korea. As an active and passionate member of the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth, Mark has taken part in many charitable campaigns. As vice-president of the student council, he has organized events with the goal of sparking other students’ passion for science.

Blagovesta Mesheva is a rising senior at Anglo-American School of Sofia, where she has been awarded a full four-year scholarship. At school, she is an active participant in Speech and Debate, Cross Country and Choir, and has performed the lead role in numerous theatrical and musical productions. A polyglot fluent in Bulgarian, Russian and English, and currently studying Spanish and Italian, she has won creative writing competitions thanks to her passion for language and literature. As the leader of the AAS Angelia Club, she organizes charitable campaigns to raise funds for children suffering from cancer.

Pavla Petrova is a rising senior at the American College of Sofia with a passion for economics, politics, and chemistry. Her love of chemistry was sparked when she qualified for the National Round of the Chemistry Olympiad in 2016. In her free time, she can usually be found writing short stories or drawing artworks. As President of the ACS Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Club and a member of numerous other clubs, her goal is to bring positive change not only to her school, but also in Bulgaria as a whole.

Congratulations to all the 2020 Yale Club of Bulgaria Book Award recipients!

The Yale Book Award is intended to bring Yale’s name to local schools by recognizing outstanding students and to encourage more students to consider Yale College for their undergraduate degree. Please note that the Yale Club of Bulgaria is independent from the Yale Admissions Office and that recipients of the Yale Book Award are not guaranteed admission to Yale College.

For more information about the Yale Club of Bulgaria or the Yale Book Award for Exceptional Bulgarian High School Students, please contact the club at or follow the club on Facebook at