Sustainable Development

Youth Heroes Competition Awards Presented to Winners

NIS 15 November 2019 • 5 min

Today, at the Svilara Cultural Centre in Novi Sad, nineteen most successful young people in Serbia received their Young Heroes Awards for the achievements! The winners of the national Youth Heroes Competition for 2018 were chosen in four categories: Science and Education, Culture and Art, Entrepreneurship and Creative Industries, and Social Activism. A Special Youth Hero Award was also presented.

The official award ceremony was organised as a part of Youth Heroes Motivation Day Event where the new generations of youth were addressed by the ten-times world kick-boxing champion Nenad Pagonis and the digital marketing expert Ivan Bildi.


fourth time by the Exit Foundation and Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS), with the support of Radio Television Serbia, Ringier Axel Springer media company and the Vulkan Publishing House. This long-term project aims to get out of anonymity successful young people, aged 15 to 30, and reward them for their achievements and exceptional contribution to society with tickets for the 20th-anniversary EXIT Festival, Sea Star and Sea Dance Festivals and a pack from the Vulkan Publishing House. The winners of each category also received a 100,000 RSD prize. All winners will get a well-deserved media space, promotion through Exit Festival’s social networks with the aim of providing positive role-models for our society to inspire both the young generations and the general public. This year’s ceremony was organised in Novi Sad as the European Youth Capital for 2019, with the support of the OPENS 2019 team.

“Supporting and promoting young heroes in Serbia is probably the single most important task which the EXIT Foundation and NIS, together with other partners, are carrying out for the fourth consecutive year. Providing support to the most talented young people, who work hard every day to push the limits of their achievements, is the best way to present them as role-models to new and upcoming generations and thus contribute to the long-lasting positive transformation of the society as a whole – said Ivan Petrović, President of the Board of Directors of the EXIT Foundation.

“NIS is greatly honoured to be a part of this project as there is no better investment in the future than supporting your people who are committed to their goals and ideas, willing to make an effort for the benefit of the entire society. As a company, we wish young people in Serbia to have the best conditions for education and professional training, to stay in the country to pursue their professional careers, some of them may be in NIS – said Vadim Smirnov, Deputy CEO of NIS.

The Special Youth Heroes Award went to Dejana Bačko, a 2019 world champion in Para-Taekwondo and a multiple-time European vice-champion in the same sport. This young heroine is also a student of the final year of Painting Academy and a member of the Mouth and Feet Painting Artists Association.     

Jelena Ivančić is the high school winner in the Science and Education category as the best young mathematician in the country, while Biljana Opranica and Radovan Okilj, friends who encourage each other and jointly make progress in the field of medicine, share the second place. The third-place award went to Veljko Đurić who, at the age 15, had already won 47 awards at the national and international competitions.

The awards in the same category were also presented to students and graduate students. The first prize went to Vojislav Gligorovski, a graduate of two faculties and currently a PhD candidate at the prestigious Federal Polytechnical Institute in Lausanne. The second prize went to Maša Mišković, a versatile assistant professor at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, and to Đorđe Ogrizović, the best young scientist-innovator in the world! The third-ranking is Dejan Mihajlović, the best medical graduate in 2018.

The first prize for Social Activism went to Srećko Zdravković, due to whose initiative the town of Bor got back its Youth Centre after 30 years. The second prize went to Milanka Lana Nikolić who is raising awareness about the lives of people with disabilities. The third prize went to Stefan Nikolić for the project titled Humanitarian Coffee.

Young heroes in the Entrepreneurship category were Aleksa Nišavić, nineteen-year-old founder of a marketing agency, Milan Trbojević, the author of the advisory blog “There’s a document missing” created to help entrepreneurs, and Nemanja Stojanović, who was the first in the region to deal with procedural generation of 3D objects.

Prizes in the Culture and Arts category went to Tamara Rogović, the world’s youngest master of visual arts, Nikola Radosavljević, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade and an associate professor who teaches Graphics, to Aleksa Mirković, a virtuous accordion player and the winner of 85 national and international awards as well as to Sara Vujadinović, a multiple award-winning pianist who is pursuing further studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

The jury panel consisted of Snežana Lakićević, Advisor to the Deputy CEO and Director of Liaisons and Communications of NIS; Milena Spasić, Director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Sector of NIS, Tanja Šikić, representative of the Radio-Television Serbia, Maša Drakulić, representative of the Ringier Axel Springer media company, Nenad Blagojević, founder of the web portal and Ivan Petrović, President of the Board of Directors of the EXIT Foundation.

At the Youth Heroes Motivation Day Event held in Novi Sad, a special OPENS prize was awarded for the remarkable contribution through volunteering to the work of the Novi Sad Youth Capital of Europe for 2019. The winner was Bojana Krgović and she received the reward from Aleksandra Ilijin, OPENS Program Coordinator.