Andrzej Augustynski

Ashoka Fellow
Krakow, Poland
Fellow Since 2007

Citation

This profile was prepared when Andrzej Augustynski was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Andrzej’s model is founded in peer group settings, where youth participate in self-directed programs which offer diverse opportunities for personal growth. These groups help youth and children regain their social skills and self-confidence through empowerment and leadership opportunities. In this way, young people are molded into creative and active leaders who then staff the next wave of his centers.
While other organizations and after-school facilities focus on basic provisions (food and clothing) and homework support, Andrzej engages youth in an array of educational, athletic, and cultural activities otherwise available only for youth and children from privileged backgrounds. In this way, his program has become a benchmark for other after-school programs, with other organizations raising their standards and shifting methodologies—faced with losing funding and the interest of targeted youth.
Andrzej is a national spokesperson for citizen organizations (COs) working with marginalized youth. He advocates for the introduction of standards in the quality of services for marginalized youth, particularly after-school programs. Andrzej believes that systems-changes will happen when the mentality of youth leaders, caretakers, and other professionals begins to shift. He has established a training centre for his staff and the staff of other organizations to make this paradigm shift a reality.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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