Charlie Murphy

Ashoka Fellow
Bellingham, United States
Fellow Since 2005
My work: working globally to unleash the positive potential of youth through a cross-generational learning model.
Ashoka commemorates and celebrates the life and work of this deceased Ashoka Fellow.

Ashoka US Fellow Charlie Murphy passed away peacefully on August 6th, 2016 with his husband Eric and other loved ones at his side. 

Charlie was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2005 for his work with Partners for Youth Empowerment or PYEGlobal, a powerful, novel model for connecting adults and young people around shared interests and aspirations for their community, unleashing the power, purpose, and potential of young people in the process. 

Related TopicsChildren & Youth


This profile was prepared when Charlie Murphy was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Charlie Murphy has a deep desire to enlist the next generation in solving our society’s problems. He especially wants to reach and engage young people who are disenchanted with the adult world and feel powerless to change it. He believes that the best way to give youth the “Power of Hope” is to connect them to adults who share their concerns and are working on solutions. Charlie saw that there is an untapped reservoir of creative, forward-thinking, gifted adults who would be eager to volunteer to work with youth. He developed a new way to help adults create authentic, purposeful partnerships with teenage youth. He wants to build the creative capacity of the youth development field and spread a transformative model for youth/adult partnership and learning.
Convinced that society benefits when there is more connectivity with youth, Charlie uses the creative arts and motivational learning experiences to help teens from diverse backgrounds connect with each other and link to educators, artists, activists, and social entrepreneurs who can help them become a force for change. Charlie believes that bringing the generations together in a creative, supportive community can be a cornerstone for a more participatory, meaningful society.
The latest innovation in Charlie’s work is to recognize the power of entrepreneurship for the youth in his program. Charlie is teaming up with Ashoka Fellow Donna Morton and other leading social entrepreneurs to apply the Power of Hope approach to youth entrepreneurship. This next step is a way for young people to carry their creative, collaborative skills with them as they enter the world of work. Charlie connects young people to adult mentors in nonprofit organizations and socially responsible businesses consistent with their values. He wants youth to see that they can reflect the change in their lives in the work that they do, and that a career can indeed make the world a better place.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person


Ashoka US Fellow Charlie Murphy passed away peacefully on August 6th, 2016 with his husband Eric and other loved ones at his side.

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