This profile was prepared when Waclaw Czakon was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Waclaw challenges at-risk young people to become active, engaged citizens. He creates a social structure through which they become community leaders in introducing positive changes in local environments. Engaging young people in targeted activities, Waclaw equips youth with self-confidence and job skills. His effort addresses three dimensions of the personality of young peoplemoral, social, and intellectual. His ultimate aim is to convince young people that all the social activities they undertake should first benefit the public and then meet personal objectives. Also, he reinforces the fact that improving the local community benefits many and meets common goals. Waclaw engages partners like schools and other institutions in the process of creating better systems of teaching civic responsibility. Utilizing connections with churches, parishes, social movements, and citizen organizations, he has an authentic influence on education policies. The involvement of partners is especially important in spreading his ideas.