Katarzyna Sokołowska for Secretary General: “My Friends Support My Decision”

Katarzyna Sokołowska (just Kasia for friends) has been a board member of AEGEE-Krakow, responsible for fundraising. The experience that she gained from her antenna and her internship at the Council of Europe motivated her to dedicate one year to the association in the AEGEE house. Here are the questions The AEGEEan had for the current Interim Secretary General who is running for the same position. 


The AEGEEan: Why did you decide to run for Secretary General and why you didn’t do during Agora Bergamo?
Katarzyna: I did not consider to candidate during Agora Bergamo because I was not present there and I also had an internship at the Council of Europe. This experience was very valuable for me and during that time, I found out what I exactly want to do in my life and what I want to focus on. It is not an easy decision to move to the AEGEE house and spend one year of your life there.


What makes you the best candidate for the position you chose?
I think that my experience, which I mainly gained in various organisations, gave me the skills to manage kasia2AEGEE with the other CD members. Thanks to that, I also know how the world of NGOs works and what we, as a network of young people, can do to spread our voice throughout Europe.


Can you tell us something more about your previous internship in Council of Europe? Which skills did you earn from that work experience?
My internship was mostly focused on No Hate Speech Movement. I was based in the European Youth Center – the place where young people are most important. I had a chance to experience how the Council of Europe organises seminars, study sessions or preparations meetings before their projects. I also saw how the European Youth Foundation works and supports NGOs.


How could you improve AEGEE with your experience from others NGOs?
Thanks to the experience gained in different NGOs, I can contribute to make our work more smooth and productive. As a professional employee, I also developed knowledge about staff management which is obviously present in the AEGEE office too.


Do you have some plans for the Working Groups, especially Youth Mobility and Youth Employment?
Youth Mobility and Youth Employment are the two Working Groups that are closest to my interests. I would like to support them with their work, share my knowledge with them and also give them a space (opportunities for training or conferences) to develop in their fields. I hope that my cooperation with coordinators and members of those WGs will be very fruitful.


kasia3Why would you like to cooperate with Interest Groups about gender equality and LGBTQ+?
I would like to cooperate with these two Interest Groups because I am simply interested in those topics. I had a chance to participate in a few events about it and since then I see the need to focus on these topics more. I think that nowadays, more and more young people want to fight for their rights and want to feel respect. In my opinion it is very important to live in an equal world where everyone feels comfortable.


You entered in office two months ago, what did you achieve in the past months of your term?
The beginning of the term is not easy. Firstly you need to get to know each other, on both fields: not only how we want to work together, but also how we will be living together in one house. After that difficult time, all of us went to León where we drafted the new Strategic Plan. I think that in the beginning, it is hard to achieve your personal goals – it is rather the question what we achieved as the team that we created since then.


What are your plans for fundraising?
I am responsible for institutional fundraising. I would like to support European Bodies as much as I can. kasia4Moreover, I would like to make an overview of all locals which applied and received institutional grants. I hope that the cooperation with our motivated network will let us apply for lots of grants this year.


What do your parents and your friends think about your dedication to AEGEE in the famous AEGEE house with the CD for one year?
People who are close to me support my decision. Sometimes they still do not understand what I am doing exactly, but if I am happy, they will see the sense in what I do.


Do you really feel ready to cover the position of Secretary General for the rest of the term?
I think that I am ready. You never can be sure that you know what is coming, so I would say that there will still be a lot of things which will surprise me during the year, but I am aware of it and prepared for it [she smiles, ed].


You can read the full candidature here.


Written by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari.