Lois Holzman, chair of Global Outreach Department at UX (the All Stars Project’s university-style development program), welcomed Dr. Porfirio Grazioli, President of the Rome-based Boys’ Towns of Italy, alumni Francesco Bassano and Carol Marcoccia, and U.S. Executive Director Carrie Sackett, on Saturday, Dec. 3, for a presentation and conversation with the UX community.
Founded in post-World War II Italy by Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing as a center for orphaned youths, the organization has since become a home base for young refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The campus-based community is run by the young people, who are given the responsibilities of self-governance — playing the roles of Mayor, Judge, Banker, Police Chief, et al.
In discussing the educational approach, Dr. Grazioli commented:
Monsignor’s genius was to relate to young people as if they knew how to do something — and in that process, they discover that they can…We’ve created a community where everyone gives what they have to give…
The challenge of education is to allow kids to make mistakes and then be there for them when they do….[at Boys’ and Girls’ Town] our name for that is ‘assistant’….I stand next to and beside someone in need.