Young Knight Makes a Difference
What do you do when you’re young, college educated, tech savvy and out to change the world? You join the Knights of Columbus.
That’s the path chosen by Jason Dombrowski, a 24-year-old district deputy for the District of Columbia. In the history, structure, size and fraternal strength of the Knights of Columbus, he sees an organization that can turn into reality the positive values and powerful idealism of his generation.
Dombrowski said that a common misperception is that members of the millennial generation are not joiners. They will join worthy causes if they can make a significant difference in a personal and measurable way, he said.
“This generation sees itself as different. They are the first that has grown up completely with the new technology, so they see the world and how to engage it differently,” he observed. “They want to find new ways to solve the same problems of the world. There’s a lot of energy and idealism, and I think the Knights of Columbus is a great organization to put that to good use. But it’s a challenge.”
Dombrowski graduated with a degree in political science from American University, where he was charter grand knight of the newly formed college council on campus. As district deputy, one of his main jobs is to help college Knights in the D.C. area transition to local councils after graduation.
“That’s a key period, and we can lose a lot of good guys if we don’t reach out to them and let them know they are still needed,” he admitted. “Maybe we haven’t done a good enough job of forming that bridge of transition for them. They may see the Knights as something fun and enriching that they did in college, and we have to show them that they can continue to make a difference as adult Knights.”
With his tech knowledge, Dombrowski has worked with the D.C. State Council to revamp the council’s website, with more up-to-date information and features that young people look for. “If you’re not on the web today, you don’t exist to our generation. So a quality website experience is absolutely vital to catching the attention and loyalty of young people.”
Dombrowski is very positive about his generation. “They say that every 50 years there is a ‘greatest generation.’ The World War II generation was the last one, and I think we’re due for another. I see so much potential in my generation.”
For the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Church and society, there is great hope on the horizon.