István Tamás Szenttamási is working as a regional social cooperative adviser at the National Employment Public Non-profit Ltd. He is responsible for supporting social cooperatives with consultancy in North-Eastern Hungary, and he plays an important role in building and sustaining social economy in several undeserved and minority communities in one of the most disadvantaged and depressed regions of Hungary
Formerly he had been working as a project manager at the Miskolc Gallery and Municipal Museum of Fine Arts in Miskolc. He was responsible for several, EU funded talent improvement and training projects. The main goal of these projects was to fight against the extremely high unemployment and emigration rate of the region through training young people, supporting their plans related to further education or employment, and through strengthening creative industries and the local identity in the city.
Tamás has been working with minority groups, mainly with the Roma, for many years. He studied cultural anthropology (MA), pedagogy (MA) and philosophy (MA) at the University of Miskolc, where he participated in several research projects aiming to discover the problems of the Roma minority and other disadvantaged communities of the region. Tamás also participated in a one-semester-long applied anthropology training in Granada, Spain that made him completely committed to his profession. He was graduated from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Miskolc in 2008.
In the same year he started to work at the Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Institution of Pedagogy, Education and Culture, where he gained remarkable project management and leadership experiences. He had been working in several EU funded social development projects aiming to help disadvantaged and minority communities by providing them trainings on community enterprises, community work, local tourism and hospitality, local heritage conservation etc. He also had been responsible for cross-border cultural cooperation projects at the institution.
Tamás changed his working place in 2011 when he joined the Kék Vonal (Blue Line) Child Crisis Foundation. As a project manager he was responsible for launching and running the Kék Vonal Computer Clubhouse of Miskolc in the Avas district, one of the most underserved neighborhoods of the city. The clubhouse was opened and operated as the first Hungarian member of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network. As the leader of the clubhouse Tamás acquired his first experiences about community work and community organizing, that made him committed to community issues.
For this reason Mr. Szenttamási does volunteer work in two civic organizations, the North-Eastern Passage Association and the Living Land Social Cooperative. Both organization support community based grassroots initiations, like social cooperatives or social enterprises, since the disadvantaged groups and neighborhoods of the region can hardly count on external help from the local or national government.
Mr. Szenttamási has great expectations related to this program, which will be his first trip to the USA. He would like to learn more about the methods of community organizing in peripheral minority communities, since he believes that it can increase the effectiveness of his daily job and volunteer activity. He also would like to have many experiences about the operation of community based enterprises and social economy in the USA, which might be applicable models in Hungary.
Tamás is a proud father of two children. He loves to be with his family when he is out of work. In his spare time Tamás likes learning foreign languages. He is fluent in English and a basic user of Spanish. Tamás also likes reading, fishing, cycling, hiking and camping and almost everything what one can do in the nature. Tamás will have his internship at Michigan United (Detroit).