Partner Perspectives – Mobile Pathways

Our partners are organisations with stories of courage, dedication and innovation. They are a focal part of our immersive experiences. The work they do inspires the participants in our programs in life-defining ways and challenges them to think differently about things that deeply affect people to truly drive change. Our work also supports our partners to shift the way they work to have a greater impact.

The Partner Perspectives blog provides a place for our partners to share their stories, talk about the work that they do and the impact this is having in their communities and the world beyond.

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Bartłomiej “Bart” Skorupa, co-founder & development director at Mobile Pathways.

Bart was born in Warsaw, Poland and grew up under a stifling Russian occupation. After the Solidarity movement, his parents fled with him and his sister, finding refuge in Champaign, Illinois. Bart’s parents left everything behind, so that their family could have better opportunities in life. They arrived in Orchard Downs, a housing complex that offered cheap housing to a community of immigrants. Bart grew up with families from all parts of the world who desperately sought to belong and grow a better life in their new homeland. Since his parents hailed from scientific backgrounds, Bart became steeped in using technology early in life. Recently, as he witnessed the rise of an anti-immigrant narrative, he knew that his vision of an equitable America would crumble. As a result, defending the rights of marginalized immigrants became his life’s passion and led to the creation of Mobile Pathways.

Mobile Pathways believe that everyone deserves fair access to justice so they can live a better life. Their mission is three-fold. First, they are the bridge connecting immigrants to advocates and services via trusted mobile technology. Second, Mobile Pathways helps immigrants gain access to reliable legal information about their numerous pathways to immigration via mobile phone technology. And finally, they partner with immigration-based nonprofits and attorneys to reach the vast and diverse population of intending immigrants.

Bart first learned about Emerging World through Woodson Martin at Salesforce (also now a member of Mobile Pathways’ board of directors). As a young organisation with young leadership, Woodson believed that Mobile Pathways could benefit from the Emerging World leadership development programme.

Following Woodson’s advice, and needing to shift and grow Mobile Pathways’ leadership mindset, Bart and his team—Jeffrey O’Brien (Co-founder and Executive Director), Poesy Chen (Innovation Director), and Mobile Pathways partner Daranee Petsod (California Immigrant Resilience Fund), participated in Salesforce’s Leading for Purpose programme. Going into the experience, Mobile Pathways felt that their biggest leadership challenge was how to address their significant non-profit partners (each with varying needs) effectively to advance immigration justice.

The team worked through the extensive, energetic and thought-provoking collaborative experience, during which they realised that coalitions were the best way for Mobile Pathways to move forward in its work. The Power of a Collective Voice, became the team’s mantra and guiding principle.

According to Bart, “Taking people with very specific executive level leadership skills and pairing them with nonprofits, and then giving them 16 intensive hours to tackle leadership issues is genius! When you speak to executives at a corporate entity, they bring different perspectives to the table.

Bart further conveyed that he is thankful to Emerging World for having Mobile Pathways’ team of leaders participate in this challenging programme. According to Bart, their guide, Kenneth Mikkleson helped the team come together which helped them truly find their collective voice. The leadership development and constructive feedback that they received during the experience, “helped us to think and act better as leaders.” As a result, that sentiment has been widely shared with all of Mobile Pathways’ partners.