Jacek Spendel, Project Arizona’s Director, traveled to Phoenix several times since 2009 when he visited his long-time friend and business partner, Glenn Cripe from Language of Liberty Institute. In the summer of 2011 he interned for the Goldwater Institute and that experience influenced him in a big way. He understood that effectiveness in freedom movement is possible, that people of freedom disposition don’t need to be always just defenders – they might deliver victories and change their own communities into better places. Inspiration he gained led him to found Polish-American Leadership Academy which is educating freedom leaders of tomorrow in Poland. The Academy sent several best students for internships to Goldwater Institute and other institutions. For number of years he observed that the seed that has sown begins to germinate. People educated by Polish-American Leadership Academy, especially the ones who had a chance to get involved in the American freedom movement, became significant game-changers (journalists, think-tank leaders, politicians) in Poland.
The lesson Jacek took from his educational efforts at the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (which is main organizer of Polish-American Leadership Academy and other educational projects) together with his passion for Arizona, both when it comes to state’s freedom movement and the place itself, made him to think about new project which will combine all these factors. It is also important to mention that back in 2009 Jacek Spendel took part in The Fund for American Studies’ Capital Semester which is Washington, DC based program that meets education with internships. All of that inspired him to do a freedom-oriented educational project in the place that he holds very dear in his heart – Phoenix, Arizona. To teach people freedom by example in the relatively freest and dynamic place in America? Hell yeah! That is what Jacek Spendel thought and took a risk to make it possible. In early 2016 he went to Phoenix with his fiancé (now wife) Magdalena to tell key people about his plans and search for internship providers and donors. It was not an easy plan but it found it’s positive end. First Project Arizona was held between mid March – mid June, 2017. And you can read how it went next page.