Founder of the charity Embrace Education, Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development alumni and former Hootville staffer Emil Kogan died over the weekend. He was 25.
Emil was one of the sweetest souls you’d ever have the pleasure to meet but he was more than just big heart and handsome face. Emil had the chutzpah to establish the charity Embrace Education that pairs disadvantaged high schoolers with university students. The idea is to keep the school students learning and connected. Guess what: the idea works and the charity continues to grow. Emil did this off his own bat, with whatever resources he could scrounge, while studying at university. Hootville will hold a fundraiser for Embrace later this year; likely to take the form of a webinar. Stay tuned for details.
After uni Emil sweltered in Manilla for a year as a participant in the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program before returning home and taking a job working with newly settled refugees.
We never met a person more committed to the nonprofit sector, nor one more determined to make a lifelong commitment to social justice. He was polite, humble, earnest, talented and a tad eccentric. He intuitively empathised with the underdog; the outsider and was precisely the sort of person we need in the game.
We have memories of him in the office, headphones on and air drumming as if his life depended on it. We recall him praising a slice of homemade birthday cake as if it were the last dessert on Earth. As receptionist at our Fireside Chat held at the Greek Orthodox church some years back, he inadvertently perverted any efforts to record attendance. Who came? Who paid? Who knows? But who cares?
He’s a great loss.
Hootville Communications extends its deepest condolences to his family and army of friends.