Hit the Links!

On the weekends, we round up some links on leadership, nonprofits, pop culture, and the intersections in between.

This week’s featured link:  PA Los Angeles’ Ashley Smith knows the Team Service Project (TSP) experience, as she’s done it twice — as a first-year Ally, and now as a TSP Coach as a second-year Ally.  Check out her latest blog update, where she reflects on the TSP Coaching experience.  (True Life)

After the jump, s’more links…

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Ally Impact: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, CT photographer Mark Smith is featuring on his website a set a photographs from a community portrait session sponsored by Public Allies Connecticut and the Bridgeport Community Trust.  The Bridgeport Allies Team Service Project is renovating family homes to address the decline of affordable housing in their community. Read the rest of this entry »

Staff Q&A | Meet the people who read your applications

Kurt Dyer of Public Allies New York

Kurt Dyer

Who he is: Program & Operations Manager at Public Allies New York, and a Milwaukee Ally 1999-2000.

Originally from: Born in Portland, Maine, grew up in LaCrosse, Wis., and moved to Milwaukee, Wis., right after high school.

Before joining the Public Allies staff: “I was running the youth program that I built when I as an Ally. I worked for Project Q – the LGBTQ Youth Drop-In Center at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center – for nine years.  After that I worked as an Associate Director at the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin in the Prevention Department. I left that position to come to Public Allies New York.”

What’s it like at your workplace right now? “Just like all of the other sites, we are gearing up for end-of-year events such as Team Service Project Wrap-Up, Presentations of Learning, and graduation. In addition, we have begun our recruitment process so we’ve started interviewing hundreds of candidates for next year’s class and recruiting new and returning Partner Organizations. We are Read the rest of this entry »

Poll Time: It’s been 4 weeks…

...since we started this blog.
And we want to know what types of posts you've liked.

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Weekly Snapshot: The Secret Life of Allies

Super hero Allies

By night: Asset-Based Superheroes in San Francisco.

Lani Cardenas, San Francisco Ally Class of 2009-10, photo-documents her Team Service Project progress every week. Since using one’s assets is a Public Allies mantra, Lani and her fellow San Francisco Allies started by identifying the assets on their own team. “We decided to have everyone draw themselves as superheroes, emphasizing their skills,” said team member Lauren LePage. “Lani drew the cityscape and took the picture – she photographs our group every week, wherever we are and in whatever form. And if someone’s missing, she draws or Photoshops them in.” Here’s the  before and after snapshots from this exercise: regular folk by day (below), “super heroes” when they’re working on their service project by night. Capes are a great look for you guys!

Top photo (After): Lauren is third from left (with pen and paper), Lani is fourth from left (with dino tail). Bottom photo (Before): Lani is fourth from left and Lauren is beside her wearing green.  (Snapshots by Lani Cardenas)


By day, who would know they can strengthen communities with their bare hands?

FAQ: How to crush the interview

It's not THAT bad.

Every Monday afternoon, I’ll put together an entry inspired by actual questions from aspiring applicants.  Last week, I wrote about how to “crush the application.”  Well, this week I’m taking on how to “crush the interview.”

Before we get started, here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Every site has the same desired outcome:  select a diverse, talented class of predominantly homegrown, aspiring public sector leaders.  However, each site varies on how the tactics on how to achieve that outcome.  In the spirit of brevity and fairness, I’m not going to run-down on how each site does their interview, but rather speak from the vantage point of the general interviewing process.
  • My personal credentials:  I’ve been on the staff of a local Public Allies site from ’99-’03 (participated in at least 150 Ally individual/group interviews), as well as managed the selection process for the inaugural Turning The Tide Fellowship in ’08 (where I conducted over 70 individual phone-interviews).  I’m confident in that I have a handle on what we’re generally looking for.

With that squared away, let’s get down to brass tacks…

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Hit the Links! Thanks again, Teddy.


A year ago this week, the Kennedy Serve America act was signed into law.

On the weekends, we corral our favorite links on leadership, nonprofits, pop culture, and their intersections.  This week’s pic gives props to the late Senator Ted Kennedy for his leadership on national service

Two takes on the intergenerational trends discussion at the Emerging Partners in Philanthropy 10 conference.  (Rosetta Thurman, Entry Level Living)

Patrick Corvington, (who we like to call “P-Cor”)  is the new head of the Corporation for National Service, and he lays out his vision in this HuffPo column.  (Huffington Post)

Now the nonprofit sector has it’s own version of the “Razzies”   (Blue Avocado)

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