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

Jessica Somerhausen lighting a bonfire during the Public Allies Miami Mid-Year Retreat in Oleta River State Park.

Jessica Somerhausen

Who she is: Program Manager, Public Allies Miami

Originally from: “I grew up (for the most part) in Miami, but have also lived in (deep breath, it’s a long list): Spain, Costa Rica, Chicago, Ann Arbor, and Boston. I went to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and double-majored in philosophy and political science.”

Before Public Allies: “I worked for an online, progressive political fundraising vehicle called ActBlue, the nation’s largest source of funding for Democrats. I assisted in their fundraising efforts for the 2008 election cycle. Pretty exciting time!”

What’s it like at Public Allies Miami right now? “We’re focusing on coordinating a fundraiser, ‘Showcase in the Garden,’ to raise funds for our 2010-2011 program year. The event is being held on June 10 at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, and will be featuring performances by current Allies and local musicians and artists. We’ve been reaching out to potential sponsors, collecting donated items for our silent auction, and auditioning local performers for music and entertainment at the event. We can’t wait!”

Jessica's desktop: Reminders of public transportation, sunshine, and things to do.

tell us about something on your desk: “The Hot Wheels toy car is from one of our Allies, who gave it to me as a birthday present after finding out that I don’t own a car. (Public transit in Miami IS a viable alternative to driving! Sort of.) I always haphazardly throw my sunglasses on my desk (living in Miami ’n’ all). And the Post-it notes serve as the crux of my daily existence here — immediately to the right is a messy array of sticky notes with random phone numbers, to-do lists, and names.”

Complete the following sentence: If you become an Ally, be ready to … “Lead and learn.”

In 21 words or less … what are the three most essential ingredients for a successful Ally experience?

  • Commitment to your community.
  • Openness to new experiences, people, and ideas.
  • A positive and forward-thinking attitude.
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