During the short history of this blog, we’ve featured Allies, staff and Alumni. However, today we’ve got another installment of On The Verge, featuring applicants who are on the verge of becoming Allies for 2010. Our next profile is Tascheena Kimberley Umanah, who we met by her comments on this very blog, on the debut segment of OTV. We interviewed Tascheena via e-mail to learn about where she’s at with the process of applying to Public Allies Arizona. Tascheena’s responses are in BOLD.
How did you first hear about Public Allies?
I first heard of Public Allies through the community service listserv that I had been receiving from, my now Alma mater, Arizona State University. It intrigued my interest so I started doing research!
What convinced you to apply for Public Allies?
During my time at ASU, I was fortunate enough to work for 2 years as a student leader, Rez Devil, for Residential Life. That experience fostered many ideals in me: community, engagement, responsibility, and leadership. Part of my para-professional training was attending Leadership Seminars throughout the year through which I began working with a specialist at Career Services and talking about my post college path in The Arts. In the talks with my counselor I identified working in the community using performance, theatre for social change and for political dialogue or commentary and civic engagement as elements I wanted to have. Then BAM! I get the listserv and Public Allies was opportunity I was looking for. I could use what I know and love and what I have learned all in one place! I could grow and learn more.
What surprised you about the Public Allies Application Process, compared to other jobs/experiences you have applied for?
The PA application was challenging! It asked you to present yourself as a leader, not necessarily someone who wants to be molded, but someone who has something to offer. I had never experienced an application quite like that before. I was force to define myself. I also had never done a group interview before either. I liked the dynamic of working with a team before you even have to. It was fun and really engaging. I loved it!
How would you describe working with the staff?
The staff at PAAZ was unbelievably friendly, considerate, and willing to offer information about what they do. Though PAAZ is somewhat tied in the ASU community, I had never heard about the program before! Therefore I had a lot of questions of what the experience was like, what projects they have done, and where they have been engaging the community. All my questions were answered from Director to Program Manager to Allies- they acted as open friendly book that welcomed me with their knowledge. I felt like I belonged!
What do you know now about yourself that you didn’t know prior to applying to Public Allies?
I now know that the work and talents – self-focus, communication, collaboration, motivation, and creativity- that I have been cultivating are highly applicable to many careers. Applying for Public Allies really help me pinpoint on what it is I have done, do, and want to be doing. I am also learned that I am not just an artist, but a leader inside and outside of the Arts.
Thanks, Tascheena for sharing your story. Good luck!
On The Verge UPDATE:
- Rebecca Rubi was featured in our first OTV, and has just relocated to New York City in preparation for starting her PA NY Ally Year.
- Rachel Johnson was featured in our second OTV, and had advanced to the Matching Fair last week. She still awaits on getting a match to secure her spot in the PA NY cohort.