Video | An alumni profile

Esteban (Steve) Ramos, New York Ally ’00

If you’re reading this blog because you are wondering about applying to Public Allies, you’ll want to know some of our more than 3,000 alumni. They’re an impressive bunch of people who have some interesting things to say about their Ally experience.  We’ve introduced you to a few already — people like Patrick Carroll Tafarai Bayne, Raj Shukla and Nelly Nieblas. Each originally came to Public Allies for a different reason, and each took their experiences forward in a different way.

Today, we’d like you to meet Esteban (Steve) Ramos, who graduated with the inaugural New York class in 2000. He’s doing terrific work as the executive director of an organization called FYI — Fresh Youth Initiatives — in the Washington Heights Neighborhood of New York City. It’s the same organization that hosted him as an Ally. FYI and Public Allies have a lot of things in common, and one of them is a belief in engaging the community in its own solutions. In this case, FYI engages young people who have done a lot to make their neighborhood a better place. Inspiring stuff! Enjoy the video.

:: Learn more about Fresh Youth Initiatives here.

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On the Verge: Rebecca Rubi, New York

Is Rebeca Excited or Exhausted? You decide!

During the short history of this blog, we’ve featured Allies, Staff and Alumni.  However, this Friday, we’re debuting a new segment called On The Verge, featuring applicants who are on the verge of becoming Allies for 2010.  Our first profile is Rebeca Rubi, who I first met when she participated on a Virtual Intro Session waaaay back in November 2009.  I interviewed Rebecca via e-mail to learn about where she’s at with the process in applying to Public Allies New York.  Rebeca’s responses are in BOLD below.

How did you first hear about Public Allies?

I heard about Public Allies from my friend Alexandra McAnarney who is currently a Public Ally in Miami.
What convinced you to apply for Public Allies?

I realized that Public Allies would be a great fit for me because have always wanted to make a difference in my life and help people in need, but I wasn’t sure how to create a career out of that wish. Public Allies seems Read the rest of this entry »

Video | What are Allies getting done?

Earlier this year, 10 of the Public Allies communities took part in a “Fill-a-Flip Blitz.” Each used a company-issued Flip camera to videotape stories about what was going on around Ally Nation.

We’ve receieved Flip material from six of the 10 participating communities so far. It has been my job to log all the material and turn it into edited videos, and I gotta say it’s easy to feel like an underachiever as I listen to these interviews — with Allies, Alumni, staff, and the people who are working with Allies in their placements. There are so many passionate, capable people doing and supporting Public Allies work.

Anyhoo, some of the videos you have seen and will see on this blog come from the Fill-a-Flip project, and here’s one more. I spliced together snippets of interviews with 16 Allies as they described the work they are doing in their placements. The interviews come from Arizona, Chicago, Maryland, New York and North Carolina and were conducted in April. The Allies you’ll meet here are at or near the end of their placements now, and getting ready for Presentations of Learning (PublicAllySpeak for year-end reports) and graduation. Give ’em props for all they’ve accomplished! Their names, in order of appearance, with their Ally communities …

Ashley Brown, North Carolina; George Morse, North Carolina; Ben Garcia-Spitz, Chicago; Megan Anderson, Chicago (you may recall her from an earlier post); Ella Nguyen, North Carolina; Brandon Johnson, Arizona; Yasmeen Nanwalala, Chicago; Eduardo Cordon, Chicago; Tarnasia Lundy, New York; Kelsey Addy, Maryland; Robert Wheatfall, Chicago; Robbie Flick, Maryland (with his boss); Bola Odejayi, Maryland; Akil Meade, Maryland; Raquel Rodriguez, Maryland (with one of her mentees); and John “JD” VanSlyke, Chicago.

Snapshot: Application crunch time

Sometimes, being organized is a matter of survival.

Visit any Public Allies office right now, and you’ll see something like this. In some Ally communities, the deadline for filing an application has just passed. In others, it’s right around the corner. Either way, program managers are awash in application forms, interviews and recommendation letters. When last we tallied the numbers, Public Allies was having a record-setting year for applications. We’re excited about the possibilities ahead!

This photo was snapped recently at the New York office. And just in case you’re wondering, here’s a guide to deadlines in every community.

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 »

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