The road after Public Allies

22 Nov

“You hold the key to love and fear all in your trembling hand.”
Youngbloods “Get Together”

Public Allies Chicago recently had a life coach named Carina Vallejo from Lululemon discuss goal planning with first-year Allies. During Carina’s presentation, she had us evaluate our values as well as our goals for the next five years. I couldn’t help but think about my lack of vision for my post-Allies life. My upcoming journey seemed clouded with uncertainty and excitement for the unknown.

Lululemon Poster <-Lululemon Poster

Before starting Public Allies, I found myself at a crossroads. For the last ten years, a huge goal of mine has been to become a counselor. In 2009, I completed my masters degree in counseling. It was a huge accomplishment for me which was quickly overshadowed by other factors. Sadly, much like the arts within education, the first programs cut by states are social service programs. When you add a poor economy and a competitive job market into the mix, it can dishearten even the most passionate of individuals.

At the urging of my program manager, I began to re-consider future options. If not counseling, then what? This was a tough question for me to answer. After some deep reflection and a few great Friday trainings around goals, values and beliefs, and emotional awareness, I have come to a realization.

I do not have to give up my passion for helping others. Instead, I have begun thinking about becoming a Life Coach. There is much for me to understand about what being a Life Coach means and what it takes to become one. My first step is to reach out to Carina Vallejo to hear about her journey. Over the next seven months, I also plan to reach out to other Life Coaches for their feedback and advice as well as to find online resources, books, and workshops which are relevant to the field.

Roots of CompassionSo far, the Public Allies Chicago staff has been incredibly supportive of my ideas and interests. I know in my heart that they will provide positive support and honest feedback as I continue to fine tune my future plans. Even though the program is only three months in, I have already felt inner growth and had some interesting realizations about myself. This is not just due to the staff but also due to the other participants in the program. The best way to describe this year’s class of Public Allies Chicago is two handfuls of love/support, a sprinkling of determination/commitment, a helping of integrity/honesty, a wealth of insight, and a dash of humor. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to work with.



4 Responses to “The road after Public Allies”

  1. philwdrew November 23, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I really enjoyed your list of ingredients for Public Allies Chicago! I hope it’s the perfect recipe for a successful year!

  2. Liz Backstrom November 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    I agree with Phil! I might have to steal this. Looking forward to hearing more, Kaleena!

  3. lindsaymays13 December 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I really like the fact that you realized just because you may be a little uncertain you didn’t have to give up you passion to help others. That’s beautiful! Also, in the life coaching realm check out Molly Maher at, it may be helpful. I look forward to hearing more about your journey!

  4. imdelgado December 5, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    I can totally relate to having to rake through the muck of what your next step might be. Life coaching sounds like a wonderful field and I wish you the best of luck as you pursue it. Looking forward to hearing/ reading more as you immerse yourself in the Public Allies experience!

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