Top 10 reasons to become a Public Ally (Part 2 of 2)

13 Jan

This is the second in a series of Ally Snapshot posts on the theme, “Why Public Allies?” If you are thinking of service work or know someone who is, be sure to tune in!

Did you miss the first half of the list?  Check my last blog post to catch reasons 10 through 6!

5. Build Community Pride: So the more I explore and discover about Bridgeport, the more I care about its well-being. As part of a personal initiative to support local business, I decided to pop into locally- owned Rampage Skate Shop. Not only was I able to get my brother a sweet tee for Christmas (plus the owner threw in some free stickers) but I also got the T shirt below. Bridgeport represent!

4. Education Award: As part of the AmeriCorps program, members who successfully complete the requirements of the Public Allies program are eligible to receive the Eli Segal Education Award of $5,550 to be used toward existing or future school tuition/ student loans. Even though we serve with Public Allies to help others, it’s nice to get something in return, too.

3. Volunteer, Make a Positive Impact, Help Others: Saturday, October 22, 2011 was the first of three designated Public Allies CT Service Learning Days. My group of seven spent the day repainting a local community center’s entrance hall. I’m also looking forward to the upcoming Martin Luther King Day of Service and Global Youth Service Day (organized by fellow blogger Phil Drew!). Additionally, Allies are encouraged to seek out volunteer opportunities of their own interest. Among other instances, I’ve volunteered for 2.0 Ally Shon McKenzie’s Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust Arts 4 Families: History of Hip Hop event; first-year Ally Melissa Gabso’s CT Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) annual meeting event; second-year Ally Emily Kaas’ Peter’s Retreat Sunday Brunch prep; and first-year Ally Christina Wakefield’s Common Ground Ecology Project Feast From the Fields event. More to come!

2. Continuous Learning Fridays, Core Retreats, & Other Professional Development Experiences: Of the three Public Allies program components (working full time Monday through Thursday in a local nonprofit; the Team Service Project or TSP, which Allies are charged with designing, developing, and implementing; and Continuous Learning or CL Fridays, during which Allies engage in professional development activities), my favorite is by far the CL Fridays. Connecticut’s program is set up such that Bridgeport and Hartford Allies meet with/at the New Haven Allies’ home base every Friday. During this time, we are given the opportunity to tackle societal issues, troubleshoot problems, discuss social theories, and all-around enjoy ourselves. Office Shenanigans below: Fellow blogger Phil Drew bet us he could lift two people of my size at the same time. This photo, with me on the left and first-year Ally Al Riccio on the right, is the proof!

1. Laughter, New Friendships, Support Network: I’ve chosen to list this reason as number one because, for me, it is the most personal and sustainable reason for becoming a Public Ally. The program has connected me with a network of like- minded, progressive individuals who are committed to creating positive change. Does it get any better? Public Allies staff member and Hartford Program Manager Lindsey Eichler recently talked about leaning on my Public Allies family during this hard time (and the good times, the red times, the blue times). I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to learn, work, and play with such an amazing group of people.

Did I miss anything?  Leave it in the comments!


2 Responses to “Top 10 reasons to become a Public Ally (Part 2 of 2)”

  1. RJ Mercede January 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Excellent posts Isabelle! It’s great to read your top 10 so far. I have a suggestion for #11 – Team Brunches!!

    • imdelgado January 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      I agree, RJ. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s brunch during our full day TSP (Team Service Project)!

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