Let your dreams be bigger than your fears & your actions louder than your words.

15 May

When I agreed to blog for Public Allies, I thought a couple blogs a month… no big deal! From the few amount that I have posted you would think that I hateee blogging. That is not true at all. I love blogging.. and knowing that I will have something to look back on this experience. It is actually a great reflection exercise…something that I learned to appreciate in the Public Allies program.

I unfortunately bite off quite a bit much more than I could chew…in a completely great way. Like trying to fit the whole cookie in your mouth or taking too much ice cream that an unexpected brain freeze follows… something that I have much experience doing, haha.

I found out that I was accepted into Teach For America. I will be teaching Special Education in South Carolina. I am so grateful for this opportunity… To actually be apart of closing the achievement gap. My training for the program begins at the end of May in Atlanta!

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Following my acceptance, it has been such a bittersweet couple months. At first, I thought that I could still be able to graduate early from Public Allies by serving 1700 hours a month early. However, with all the studying I am doing to pass both Elementary and Special Education Praxis exams, the interviews, prework for my training, and essentially moving out of my apartment and down south, I had to make the sad decision to exit out of Public Allies early.. without making the 1700 mark :(.

With that being said, I am sad that I have to leave the friends that I have made along the way. I have been so lucky to meet such fabulous people.

Public Allies Service Day 1

Those that I worked with at The Education Partnership quickly became “family.” From late hours planning distributions to early mornings coffee runs before large volunteer days, it all brings a smile to my face. Who know that I would leave Public Allies knowing how to maneuver fork pallet jacks in a warehouse!

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pillow pets

volunteers

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Photo By Jim Judkis

As for my fellow Allies, I would not nearly be as prepared for my next steps if I did not have this Public Allies experience. I learned that it’s not always just professional. It takes personal time and commitment to work with a group of diverse people and build a sense of community to reach an end goal. By connecting with other Allies on a personal level, they have been able to point out both my strengths and weaknesses..most of which I didn’t know I had.

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Even though I will not be graduating, I will always look back on this time in Public Allies as a huge stepping stone into my career. Last year I applied to Teach For America and The New Teacher Project and was not given a position. I applied to Public Allies, because I believed in the mission, and I also wanted to gain experience and fill the gap with something that employers were looking for that I was essentially missing. I knew I could Lead, I just needed that extra push and guidance.

Looking back to a year ago, I know I was not prepared and cringe to think how I might have made it through in a position without the Public Allies experience. I now have specific skill sets. I was given the chance to build relationships with not just others but essentially myself. I discovered what “my assets” are and I have this new sense of confidence that was not there a year ago…

Here’s to the late night meetings… the OARRs,
My supervisors who knew I could when I thought I couldn’t,
Public Allies who taught me that it is okay to say “no”,
The volunteers and kiddos that gave me a sense of hope for the future,
All those fun surprises found in the donation boxes,
Healthy Futures, Veterans and Military Families and Economic Opportunities,
…School supplies
and one hell of a good time.

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4 Responses to “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears & your actions louder than your words.”

  1. imdelgado May 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Erin,

    Congratulations on this next chapter in your life! Every Teach For America teacher I’ve ever met has had what they described as an incredible experience- one that I hope you have too.
    I totally know what you mean about the Public Allies experience allowing you to build a relationship with yourself, which inevitably allows you to be better prepared for leadership in the future.
    Best of luck to you and yours!

    Isabelle

  2. Kaleena May 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Erin,

    Ditto on what Isabelle said. A huge congratulations to you regarding Teach for America. I am sure you will do an amazing job there. I have greatly enjoyed reading your posts on the Ally Snapshots blog and have to say that you will be missed. As for having to exit out of Public Allies early, sometimes that happens. A great opportunity comes up that you absolutely have to take. I am sure the staff at your site and at your placement appreciated the time you gave to the program, even if it wasn’t for the full ten months.

    I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors. Feel free to keep in touch!

    ~Kaleena

  3. Kaleigh Behe May 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Erin!
    This is a really great entry and so bittersweet! Trainings and Public Ally life in general have not been the same without you, and you should know that you are very missed :-). At the same time, you are going to do amazing things in SC, and that is so exciting! I have full faith that you are going to rock Teach for America, especially with this year Ally training under your belt. I know you’re crazy busy but I hope to see you before you leave.

    ❤ Kaleigh

  4. Erin May 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Thank you everyone for the kind replies! I have enjoyed reading everyone’s experiences. I enjoyed learning about each and everyone of you through your writing! Its been a fun ride… and I will always love the Public Ally family despite the early leave. 🙂

    Kaleigh, I have been missing the Friday trainings! I would love to see you before I leave. I have a busy week ahead, but I will let you know if I go out before the big move. If not this week, I will be back in five for a couple weeks to pick up the rest of my belongings!

    XO Erin

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