11 episodes

This podcast tells stories of individuals and groups changing their communities in innovative ways to inspire you to do the same as well as interviews with nonprofit professionals about developing your career in the public good.

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This podcast tells stories of individuals and groups changing their communities in innovative ways to inspire you to do the same as well as interviews with nonprofit professionals about developing your career in the public good.

    Emerging Corps: Blue Engine's Nick Ehrmann

    Emerging Corps: Blue Engine's Nick Ehrmann

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    In 2010, a new national service corps is getting off the ground. Blue Engine, based in New York City, aims to recruit a corps of about a dozen fellows for the 2010-2011 school year to facilitate daily, differentiated, small-group instruction for high school freshmen.

     

    Our guest is Nick Ehrmann—Blue Engine's engine and a Teach For America alum— who says that we know how to get high-needs kids into college, or getting them "college eligible" — nonprofits and schools have been targeting and tackling hurdles like high school completion, college admissions, and financial assistance.

     

    But, while the high school drop-out problem is far from solved, groups are paying far less attention to college completion rates for high-needs kids, or "college readiness."

     

    Blue Engine aims to close the gap between college eligibility and college readiness.

     

    After graduating from Northwestern University in 2000, Ehrmann began his career in education as a Teach for America corps member in Washington D.C. In 2002, he joined forces with local philanthropists to launch the nonprofit “I Have a Dream” Project 312, a youth development program for Nick’s fourth-grade students. In the fall of 2003, he began doctoral work in sociology at Princeton University as a William G. Bowen fellow.

     

    Over the past three years, Nick spent months shadowing his former students in high school classrooms, living with their families, and conducting extensive interviews in the local community, where he has witnessed firsthand the negative effects of academic underperformance on the transition from high school to college. His dissertation—Yellow Brick Road—is scheduled for defense in the spring of 2010. Ehrmann currently lives in New York City.

     

    Idealist’s Amy Potthast talks with Nick about the Blue Engine fellowship, its application deadlines (March 10 and April 28, 2010); the gap between college eligibility and true college readiness; and why it’s crucial to expect more out of high schoolers in order to prepare them for high school and college success, and beyond.


     

    • 23 min
    Peace Corps Community Resources: An interview with Erica Burman and Molly Mattessich of the National Peace Corps Association

    Peace Corps Community Resources: An interview with Erica Burman and Molly Mattessich of the National Peace Corps Association

    As Peace Corps nears it's 50th Anniversary in 2011, applications are on
    the rise, fewer Volunteer positions are getting funded, the Senate just
    confirmed a new agency director, and the number of Peace Corps  alumni
    is nearing 200,000. Helping connect the dots among the agency's fiscal
    needs, and Volunteers past, present, and future is the National Peace
    Corps Association—the independent organization of former Peace Corps
    Volunteers, known as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers or RPCVs.



    The National Peace Corps Association offers the Peace Corps
    community tools and resources to stay informed and engaged, and
    advocates for Peace Corps funding and support.

    Today’s guests
    are Erica Burman and Molly Mattesich of the National Peace Corps
    Association. Erica Burman is the Director of Communications at NPCA,
    and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in The Gambia in the
    late 80s. Molly Mattesich manages the Africa Rural Connect project at
    NPCA, as well as the Peace Corps Connect online social network. Molly
    served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali from 2002-2004.



    Idealist's Amy Potthast talks with Erica and Molly about NPCA's initiatives like the More Peace Corps Campaign, Africa Rural Connect, the RPCV Mentoring Program, and Global Teachnet. They also talk about the new online social network for the Peace Corps community Peace Corps Connected, the Peace Corps Polyglot blog, and World View magazine. Finally, they discuss the new Peace Corps director — and departing NPCA board member — Aaron Williams, and how online communication tools are changing the Volunteer experience.

    • 25 min
    Teach For America: An Interview with Aaliyah El-Amin

    Teach For America: An Interview with Aaliyah El-Amin

    Today's
    guest on The New Service podcast is Aaliyah El-Amin, an alumna of Teach For America’s 2000 Atlanta corps. Teach For America is the national corps
    of recent college graduates who commit to teach for at
    least two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong
    leaders in expanding educational opportunity. In the 2008-09 school
    year, 6,200 corps members taught in over 1,600 schools in 29
    regions across the country while more than 14,000 Teach For America
    alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education
    for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence
    and equity.
     
    In
    2000, at age twenty, Aaliyah El-Amin graduated from Davidson College
    and joined Teach For America to teach 4th and 5th grade in Atlanta,
    Georgia. It was through her corps experience, that Aaliyah found her
    calling. During her time in the classroom, Aaliyah received her Masters
    degree in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia. By the
    time she was twenty-three, she’d received her principal certification
    and had become an instructional facilitator at her placement school,
    providing professional development to veteran staff members. Aaliyah
    then became the executive director of Teach For America--Charlotte when
    she twenty-four. She is currently at Harvard University working on her
    doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration.   



    Idealist's
    Amy Potthast talks with Aaliyah about the impact corps members are
    having in underserved classrooms across the country, how applicants can demonstrate the qualities Teach For America seeks,
    and how Teach For
    America alums are going on to become lifelong leaders in the field of
    education. They also talk about Aaliyah’s own career path and her
    personal passion for creating educational equity, and how you can get
    involved with the movement to end educational inequity whether or not
    you participate in the corps.

    For other service opportunities, including teaching corps, check out The New Service blog from Idealist.org.

    • 30 min
    A Pride Month Interview - Lesbian and Gay Perspectives in AmeriCorps and Peace Corps

    A Pride Month Interview - Lesbian and Gay Perspectives in AmeriCorps and Peace Corps

    June is Pride Month, so The New Service podcast from Idealist.org
    is taking a closer look at the experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
    and transgender (LGBT) individuals serving in Peace Corps and
    AmeriCorps.





    Today's guests are lesbian and gay former service corps participants:






    Chad Jeremy, a former AmeriCorps NCCC corps member, currently a
    training specialist with AmeriCorps NCCC in Perry Point, MD. Chad is an
    officer with National Service GLOBE, an affinity group for LGBT folks involved with national service.
    Kate Kuykendall, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (China,
    1999-2001); currently a Public Affairs Officer for Peace Corps Los
    Angeles. Kate's a member of the LGBT Returned Peace Corps Volunteer group.
    Martha Tierney, a former Notre Dame AmeriCorps member, currently a
    program offer for AmeriCorps National at the Corporation for National and Community Service. Martha is also a National Service GLOBE officer.





    The New Service podcast host Amy Potthast speaks with them about agency policies affecting LGBT
    service—including policies around joining the corps with a same-sex
    partner; the experience of serving as a lesbian or gay corps member;
    and opportunities to serve on projects that relate to LGBT issues.





    Also check out our interivew with one of the only known transgender Returned Peace Corps Volunteers about his service. (Because of scheduling issues, and as a way to maintain his anonymity, we agreed to a written interview with him.)







    Finally, if you are an LGBT individual considering Peace Corps service, register for Kate Kuykendall's online information session "Have Rainbow, Will Travel: The LGBT Experience in the Peace Corps" on Saturday, June 20, 2009. She'll introduce Peace Corps service more specifically, and also address issues of special concern to LGBT folks.

    Read the transcript.

    • 31 min
    Cross Sector Relationships, Corporate Responsibility and Citizen Service: An Interview with Alan Khazei and Shannon Schuyler

    Cross Sector Relationships, Corporate Responsibility and Citizen Service: An Interview with Alan Khazei and Shannon Schuyler

    Corporate social responsibility and citizen service are increasingly
    becoming two sides of the same coin, as more business-sector employees
    and clients demand opportunities to improve their communities as part
    of their workplace culture. Exemplifying the beneficial opportunities
    of cross-sector alliances is the new national partnership between the
    nonprofit Be The Change, Inc., and the business network Pricewaterhouse
    Coopers (PwC).



    Today’s guests on The New Service podcast from Idealist.og are Be the Change, Inc's Alan Khazei and PwC's Shannon Schuyler.

    Alan Khazei is the founder and CEO of Be the Change, Inc, the lead organizer of the Service Nation campaign that has galvanized support throughout the country for passage of the Kennedy Serve America Act. Alan is Co-Founder & former CEO of City Year, the youth service corps that helped to inspire the development of AmeriCorps.



    Shannon Schuyler is the Managing Director responsible for PwC's U.S. Corporate Responsibility.
    As such she is responsible for fostering meaningful partnerships with
    national non-profits, including a new national relationship with Be the
    Change, Inc.



    The collaboration between Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Be the Change
    Inc is aimed at inspiring a new era of voluntary citizen service. PwC
    will also serve as a Lead Sponsor for ServiceNation's participation in
    the upcoming National Conference on Volunteering and Service. 



    Amy Potthast spoke with Alan and Shannon about their evolving
    partnership, about how corporate responsibility strengthens
    communities, and about how groups can — and must — come together across
    sectors to solve our most pressing social problems.

    • 25 min
    Nonprofit and Volunteer Resources: Laura Norvig and Jason Scott from the Resource Center

    Nonprofit and Volunteer Resources: Laura Norvig and Jason Scott from the Resource Center

    The Resource Center, a website of the Corporation for National and Community Service, is the repository of over 8,000 nodes of training tools, publications, and effective practices to support volunteer programs, nonprofits, and people involved with the AmeriCorps family of programs. The Resource Center–free and accessible to all audience–boasts a 3,000-item lending library as well as a calendar of events of interest to national service programs and nonprofits.

    The guests on this New Service podcast are Laura Norvig, the Resource Center's librarian, and Jason Scott, the Training Officer and eLearning Specialist at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Laura has been with the Resource Center for nearly a decade, manages acquisitions and operations for the Resource Center library, and oversees the taxonomy for the Resource Center website. She follows trends in blogging and collaborative media as well as serves as the “voice” of the Resource Center on social media sites.

    Jason is responsible for providing tools, training and information online to national service programs and nonprofits interested in service and volunteering. He has worked for an AmeriCorps State program and started out at CNCS as an AmeriCorps Recruiter before beginning his work in the Office of Leadership Development and Training.  He also served as a VISTA in 1999 then as a VISTA Leader in 2000.

    Amy Potthast talks with Laura and Jason about how you can access, benefit from, and contribute to the Resource Center.  Also check out sister websites VISTA Campus (free login required) and EnCorps.

    Learn more about national service and the Resource Center on The New Service blog from Idealist.org.

    • 25 min

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