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The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation recently received a $488,007 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Public Allies National Office. The grant allows its Public Allies Arizona program to recruit and engage 43 new participants this program year.
Public Allies Arizona, about to begin its tenth year at Arizona State University, is part of an AmeriCorps strategy that recruits, places and develops leadership skills in service-minded young individuals who engage in paid 10-month apprenticeships throughout local nonprofit partner organizations. Allies are diverse and passionate individuals interested in social change and making a positive impact in their community.
“The success of Public Allies Arizona is a testimony to our model of leadership that has been proven time and time again to make all the difference,” said Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. “The notion that leadership is an action one takes, not a position few hold, is exemplified by our Allies every day as they improve the quality of life in communities in most demonstrable of ways.”
An additional $595,000 in local funding is contributed through Public Allies Arizona Partner Organizations — bringing the total investments this year in over $1.8 million in support of this leadership development program.
As one of the largest Public Allies sites in the country, the impact on the local Phoenix metropolitan-area community through capacity-building programs such as Public Allies Arizona is profound.
“Public Allies Arizona has been a wonderful asset to the Phoenix community over the past 10 years, driving forward so much of the work our nonprofit community has been doing to support those in need. The allies are not only working to build the program capacity but are doing it while developing their own leadership and professional skills,” said Irma Q. Leyendecker, director of Public Allies Arizona. “We are truly excited about the next 10 years of supporting the Phoenix nonprofit community, while building the new leadership to sustain it.”
During the 2014-2015 year, allies served more than 61,300 hours and created 210 new collaborations and developed formal partnerships on behalf of their Partner Organizations representing new opportunities for information sharing, partnerships and collaborative projects. Additionally, allies implemented 11 community service projects, impacting hundreds of individuals and earned $229,200 in Eli Segal Education Awards to be used to offset the cost of attending college.
“Being an ally provided me the opportunity to turn thoughts into action," said Randall J. Tranowski, a Public Ally Arizona alumnus and current ally supervisor and school-community coordinator for Pioneer Preparatory School: A Challenge Foundation Academy. “Additionally, it challenged me to prove my worth to Pioneer — and myself — where I was not only fortunate to secure a full-time position after the program, but to also supervise, mentor and coach our new ally for the 2015-2016 program year.”
Over $4.6 million in external grant dollars have been awarded to the ASU Lodestar Center in support of Public Allies Arizona since the program's launch in 2006. When accounting for the value of in-kind support, as well as funds invested by the nonprofits to have an Ally placed within their agencies, the total financial investment is almost $4.9 million and more than $9.5 million over the past nine years.
Written by Nicole Almond Anderson