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AmeriCorps Alums Announces 2016 AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Award Winners

September 22, 2016

AmeriCorps Alums is pleased to announce two recipients of the 2016 AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Award: Bria Price of Washington, D.C. and Tanika Lynch of Baltimore, MD.  The award is named in honor of Eli Segal – known as the “father of AmeriCorps” and the first CEO of Corporation for National and Community Service. New in 2016, it was designated to recognize emerging leaders who demonstrated strong collaboration and leadership potential during their AmeriCorps service, and a commitment to equity and an impact career. In addition, the awardees are also named Segal Fellows as part of a strategic partnership with the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program.201609-sep-18-segal_0497

Ben Duda, Co-Executive Director of AmeriCorps Alums notes, “Bria and Tanika are uniquely driven to make a difference in communities and for young people.  For both, their AmeriCorps experience played a formative role in shaping their worldview and their aspirations. On behalf of AmeriCorps Alums, we’re so pleased to invest in their leadership development and work together to shape how we address issues of equity and impact.”

Mary Bruce, Co-Executive Director adds, “We’re thrilled to have the 2016 awardees based in the DC region, and see exciting synergy opportunities as we look to advance the importance of a service year, the role that service can play in creating opportunities for all, and how AmeriCorps alums are uniquely suited to be the talent pipeline for the nonprofit sector.  Bria and Tanika fully embody those ideals.”

More about the 2016 AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Awardees, pictured above Tanika Lynch & Bria Price (L to R):

Tanika Lynch, a Playworks ’16 AmeriCorps alum, is currently in the Urban Teacher residency program at City Springs Elementary / Middle School in Baltimore where she is team-teaching in a 5th grade classroom.  She shared, “The communities AmeriCorps seeks to support are often under-resourced and in a state of disrepair. Non-profits that seek to make communities safer, stronger, and healthier must first understand how racism and other tools of oppression have counteracted each of those goals. With that in mind, they are then able to address root causes. Whereas the private sector has a fiscal bottom line, non-profits are able to get closer to the heart of the people.” Tanika holds a long term interest in the intersection of education, incarceration, and community development.

Bria Price, a City Year ’15, ‘16 AmeriCorps alum, currently works at City Year as an Impact Manager where she’s deeply invested in creating a powerful culture of learning for AmeriCorps members at the Johnson Middle School in Washington DC.  Bria shares, “Service is the gateway to consistent learning and growth if investment is for your community first, the world second and you third.  I could not be successful at one unless I was successful at all, but to do so required growth in me as a leader.” Bria envisions a career that merges social justice, education, and the arts.

The prestigious Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program hosted the 2016 Fellows Orientation on Sunday September 18, where program Executive Director, Tam Emerson, was able to see Bria and Tanika in action. Tam, a 2008 Segal Fellow and City Year ’07, ’08 AmeriCorps alum shares, “The 2016 AmeriCorps Alums Eli Segal Leadership Awardees are impressive citizen leaders and we’re eager for them to join our national Network, engage with the other AmeriCorps Segal Fellows in their cohort, and collaborate with the other 80+ Segal Fellows across sectors and the world to discuss real solutions for our current societal problems.”  The Eli J. Segal Program engages emerging leaders from four other partner streams and provides personal mentorship, cross-sector professional development, and inter-generational networking for a lifetime.


About AmeriCorps Alums:

AmeriCorps Alums is a powerful network of diverse alums that supports & equips each other to get things done so that all people can thrive in strong communities.  AmeriCorps Alums is the only national network for alumni of all AmeriCorps programs and celebrates the 1 millionth alumni this October 7th.  A business unit of Points of Light – connect with AmeriCorps Alums at and Facebook + Twitter + LinkedIn + Blog.


About the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program:

Named in honor of the first CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service and one of the first champions of national service, based at Brandeis University, the Eli J Segal Fellows Program provides emerging leaders an opportunity to join a community of like-minded change-makers. These leaders collaborate across sectors and topic areas to break down silos and create solutions in the pursuit of a more just and equitable world.

There are over 90 inspiring, diverse, and multi-generational fellows who are already leaders in their communities as well as a network of over 500 Founders and program partners. In addition to AmeriCorps Alums, Fellows gain entry to the program through partnerships with diverse leaders from Brandeis, City Year, CNCS, and Service Year Alliance. For more information about the program, please visit

University of Chicago’s Harris School to Offer Full Match of the Segal Ed Award

September 21, 2016

Today’s partner post is sponsored and written by The University of Chicago
Harris School of Public Policy. In addition to offering a full Segal Education Award match, AmeriCorps alumni applicants will receive preferential consideration and a waived application fee. Alumni will also be considered for additional merit awards.


Shehara Waas served as an AmeriCorps member with the FEMA Corps program between 2013 and 2014, working as an Environmental Consultant for FEMA’s Office of Environmental and Historical Preservation.

“In my experience, AmeriCorps’ various service programs target those who want to understand how collective action and genuine public interest can make an impact,” says Waas.

Waas built on her AmeriCorps experience at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, where she recently earned a master’s degree in public policy. With the solid foundation in service she got through AmeriCorps and the high-level analytical skills she acquired during her time at Harris, she’s now well equipped to make social impact on a large scale. She’s currently strengthening food policy for the Chicago region through a nonprofit called Fresh Taste, and she hopes someday to play a leading role at a regional planning organization.

Chicago Harris recently strengthened its commitment to helping AmeriCorps alumni like Waas continue to pursue positive change after their service term ends. Beginning in the fall of 2016, the Harris school will match in full the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award provided to AmeriCorps alumni who enroll in a master’s degree program, making it the first policy school in the state of Illinois to offer such matching funds.

“Whereas some look at a situation and say, ‘Someone should do something about that,’ AmeriCorps members see the situation and say, ‘I will do something about that,’” says Scott McFarland, executive director of Serve Illinois, which administers AmeriCorps programs across Illinois. “I want to thank Harris for showing that our colleges and universities understand that these AmeriCorps volunteers are the best that America has to offer.”

Adam McGriffin, associate director of career development at Harris, has worked extensively with AmeriCorps as a member, program director and commissioner. He believes that the investment builds on the shared priorities of AmeriCorps and Harris.

“I’ve been involved with AmeriCorps at every level and can confidently say that AmeriCorps service, combined with the rigorous quantitative training offered at Harris, creates the ideal combination of firsthand experience and world-class education to develop the next generation of effective change agents,” says McGriffin, an AmeriCorps alum.


The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy was founded on the belief that rigorous, quantitative research is the best guide for public policy. Since 1988, when the School opened its doors, it has built on the University of Chicago’s rich legacy as one of the world’s leading educational and research institutions. Honoring its foundation, Harris does not restrict itself to any particular policy domain but distinguishes itself by its unique point of view. From urban studies to early childhood development, from environmental sustainability to global health and more, Harris brings an exacting, data-driven perspective to the full spectrum of policy concerns.

Continually adapting to address the world’s most complex social challenges, the school is a pre-eminent source of scholarship with immediate relevance to practitioners. Our students come to us with the ambition to make a difference, and they graduate with a set of skills that enable them to become effective policy leaders. Harris alumni are thriving in a wide range of fields, but they are united by their belief that there is a science to social impact.

All students are required to take a year-long core curriculum providing a multidisciplinary foundation in policy analysis. Electives deepen students’ quantitative and critical thinking skills in areas such as economics, statistics, decision theory, political economy and organizational theory. Students are also encouraged to develop areas of expertise and acquire real-world training through coursework at Harris and other schools at the University, as well as through internships, practica and independent research projects.

Roughly one-third of Harris graduates pursue careers in the nonprofit sector, one-third in the public sector and one-third in the private sector. Regardless of their career path, graduating students are ready not only to be outstanding policy analysts but to lead policy change.

Like AmeriCorps members and alumni, Harris students, faculty, and alumni bring passion and precision to complex challenges. They know how to figure out what’s best for society—and get it done.

To learn more about Harris and to determine which program is the best fit for you, please contact Timothy LeCroix at 773.702.1019 or



How Do 1 of 3 Alums Get Their Jobs?

September 20, 2016

volunteermaryland1 in 3 Alums Got their Jobs through our Networks – Help Us Grow AmeriCorps Alums TODAY

AmeriCorps Alums supports diverse leadership in the social sector by connecting alums across the country to resources that support their commitment to a lifetime of service.  And it’s working.  We surveyed 2,500 alums this summer and learned that 1 in 3 alums got a job through resources and/or the network provided by AmeriCorps or AmeriCorps Alums!  (We’ll be sharing more from survey results soon.)

But we need you to make this possible! Each year, we rely on donations of alumni and national service champions to keep our programs available.  

This year, to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of AmeriCorps, we have a goal to raise $22,000 from 220 alumni by October 1.  These funds will support career and educational goals of alums across the country. We’re already almost half way to our goal, so please send your gift by October 1, 2016 to help us help you reach our goals.  Visit today.

We are counting on you!

Can You Hear Me? I said: Females are Strong as Hell

September 16, 2016

unbrekablekimmyschmidt2Two in 3 AmeriCorps alums are women (and 3 in 4 of our staff at Alums!).  In the words of (Unbreakable) Kimmy Schmidt, ‘we females are strong as hell.’ There’s been a lot about us females in the news & on social media this week.  Here’s some that have caught our attention:

1. Read about how Obama’s Female Staffers Came Up With a Genius Strategy to Make Sure Their Voices Were Heard. They adopted a meeting strategy they called “amplification”: When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own. Obama noticed and began calling more often on women and junior aides.

2. Watch Kristen Bell introduce Pinksourcing, an HR firm where women are a bargain at the workplace, since you only have to pay them 77 cents on the dollar!  Hilarious… and sad, because it’s true.

3. Listen to NPR’s “How I Built This with Sarah Blakely, to learn how she overcame rejection – and became a billionaire.  The founder of Spanx, Blakely sold fax machines door-to-door for seven years and made her own path to yes.

4. Learn about the Presidential candidates plans for affordable childcare by reading PBS’ Where do the presidential candidates stand on child care and pay equity?  Ivanka Trump’s interview in Cosmopolitan has gotten a lot of attention, where she shares “It is a terrible thing that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave” and clarifies that the plan’s focus is on mothers – and does not include fathers.  For official campaign platforms, visit the childcare reform section on Donald Trump’s campaign website and the paid family leave policy on Hillary Clinton’s campaign website.

Today’s blog is written by AmeriCorps Alums’ Co-Executive Director Mary Bruce (full bio below), and is part of AmeriCorps Alums’ REALTalk series on race, equity, and AmeriCorps alumni as leaders.  

You’re One in A Million

September 12, 2016

Today is the 22nd anniversary of AmeriCorps! Since its founding, the alums community has given more than one billion hours of service. As we kick off the 2016-2017 corps year with this milestone, we are thrilled to share we are also welcoming the one millionth AmeriCorps member to our national service family!

As we approach this milestone, AmeriCorps Alums is thrilled to announce we are launching a 3-year initiative to better support diverse leadership in the social sector. Our nation faces pressing challenges and needs the power of different perspectives. That’s the AmeriCorps way.

We believe every member of the alumni community has a role to play.  As a cornerstone of our work, we are committed to building a community that supports and equips each other. Already, each year, hundreds of alums and AmeriCorps champions make this possible by contributing to our community as bloggers, webinar presenters, resume reviewers, and more. Last year, over 100,000 alumni were connected to our career services!

blog1-22ndOne key way to get involved is to donate, so that these essential programs are funded. Maureen Eccleston (Assistant Director, PennSERVE | AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps, VISTA 1999-2000 & 2004) shares, “Service is about sustainability – creating structures that transform communities into healthier places to live, work and grow.  AmeriCorps Alums helps alumni contribute to this vision by connecting us to each other and to great career resources. That’s why I donate to Alums.

Together, we are going to do even more to strengthen communities (including the alums community!) – but we need you to do it. Our new workforce equity initiative to better support diverse leadership in the social sector, our continuous building of the Alums network, our wide range of resources – all of this takes funding. We rely on AmeriCorps alums like you for monthly or one-time contributions of any amount.

danielsdonnaLast year, we had over 100 alumni donate during our fall campaign. This year, we hope to top that. Donna Daniels (Consultant, USAID | NCCC and Catholic Network of Volunteer Service: 1999-2003) gives, and she shares, “Service – at home & abroad – helps us understand and address the root causes of poverty. AmeriCorps Alums helps alumni live that mission, for life.  That’s why I give.”

Maureen, Donna – their stories are the stories of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Alums.  They gave – and they continue to give, so that we can continue to live the AmeriCorps pledge to make communities safer, stronger & healthier. They, like you, are one in a million.

We are counting on your support. Please make your gift today by visiting


REALTalk: A Few Resources on Race & Equity

September 9, 2016

Earlier this year, we issued a statement in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the five officers in Dallas: Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Lorne Ahrens, and Michael J. Smith. We also asked the alums community what resources you are using, or in need of, to bring Americans together to strengthen our communities. This work is important to our core mission and also closely tied to Alums’ new Talent and Equity Initiative. We want to make sure we are “getting things done” by being inclusive in our work.

We want to thank the many of you who shared resources and the ideas you have about how we can better support alumni in leading our communities towards unity, equity, and opportunity.

Here, we share some of the resources you suggested.  In the coming months, we’ll continue to share additional resources in our newsletter, on our blog and on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We invite you to look for the #REALTalk hashtag (REALTalk stands for Race, Equity, Alums as Leaders) and continue to share and comment on our posts.  You can also submit a blog about your experiences and perspectives.

Here are a few of the suggested resources from the Alums network related to race, equity, and inclusion:

Radiolab (Shea Walsh)

Thank you so much for sharing these TED talks, articles, podcasts, news forums, blogs, books, and tool-kits! We greatly appreciate it and look forward to engaging more with all of you about how together we can build a safer, stronger and more equitable communities.


A 100% Tuition Waiver to Jumpstart Your Community Development Career: Earn a Master’s at ISU’s Stevenson Center

August 17, 2016

Stevenson Center ISU logoToday’s sponsored post is written by Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center. AmeriCorps alumni come to the Stevenson Center for unique graduate programs and unrivaled value. The Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program
includes a 100% tuition waiver for all courses and a paid graduate assistantship. After a full year on campus, Fellows complete paid professional practice in the second year, gaining invaluable field experience and networking opportunities. The full financial package is worth up to $57,000.

For AmeriCorps alum Ramya Kumaran, the transition from AmeriCorps to the Stevenson Center ACED Fellows Program, and then a job in community development proved seamless. Ramya shares:

final ramya kumaran headshot“During my time with AmeriCorps, I realized my passion for serving high-need communities. The Stevenson Center’s heavy emphasis on community and economic development supports my experiences with City Year and has added deeper context to my year of service. AmeriCorps alumni are prepared to succeed at the Stevenson Center, because they have a foundation based on community development fieldwork. Because of the emphasis on both theoretical and professional practice, the Stevenson Center has prepared me to succeed professionally. In addition, the community of students and faculty that the Stevenson Center fosters has provided me the opportunity to learn and be challenged by perspectives from different disciplines and backgrounds.”

The Stevenson Center’s ACED Fellows Program has three key qualities that could jumpstart your professional development. Read more…

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