We Welcome Current Members and the Spring

The never-ending winter of 2015 has finally drawn to an end! HOORAY! Join us in celebrating the arrival of spring AND making it 3/4 of the way through the service year. On April 2, we’re throwing our first-ever game night to bring together AmeriCorps members who are currently serving and our Ambassador community.

Register now to reserve your spot and score free dinner!

Round Robin Is Now FREE

Hey Alums,

Thanks to a wonderful donor who is covering the cost of our Professional Development Round Robin, all tickets are now free!

Join us this Thursday at City Year Headquarters for a night of networking, engaging with area non-profit leaders, and development opportunities. Bring your resume and we’ll help you brush it up.

See you there!

Join Us for a Professional Development Round Robin!

Searching for a job? Want to learn how to brand yourself to employers? Seeking resume guidance? We’ve rounded up a group of experts to help you with all of this, and more!

Join us for a Professional Development Round Robin on Thursday, March 12 from 6-8:30 pm at City Year Headquarters. You’ll have the opportunity to engage in small group discussions with nonprofit sector leaders and ask questions around a wide range of topics and issues. AND you’ll also have the opportunity to get to know other like-minded professionals and expand your professional network. If you’re job searching, interest-searching, or just looking for a fun night out, you won’t want to miss this event!

For just $10, you will have access to experts in topics such as:

  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Personal Branding via Social Media
  • Managing Up
  • Cross-Sector Job Transition
  • Optimizing Your Presence on LinkedIn
  • Social Impact and Advocacy in the Service World
  • Time Management
  • Searching for a Job While You Still Have a Job

Light dinner will also be provided.

Don’t forget to bring a hard copy of your resume with you, if you’d like help brushing it up, and of course business cards if you have them!

Register now!

March Alums Spotlight: Marisa Daniel

This March we will be shining the alums spotlight on Marisa Daniel, former City Year corps member and recent Heller graduate.

When and where did you serve in AmeriCorps?

Marisa Daniel served in AmeriCorps with Friends of the Children and later with City Year Boston
Marisa Daniel served in AmeriCorps with Friends of the Children and later with City Year Boston

During my senior year of undergrad (2009-10) I served as a part-time AmeriCorps member in Boston for Friends of the Children.  I was a positive peer mentor for a second grader in Roxbury. Following that I served one year (2010-11) with City Year Boston and was located at Orchard Gardens Elementary School during their first year of its turnaround.

What is a story/experience that has stuck with you from your time in AmeriCorps? It can be good, bad, fun, profound, etc…

As an AmeriCorps member with CYB I served in an fifth grade math and social studies classroom.  Working with children is a roller coaster of learning which made every day memorable.  I worked closely with one student named Christian, who struggled keeping his behavior in line which then led to him being behind in math.  Although Christian would act out on a daily basis, I felt a connection with this student as I saw his potential to excel.  After a month or so of tutoring one on one, Christian began to master his multiplication tables and one day said, “I know math because of you Miss Marisa.” It’s days like those that have motivated and kept me grounded throughout graduate school.

How has your AmeriCorps experience benefited you after you served?

My AmeriCorps experience has benefited me in several ways. First and foremost it gave me hands on experience in a classroom giving me exposure to the effects of current education policy in Boston Public Schools.  It has provided me with professional development holding me and my fellow corps members to high standards.  It showed me that although one year of service is short, it is possible to make a lasting impression both on those you serve and yourself. I have developed lifelong friends both with fellow corps members, my program manager, and the teacher whose class I served in.  I also was fortunate to attend a graduate school that matched the education award allowing me to attend graduate school at a more affordable rate.  Lastly, my sister saw how impactful my experience was on my life and career choices and is now serving as an AmeriCorps member in Austin, Texas.

You recently received your MBA and MPP from the Heller School and Brandeis, what motivated you to go to grad school, and especially Heller?

There are many ways to affect change in social policy and I decided to pursue an MPP/MBA degree to equip myself with the skills necessary to make a difference in the nonprofit and public sector.  The students that I served at Orchard Gardens were my main motivation in applying to graduate school.  During my 10 months of service in their classroom, I saw such growth and new passions for learning develop.  I was drawn to Heller because of its focus on social justice and work in the nonprofit sector.  Many of the students there have similar backgrounds of service which creates a great atmosphere for learning and discussion about change.

Outside of volunteering, what do you do for fun?

Outside of volunteering I love to go out and try new restaurants around Boston and the surrounding area.  I also love listening to music, reading great books, and seeing movies in almost every genre.  

What’s something that inspires you?

On a daily basis I’m inspired by quotes that I’ve collected over the years from thought leaders, politicians, and other motivational speakers.  One of my favorites is the following:

What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything. –Pedro Arrupe S.J.–

And lastly, a fun one, if you had the choice between being guaranteed to live for 100 years or having one superpower for one year (and then living out a natural length of life) which would you choose? Why? And if you choose to have a superpower, what power?

Without a doubt, I would have a superpower for one year.  I’ve always struggled with the superpower question as I have two favorite powers.  The first would be to have the ability to speak every language in the world.  The second would be to be able to teleport around the world (but not through time)!  As you can see, it’s a difficult decision.

Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?

Not that I can think of! Thanks for this opportunity, great to take the time to reflect!

Presenter Spotlight: Hilary Sullivan

Hilary Sullivan is the Associate Director of Service and Community Partnerships at Northeastern University. She will chair the Interpersonal Relationship Skills Building table at the upcoming Professional Development Round Robin on Thursday, February 27th. RSVP here!

In which program did you serve? Where?

I served in NCCC -Charleston Campus Class X from 2003-2004 and Literacy*AmeriCorps West Palm Beach from 2004-2005.

How did your experience as an AmeriCorps member prepare you for what you are doing right now?

My AmeriCorps experiences prepared me in so many ways for my current role as an Associate Director in Northeastern’s Center of Community Service. NCCC taught me about the different ways to become engaged in the community, and taught me how to enter and exit a new community thoughtfully and respectfully. Both years of service taught me how to understand the needs and wants of the community before jumping in to offer services, something I teach students on a regular basis. The college students I work with are excited and ready to serve, but sometimes need guidance in how to use their skills and knowledge to meet the needs of the community.

Why should Alums be excited to learn together and with others at this professional development event?

The Alums network is one of the most powerful networks around. Through my six years of involvement with the Boston Alums Chapter, I have connected with so many Alums, both personally and professionally. In 10 more years, I believe there will be an AmeriCorps Alum working in every major company and nonprofit in the country. To share what we know and have learned with one another is critically important to keep elevating Alums to the leadership status we all deserve. As Ben Duda, co-ED of the AmeriCOrps Alums network says, he wants a common saying to be “There’s an ALUM for that!”

What are you personally excited about with speaking at this upcoming event?

I love getting to meet Alums that have just finished serving or just moved to Boston, and re-connecting with Alums who have been here for awhile. I’m happy to share my professional experiences, but I know that I will also have the chance to learn from the Alums who come by my table. While networking events can sometimes be intimidating, I always feel the connection between fellow Alums comes easily and naturally.



Networking Social with AmeriCorps Alums Boston and the Heller School: UPDATE!


*If 1.2 lbs of food = 1 meal. How many meals can the AmeriCorps Alums Boston Chapter donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank?Bring your cans to our Heller School Social this Thursday, December 5th from 6:30-8:30PM. RSVP today.

Join us on Thursday, December 5th from 6:30-8:30 at WorkBar for an informative and fun night of networking and to learn about the more than $1,000,000 in exclusive scholarships available for AmeriCorps Alums at the Heller School, with more scholarships available than ever before! 

Through the National Service Scholarship Program, the Heller School seeks to recognize the contributions AmeriCorps Alums have made to civic engagement and the greater good through service to communities across the country. A panel of Heller School faculty and staff will join us as well as AmeriCorps Alum Heller students and alums who will share how their service experience influenced their decision to apply to the MBA in Nonprofit Management and MPP programs. This year, we will also have a panel focused on National Service Advocacy. Complimentary beer, wine and appetizers will be served. Click here to RSVP.

The event will be hosted at WorkBar (right across from South Station) – a cool venue that supports entrepreneurs during the day, and connects like-minded professionals in the evening. Reserve your spot today for our largest networking event of the year, and spread the word to your AmeriCorps friends!

Hope to see you there!

-The AC Alums Boston Board

2013 Opening Day Social at Lir

Carrying on the commitment this year and beyond
Carrying on the commitment this year and beyond

On Friday, Nov. 8 more than 65 AmeriCorps Alums got together to celebrate AmeriCorps Opening Day in MA by gathering for a happy hour at Lir.
Our board chairs Moira Mannix and Chris Bentson had the privilege of speaking at the Opening Day ceremony earlier in the day, where more than 1,000 currently serving AmeriCorps members took the AmeriCorps pledge.

As a community, we were excited to get together with AmeriCorps alums who have served all over the country in many different programs including (but certainly not limited to) City Year, Teach for America, Playworks, NCCC, VISTA, and more. We had a great turnout and are really excited to expand our network (and our impact) in Boston this year.

Special thank you to Lir for offering us their upstairs space for the second year in a row!

4th Annual Harpoon Kick-Off!


On Monday, October 21st, more than 50 Alums joined the AmeriCorps Alums Boston Board at our 4th Annual Harpoon Kick Off! This fun social event was a celebration of the year ahead as Alums networked and swapped service stories all while sharing delicious fresh beer from our friends at Harpoon Brewery. Alums met beforehand in the new Harpoon Beer Hall, and then moved over to the newly remodeled Tasting Room for the evening’s festivities. In addition to meeting Alums from across the city and country, guests had the chance to try rare and limited beers and to learn about Harpoon’s history. One luck raffle winner even took home a prize pack of pint glasses, koozies, and a t-shirt! Thanks to everyone who came out to help us launch another great year of events and programming. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Cheers, -The AC Alums Boston Board

Meet the 2013-2014 AmeriCorps Alums Boston Board!

Boardies looking fab in their AC logo sunglasses
Boardies looking fab in their AC logo sunglasses
Megan Baker (City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley ’10 & ’11), 1st year board member, is the Social Media Specialist at the Boston Beer Company where she manages day-to-day activities on social channels for Samuel Adams and Allied Brands to connect with consumers, generate engaging content, and drive positive brand sentiment. Megan is originally from Rochester, NY where she attended St. John Fisher College and holds a MA in Communication Management from Emerson College. 

Chris Bentson (VISTA ’08), 4th year board member and Co-Chair, is Development Director for America SCORES Boston, an innovative afterschool organization providing soccer and literacy programs to Boston Public Schools. Prior to working at SCORES, Chris was the Manager of Foundation & Corporate Relations at Cradles to Crayons where he also served as a VISTA in 07-08. Chris graduated from Boston College with a BA in Theology and Philosophy, and believes that national service can solve the world’s problems. Chris is an avid fan of the Red Sox and a supporter of Liverpool FC, and he thinks you should follow him on twitter @chrisbentson. Chris enjoys society.

Ellen Daoust (VISTA [2010-2011], NCCC [2011-2012], Mass Promise Fellow [2012-2013]), 1st year board member, holds a BA from Smith College in Government and Spanish, a MS in Applied Communications from Fitchburg State University and a Graduate Certificate in Digital Video from Northeastern University College of Professional Studies.   She is a Multimedia Research Assistant with Engineering is Elementary at the Museum of Science Boston where she films and edits classroom lessons designed to expose elementary students of all backgrounds to engineering.

Lindsay Dumas (VISTA ’08, ’11), 1st year board member, is the Digital Archivist/Digital Projects Coordinator in the Digital Lab at Harvard Law School Library where she coordinates the creation of digital surrogates of Historical and Special Collections material and serves as a member of the Library Emergency Collections Team. She previously worked as an archivist at the New York University Archives and a museum educator and program developer at the Brooklyn Historical Society and Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Since 2003 she has been a Disaster Services Volunteer with the American Red Cross, serving in numerous capacities including Disaster Action Team leader, Red Cross Liaison and Mass Care Coordinator to the State Emergency Command Center and an instructor of Disaster Specialty Trainings and Community Emergency Preparedness. As an Americorps*VISTA, she utilized this experience, coordinating emergency preparedness education for low income communities in San Francisco as a Preparedness Specialist for the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. She also combined her interest in cultural heritage and disaster preparedness while serving as a VISTA again at the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts. Lindsay is a graduate of Providence College and holds a MA in Public History and Archival Management from New York University.

Matthew English (MountainServe ’01), 2nd year board member, is the Database and Applications Support Analyst at Year Up’s National Headquarters. He is also a graduate student at Northeastern University pursuing a degree in Economics. Matthew’s introduction to community service came as an AmeriCorps member at Lock Haven University’s MountainServe program (’00-’01) where he worked in the community projects team in rural Pennsylvania. After graduating he worked predominantly in the nonprofit sector as a counselor, researcher, teacher, and then finally as an AmeriCorps program administrator for Playworks where he served for nearly 3 years managing all facets of the AmeriCorps grant for Boston.

Krystal Hope (Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring ‘10 & ’11), 2nd year board member, is the Program Manager for the Highland Street Corps Ambassadors of Mentoring AmeriCorps Program at Mass Mentoring Partnership. She fosters civic engagement through service and volunteerism for 25 AmeriCorps members serving at 21 mentoring programs across MA. Krystal is also a 2013 Community Fellow in the Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University. Previously, she served as an AmeriCorps member with the Ambassador of Mentoring as the Volunteer Recruitment and Outreach Associate for 2 years.  She is a proud aluma of Juniata College (pronouced Ju-nee-ah-tah) with a B.A. in Organizational Communication. Krystal enjoys Instagraming, “reading” magazines with lots of pictures, and consuming an inordinate amount of reality TV on her laptop during her downtimes.

Moira Mannix (Massachusetts Campus Compact ‘03), 4th year board member and Co-Chair,  is the Director of the Field Experience Office at Wheelock College where she oversees the placement of over 300 undergraduate and graduate students in academically required field experiences each semester.  Moira has also served as the Associate Director in the same department.  Prior to her time at Wheelock, Moira worked in the Dean’s Office at Teachers College and as a Program Coordinator at Community Impact, Columbia University while attending graduate school.  Moira was also the Student Development Coordinator and Staff Assistant at Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), a student-led nonprofit at Harvard University.  Moira initially began at PBHA as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with the Massachusetts Campus Compact.  Moira is a graduate of Boston College and holds a MA in History and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Angela Martano (NCCC Denver ’09, ‘10), 3rd year board member, is the Corporate Volunteer Coordinator for Cradles to Crayons where she coordinates all corporate service events at “The Giving Factory” in Brighton.  She studied Italian at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts and also studied abroad in Perugia, Italy (famous for chocolate!).  After college, she served with AmeriCorps NCCC for 2 years; her favorite project was working with inner-city teenagers from Denver and doing various summer service projects with them.  They taught her how to do “the Jerk” which is pretty sweet.  Not only that, but while in AmeriCorps she learned how to chainsaw a tree, build a home, plant a community garden and play ridiculous games with kids.  Her favorite TV show of all time is Gilmore Girls and her favorite music artist is John Legend, as he always puts her in a good mood.  She loves puns, baking and talking anyone’s ear off that will listen about AmeriCorps NCCC.  Last, but certainly not least, she has an Ameri-Shrine in her dining room, and it’s AWESOME!

Jamie Minton (VISTA ’10), 2nd year board member,  is the Director of Development and Communications at Homes for families, an advocacy organization who brings the voice of families experiencing homelessness to the forefront of policy making.  Before moving to Boston, Jamie served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in St Augustine, FL where she had the privilege of working with hundreds of at-risk youth, engaging them in their community and empowering them to invest in themselves.  Wanting to impact America’s youth on a grander scale, she worked her way to San Francisco (like every confused social justice warrior) and finally Boston (like every politically charged social justice student).  Her favorite things are guilty pleasures, and her guiltiest of pleasures are trolling HuffPost comments, ABC Family Channel shows and free music/food/anything.  Her favorite daydream involves a yet to be named non-profit organization that challenges current non-profit funding ideologies and methods while simultaneously empowering youth to become leaders through civic engagement and positive tunes…real talk.  Jamie recently graduated with a Masters in Public Policy and a concentration in Poverty Alleviation  from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Brandeis University…and she can safely say that she is done with school forever, and can’t stop saying it.

Michael Omenazu (Highland Street Corps Ambassador of Mentoring ’10-11), 1st year board member, is a Recruitment Manager at Commongood Careers, a recruitment firm that specializes in empowering leading-edge organizations to accomplish their mission by addressing their recruitment and hiring needs. Michael is responsible for sourcing candidates and generating talent pipelines for search engagements to fill high impact hires. Prior to joining Commongood Careers, Michael was a recruiter at Boston Teacher Residency, a nationally-recognized and innovative teacher training AmeriCorps program. With a passion for youth development and mentoring, Michael completed a term of service in which he recruited mentors at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts, as well as led statewide service projects to ensure quality mentoring programs and best practices.  Currently, he serves on the board of a nonprofit that is addressing homelessness with women and youth populations, as well as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  A graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield, Michael is a two-time Illinois College Press Association award winner and an avid athlete.

Cassandra Pagan (Parasol Tahoe Community Collaborative ’10), 2nd year board member, currently serves as the AmeriCorps Program Director for the Boston Teacher Residency Program at BPE. BPE’s mission is to drive exceptional outcomes for all students by developing great teachers and great schools. Cassandra manages a corps of 70 full-time AmeriCorps members that serve in the Boston Public Schools while earning a Master’s in Education from UMass Boston and working towards an Initial Teaching License. After their service year, alumni become teachers of record in the Boston Public Schools in high-needs content areas and continue to serve the students of Boston. Prior to joining BPE, Cassandra worked in the private sector as an Analyst for Clear Capital Inc. in valuation products and as a Client Services Advocate for Tahoe Women’s Services. She holds a BA in International Political Economy from the Colorado College.

Allison Rogers (City Year Boston ’97 & AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps ’98), 1st year board member, is a Special Assistant in the Mayor’s Office of Human Services where she supports the Chief of Human Services in diversity of special projects and new initiatives.   Mayor’s Office of Human Services (OHS) is comprised of eight City departments where some of her responsibilities include but not limited to project management of constituent relations technology project for all eight OHS departments, management of the volunteer and service program for Boston Centers for Youth & Families and program and event support for Office of Human Services departments.  Prior to working for OHS, she supported the Mayor’s Chief of Staff as well as managed the Mayor’s Boston Shines program, which includes an annual citywide clean up engaging over 5,000 volunteers.  Allison started her role in the public sector as the Jamaica Plain (JP) coordinator for the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services providing constituent services for the residents of JP and working with City departments to resolve issues and cut through the red tape of government.  She was a member and co-chair of the City Year Boston Alumni Board as well as co-founder of the City Year Annual Service Weekend to New Orleans.  Allison is a graduate of Boston University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban Affairs from Metropolitan College.


Celebrating the Year with AmeriCorps Alums Boston Ambassadors

On Wednesday, June 5th, the Alums Board recognized more than 30 AmeriCorps Alums Boston Ambassadors who supported and strengthened the chapter throughout the year.

Hosted at Mass Challenge in the Innovation District, the event brought together our most involved alumni during 2012-2013 to celebrate the year, debrief what is working well and discuss new initiatives to consider introducing next year to build our community.

Thank you to ambassador and photographer Melissa Blackall for capturing all the fun and alumni appreciation! Check them out the photos here.

Our newest Ambassadors will join last year’s 33 Ambassadors and show off the coveted red nametag at all future events.  Ambassadors are alumni who attended 2 or more events, met 1:1 with a board member to share their alumni perspective and/or contributed to the success of events and board initiatives. 

Want to reminisce about the alums year?  Check out the awesome video created by board member Melissa Horr: http://youtu.be/1cQEmHUOvpI

Thank you to the entire chapter for a great year of service and networking!