4th Annual Harpoon Kick-Off!

HarpoonKickoff

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

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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.
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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!

May 4th – Alums Service Day with Boston Youth Fund

Join alums and current members for a great day of service with The Boston Youth Fund!  RSVP NOW

paint-tools-00About The Boston Youth Fund (BYF): provides over 3,000 Boston teens between the ages of 15 and 17 with job opportunities during the summer months and also supports 500 positions throughout the school-year.  Each year, BYF participants work in a variety of jobs within community, faith-based, and government agencies and work as administrative assistants, mural painters, peer leaders and much more.

Service: 10 AM – 1 PM
Registration opens at 9:15 AM

Boston Youth Fund
125 Magazine Street, Roxbury (located across form 1010 Mass Ave.)
Available service slots:  30, first come, first serve.

Project Description: Volunteers will help to create a more inviting and vibrant area for the thousands of teens that will be visiting the Boston Youth Fund in May to be processed for their summer jobs.  Service will include painting the entrance area where youth are checked in as well as the hallway and the large central processing room where teens received photo id and fill out necessary paperwork and receive additional information regarding their employment.  Part of the painting will include a simple mural welcoming youth to the Boston Youth Fund.  In addition, both bathrooms will be painted.  All work will take place on the first floor where all youth activities take place.

For more information and to RSVP: http://alumsservicedaybyf2013.eventbrite.com/#

May 8th – RSVP for Networking and Info Session with SIT Graduate Institute

UPDATE: Our Event with SIT Graduate Institute, originally planned for April 17th, has been rescheduled for May 8th.
RSVP HERE

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Join us on Wednesday April 17 for an exclusive event for AmeriCorps alumni and current members. SIT Graduate Institute will be presenting information on its internationally-focused master’s degree programs and the scholarship opportunities available to AmeriCorps alumni through this partnership. This event will be a great opportunity to network with other AmeriCorps alumni, learn more about graduate study and the different career paths and leadership roles that SIT prepares its alumni to succeed in.

Whitney Longnecker,  a current student in SIT’s MA in International Education shares,I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA from 2009 to 2010 for Iowa Campus Compact at AIB College of Business in Des Moines, Iowa. In my position, I assisted students as they completed a service learning requirement, planned an all-campus service day, and implemented a pre-service reflection session. My SIT graduate degree is preparing me for a career in international education where I plan to work on a university campus with study abroad or international students.”

When: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Time: 6:00-8:00pm

Where: City Year
287 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
(located right behind Back Bay train station on Orange Line)

RSVP NOW: http://acalumsbostonsit2013.eventbrite.com/#

SIT Graduate Institute equips students with theoretical knowledge, field experience, and professional skills to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. SIT’s on-campus and low-residency programs are based on an experiential learning model and a commitment to social justice and intercultural communication. SIT has over a decade of supporting AmeriCorps alumni through scholarships, recognition of service, and a shared commitment to responsible global citizenship.

SIT/AmeriCorps Partnership Benefits:

  • SIT offers a tuition match of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of up to $5,500 for AmeriCorps alumni who have completed at least one year of service.
  • SIT students interested in the AmeriCorps VISTA program can complete VISTA service for their SIT practicum requirement.
  • The application fee is waived for AmeriCorps alumni.
  • Learn more about the partnership here

Serve with the Boston Chapter During AmeriCorps Week

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Alums serve together at the Kenny School in March 2012. Click on the photo to see a recap of last year’s day of service!

UPDATE: SERVICE DAY CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER.

 

 

Join with fellow AmeriCorps Alums and Friends as AmeriCorps Week 2013 kicks off across the country and we return to get even more things done with last year’s service partner school – Thomas J Kenny School.

We will serve together to help revitalize the school with potential service including: painting walls and murals, building benches and exterior painting.

Saturday, March 9th

Thomas J. Kenny School in Dorchester
Registration: 8:30-9:00 AM

Reserve your spot today: http://acalumsboston2013serviceday.eventbrite.com/
Service: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMPlease spread the word and invite your alum friends for a great day of service.

Time to Learn from and Support Work of Others

Diane Garcia
Diane Garcia, Recruitment Manager at Common Good Careers; YNPN Boston Board Member; and Guest Speaker for upcoming “Round-Robin”

AmeriCorps Alums Boston seeks to foster the potential of alumni as leaders in the workplace. On February 27th, AmeriCorps Alums Boston and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Boston will deliver the result of a new partnership: a Professional Development “Round-Robin.”

At the Round-Robin, guests will have the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in the field in a number of different topics: Alumni networks; Resume Writing & LinkedIn;  Transitioning from AmeriCorps (or other volunteer experience) to Full-Time Work; Managing up; Job search tips; Social Innovation; & Corporate Social Responsibility.

AmeriCorps Alum, Diane Garcia (09-10), will share her expertise in job searching at the event and we’ve asked her why she’s excited to share with Alums and others for this project.

When/Where did you do your AmeriCorps Year of Service?

I did my AmeriCorps year of service right after graduating college in 2009. I served as the National Development VISTA for Jumpstart in Boston. Jumpstart trains college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. At Jumpstart my work was focused on developing strong systems for tracking our fundraising efforts , organizing large scale events for the National Board, and conducting donor research.

What is your favorite personal story from your year of service?

We set up monthly calls with the VISTAs both in the national office and working across the country. We used this time to learn more about each other’s projects and support each other’s work.  I think this was an excellent professional development opportunity for everyone involved and brought our group closer together during our year of service. 

How does your AmeriCorps experience benefit you in your current professional role at Commongood Careers?

At Jumpstart I started to really see first-hand the importance of developing a strong network. Networks are critically important in fundraising when creating strong donor relationships. They are also important for professional development and my network of VISTAS provided me with so much  support and guidance during my year of service. Successful work in this sector does not happen in silos. At Commongood my job is to build strong pipelines of talented candidates for our clients throughout the country.  I wouldn’t be able to do that without focusing on building and maintaining my network every single day.

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

I believe there is so much to learn from your peers, co-workers, and those in and outside of the sector to help create a well-rounded picture of how to chart a course to leadership in your career.  I think, as professionals in the nonprofit sector, we should be taking advantage of every opportunity to stretch ourselves outside of our 9-5 responsibilities and take a peek at the broader picture.  As a sector that embraces collaborations and as millennials, who are poised to be some of the most collaborative leaders the nonprofit sector has seen, we need to embrace every opportunity for both networking and further collaboration. 

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

My topic is Job Search Tips – even if you’re not looking. If instead of “job searching” you think about further developing your passion and creating career champions, the work of exploring what’s next for you feels much less arduous .  Focus on building champions of your career both internally (people currently in your network) and externally (people you want to be in your network). An event like this is a great place to start! 

For more information about this opportunity and to sign up, please visit: http://pdtables.eventbrite.com/#.