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ASU Lodestar graduates new Public Allies Arizona class

ASU Lodestar Center logo
July 08, 2014

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation graduated its eighth Public Allies Arizona class on June 27 at the AE England Building on the Downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State University.

Public Allies Arizona, about to begin its ninth year at ASU, is an AmeriCorps national youth leadership organization that recruits, places and develops leadership skills in dedicated, service-minded individuals who engage in paid, 10-month apprenticeships placed throughout local nonprofit partner organizations. Allies are diverse and passionate individuals interested in social change and making a positive impact in their community.

Completing its eighth year in Arizona, Public Allies recognized 31 first-year allies, six second-year allies and 20 partner organization nonprofits where the allies completed their apprenticeships:

Graduating first-year allies:

• Brandon Alkire, People of Color Network
• Annie Bello, Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun, Inc.
• Rose Blackshire, Arizona Neighborhood Transformation
• Paul Collier, Scottsdale Training & Rehabilitation Services
• Kendall Crever, Local First Arizona Foundation
• Asia Dasher, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development
• Bradley Dixon, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development
• Franchesca Felix Garza, Central Arizona Shelter Services(CASS)
• Andriana Francini, People of Color Network
• Jon Hajek, Central Arizona Shelter Services(CASS)
• Leeane Hamilton, New Pathways for Youth
• Jaffir Kahn, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
• Cody Klaus, Native American Connections
• Lisa Kramer, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development
• Nancy Linh Nguyen Le, Women’s Business Enterprise Council - West
• Jessica Mann, A New Leaf, Inc.
• Luis Marquez Jr., People of Color Network
• Sally McCollum, Valley of the Sun United Way
• Erica Meza, Women’s Business Enterprise Council - West
• Genna Mulvey, People of Color Network
• Carlos Nava, Valley of the Sun United Way
• Michelle Petraitis, Human Services Campus
• Steven Russell, Local First Arizona Foundation
• Emily Sawyer, People of Color Network
• Stephanie Sia, New Pathways for Youth
• Siuaki Tuipulotu, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
• Alejandra Verdin, Chandler Christian Community Center
• Reema Verma, People of Color Network
• Olivia Warner, Human Services Campus
• Taylor White, Chandler Christian Community Center
• Elizabeth Williams, Women’s Business Enterprise Council - West

Graduating second-year allies:

• LaNella Bolds, Arizona State Parks
• Patrice Cervantes, Be A Leader Foundation
• Claudia Lopez, People of Color Network
• Annalise Parady, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development
• Kassey Stotler, Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter
• Mandy Watkins, Phoenix Center Arts Association

The ceremony included remarks from Jonathan Koppell, dean of ASU’s College of Public Programs; Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center; and Irma Q. Leyendecker, director of leadership programs and Public Allies Arizona for the ASU Lodestar Center. Other speakers included Annie Bello (Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun), a graduating first-year ally; Claudia Lopez (People of Color Network), a graduating second-year ally; and Chrisal Valencia (Local First Arizona Foundation), a Public Allies Arizona alumna. Additionally, an Honorary Ally Award was presented to Brian Cresson, artist and founder of Free Ego Clothing, and the Partner Organization Supervisor of the Year Award was presented to Joseph Benesh, director of Phoenix Center for the Arts.

“The success of this year’s Public Allies Arizona cohort is a testimony to the character and drive of our allies who are part of a proven pipeline of leadership for the social sector and region,” says Ashcraft, professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. “This year’s success is also evidence of the power of successful partnerships as we work with and through vital nonprofits who provide essential services, often to our most vulnerable citizens."

Additional information about the 2013-2014 year includes:

• Collectively, allies have served over 62,200 hours this past year.
• Allies created 280 new collaborations, and developed formal partnerships on behalf of their partner organizations, representing new opportunities for information sharing, partnerships and collaborative projects.
• Allies have implemented 11 community service projects, impacting hundreds of individuals.
• Allies have earned $205,350 in Eli Segal Education Awards to be used to offset the cost of attending college.

Over $4.2 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 in-kind support, as well as the funds contributed by the nonprofits to have an ally placed within their agencies, the total economic value of the program is over $1 million this year, and more than $7.4 million over the past eight years.

Written by: Nicole Almond Anderson,