American Humanics

The Rule of Thirds: Discovering Relationship Benefits through Three-Dimensional Thinking

posted by
Victoria Yerkovich
ASU Lodestar Center
American Humanics Program

Over the years, lives have been transformed by the uniquely structured missions of organizations at the hands of businessmen and women, donors, volunteers, and common change-makers alike.

However, throughout the history of philanthropic ventures, many trials and triumphs have shaped the nonprofit sector into what it has become today. The nonprofit sector has and will continue to evolve to face these challenges, especially in the way relationships are formed and maintained between all benefiting parties.

How we relate to one another in this sector is ever-changing — and not just because of how we interact in our technologically advanced, Facebook/Twitter world. It's ever-changing because our definition of engagement within the causes we believe in are changing. The real test of a nonprofit's survival is its staff members' willingness to not only embrace this ideology, but to channel it constructively.

When we adapt to this change, we must learn to not think of the benefit to ourselves, donors, business partners, or the community alone. We must address the needs and goals of each equally and in a way that is mutually beneficial in order to build strong, sustained relationships.

American Humanics: An Elite Group

posted by
Lyn McDonough,
American Humanics
Program Coordinator Senior,
ASU Lodestar Center

"The few, the proud..." Okay, okay — I stole this slogan from the U.S. Marine Corps. So, sue me! But I think it fits the graduating class of American Humanics (AH) students, all 18 of them.

The 18 students being recognized at the annual graduation celebration will have completed all requirements during the spring, summer, and fall semesters of 2011. Requirements not only include courses towards their degree program, but also 30 additional hours of coursework and 200 Career Field Exploration (CFE) hours — designed to assist students in "trying out" different nonprofit organizations and the jobs within them before they make any decisions about full-time employment. Once students complete the AH certification, which also includes a full-time, 600-hour semester as an intern, they have the tools and confidence necessary to begin working for a nonprofit organization and immediately make a significant contribution.

We held the American Humanics Senior Recognition Dinner on Monday, April 25th at the George Washington Carver Museum and Community Center, led by a first-generation AH alumna, Princess Crump. This year's theme, "Remember our Past, Recognize our Successes, Rediscover our Passion," was designed to highlight the successes of over 400 ASU/AH alumni working in the community to make a positive change. Princess exemplifies the work of a successful community leader with her help in renovating the Museum and her efforts over the last 10 years to develop a true community center in the Central Neighborhood. Her words to the graduates were, "You never know where your skills will take you, so learn all you can about whatever you are interested in doing." She is proud that she now understands how to read blue prints (and even has her very own hard hat and steel-toed boots)!

Dr. Bob Long, Distinguished Visiting Professor in Youth and Nonprofit Leadership from Murray State University, delivered an inspirational keynote address to graduates. He noted the importance of listening and shared his philosophy on being a good leader. Dr. Long joined Don Lindner (Chair of the ASU Lodestar Center's Advisory Council) and Dr. Robert Ashcraft (Director of the American Humanics program at ASU and Executive Director of the ASU Lodestar Center) in congratulating the graduates. Friends, family, ASU faculty, and AH students also attended in the recognition of the following graduates:

Keeping the Volunteering Torch Lit

posted by
Brittany Fasnacht,
Office Assistant
ASU Lodestar Center

Today's youth generation has been stereotyped as the "me" generation — as obsessed with technology, social media, and constantly checking Facebook news feeds. However, technological advancement and social media are the key factors of this generation when it comes to giving back. Nonprofit organizations all over the world have become accustomed to the social media franchise: People are now able to donate online, view volunteer opportunities on the web, follow charity updates, and much more. Having access to this information through social media is one very large reason I believe that today's youth are becoming more involved with giving back to their communities.

Now, technology and social media aren't going to be the only things that help keep the younger generation involved with volunteering and donating to nonprofit organizations. This is where strong family ties can make a big impact. Instead of spending your "family time" watching television, give volunteering a shot! It's a fantastic way to pass the volunteering torch on to the next generation. While growing up, I spent a lot of time with my family volunteering and giving back to various organizations such as the Special Olympics and St. Mary's Food Bank, and it's had a significant impact on my life, even inspiring me to join the American Humanics program.