Illustration of writing an article on a laptop

ASU Lodestar Center Blog

MEET AN ALLY: Iyamidé May

Public Allies Arizona’s 13th class will graduate in June, the completion of a 10-month AmeriCorps program that places emerging young leaders at local nonprofits for full-time paid apprenticeships. (Find out how you can get involved as an Ally or a Partner Organization.) In this post, which appeared in condensed form at, meet Class 13 Ally Iyamidé May  , who was placed at Experience Matters .

What were you doing before you enrolled in Public Allies? What drew you to Public Allies?

Before Public Allies I was working as a program manager for an environmental & infrastructure company in the disaster management sector.

What drew me to Public Allies was that it was an answer to a prayer; my life had been centralized around pursuing more, doing more, being more--all related to being “successful”- well at least my perceived ideas of what success looked like by societal standards. I reached a pinnacle point in my life, where I felt empty in the midst of being busy and full of tasks. I was yearning for something that could cause me to grow into more of a servant leader, to be selfless, to pour out the love that overflows from within my heart and to really be stretched to expand in humility. The leadership development and building capacity focus within the Public Allies description pulled me right in.

What are you planning to do / hoping to do immediately after Public Allies? What is your long-term career aspiration(s)?

Immediately after Public Allies, I am planning to pilot my program that is centered around lifestyle and emotional development, with a focus on helping individuals establish their identity outside of their environment.

My long-term career aspirations are to not only have my program(s) in schools, municipalities, etc., but to also become a world-renowned speaker on trauma, mental health, and building/cultivating relationships and connections.

How is Public Allies contributing to your short & long-term career aspirations?

Regarding short-term career aspirations, Public Allies is contributing to my life daily and constantly. Apart from being placed in a nonprofit (when I’ve never had any nonprofit experience), I’m continually being pushed outside of my comfort zone to grow and learn how to accept the ebbs and flow of change on a daily basis--for my life and my interactions.

The Public Allies experience has been cultivating me into a more resilient individual (human being), for my future as a global innovative servant-leader through the opportunities of being exposed to Arizona’s change makers, along with access to a myriad of resources and support that I otherwise would not have had the privilege or access to attain on my own.

How is Public Allies advancing your own leadership development?

Public Allies is advancing my leadership by giving me a greater understanding of self, what I like, what I don’t like, what I can handle, what I can’t handle, what I’m good at and what I know I need to work on. Through the various Public Allies experiences, I’ve been able to: become aware of the benefits of productive time management, establishing boundaries, negotiating, learning to assert myself (and learning when it’s appropriate to do so), I’ve been able to paint a picture of what kind of work environment will allow me to be the most effective, and so much more.

Iyamidé May is part of Public Allies' Class 13. She was placed at Experience Matters. Public Allies Arizona is a 10-month apprenticeship program designed to develop the next generation of civic leaders.


ASU Lodestar Center Blog