ASU Lodestar Center graduates ninth Public Allies Arizona class

ASU Lodestar Center graduates ninth Public Allies Arizona class

Phoenix, Ariz. (June 26, 2015) – The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation graduates its ninth Public Allies Arizona class on June 26th at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Public Allies is an AmeriCorps national youth leadership organization that places service-minded young people in apprenticeships in nonprofit organizations throughout the community. It identifies talented young adults from diverse backgrounds and advances their leadership through a ten-month program of full-time, paid apprenticeships in nonprofit organizations, leadership trainings, and team service projects.

“We are proud to be celebrating the accomplishments and dedication to service that this Ally class has exhibited over the past ten months,” said Irma Q. Leyendecker, the Director of Leadership Programs and Public Allies Arizona at the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation. “The Allies, along with our community partners who host them, are integral in advancing the work for a more just and equitable society,” she added.

Completing its ninth year in Arizona, Public Allies recognizes 33 first-year Allies, seven second-year Allies and the 24 Partner Organization nonprofits where the Allies completed their apprenticeships.

Graduating First-Year Allies:

• Tyandrah Ashley, Central Arizona Shelter Services, Inc.

• Kyle Avery, Central Arizona Shelter Services, Inc.

• Madelynn Bales, The Society of St. Vincent De Paul

• Chynna Bivens, Lodestar Day Resource Center

• Taylor Buttrey, Scottsdale Training & Rehabilitation Services

• Bianca Cervantes, Boys Hope Girls Hope of AZ

• Marisa Diaz Santillan, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development

• Traci Ducusin, Lodestar Day Resource Center

• Dakota Eckhardt, UMOM New Day Centers

• Eddie Guevara, Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC)

• Cameron Harris, The Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association

• Irvin Hernandez, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development

• Tori Jones, Experience Matters

• Ian Keirsey, Valley of the Sun YMCA

• Star Kempton, Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC)

• Joanna Kukla, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

• Imperio Leon, Native American Connections

• Melissa Lopez, Neighborhood Ministries

• Jasmine Lucas, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development

• Reema Mistry, American Lung Association in Arizona

• Yessica Morales, Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC)

• Judy Mwanzo, People of Color Network

• Ceyshe’ Napa, Native American Connections

• Christiana Owusu-Ankomah, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development

• Jehryn Plunkett, Phoenix Day

• Uma Raman, Valley of the Sun United Way

• Ashley Rodriguez, Be A Leader Foundation

• Jaryd Shield, The Society of St. Vincent De Paul

• Collin Smee, People of Color Network

• Kassandra Tapia, Central Arizona Shelter Services, Inc.

• Bryan Titzler, Central Arizona Shelter Services, Inc.

• Randall Tranowski, Pioneer Preparatory Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy

• Kyle Wilfong, Tempe Community Action Agency

Graduating Second-Year Allies:

• Annie Bello, Marc Community Resources

• Andriana Francini, Valley of the Sun United Way

• Lisa Kramer, Arizona’s Children Association

• Jessica Mann, Valley of the Sun YMCA

• Michelle Rucker, Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter

• Siuaki Tuipulotu, Valley of the Sun United Way

• Reema Verma, Be A Leader Foundation

The June 26th ceremony includes remarks from Jonathan Koppell, Ph.D., Dean of ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions. Other speakers include Ian Keirsey (Valley of the Sun YMCA) a graduating First Year Ally; Lisa Kramer (Arizona’s Children Association) a graduating Second Year Ally and Leeane Hamilton, a Public Allies Arizona alumna. Additionally, an Honorary Ally Award will be presented to Luke Black, an Equal Voices Facilitator for the Arizona Community Action Association.

“Positive social change doesn’t just happen accidentally, it occurs intentionally when leadership meets opportunity to make the world a better place in which to live,” said Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. “Public Allies Arizona exemplifies leadership intention. We are delighted with the quality of this year’s Allies’ class who – individually and collectively -- have made remarkable accomplishments through the partner organizations and nonprofits they have engaged with throughout this past year,” he added.

Additional information about the 2014-2015 year includes:

• Collectively, Allies have served over 61,300 hours this past year.

Allies created 210 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 $229,200 in Eli Segal Education Awards to be used to offset the cost of attending college.

Over $4.1 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 the value of in-kind support, as well as funds invested by the nonprofits to have an Ally placed within their agencies, the total financial investment is almost $1.1 million this year and more than $8.4 million over the past nine years.

For additional information regarding any of the ASU Lodestar Center’s programs, visit If you have questions, please call 602.496.0500 or email


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