ASU Lodestar Center


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As Class 13 graduates, Public Allies see impactful futures ahead

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Public Allies Arizona Class 13 graduated on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Jake Teskey)

by Troy Hill, ASU Lodestar Center

July 1, 2019

Walking across the stage to receive their certificates, the 13th class of Public Allies Arizona officially finished the program on Friday, June 28, 2019, During the 10-month AmeriCorps program, part of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, the "Allies" worked at local nonprofit organizations in the Valley in order to get hands-on leadership experience and to serve their communities.

Public Allies strives to place its graduates on one of three pathways after the program: career, education or continued service. We asked some of the Allies about their plans and how Public Allies impacted them.

Image removed. Class 13 graduate Iyamidé May was hired by the Arizona Attorney General's office. (Photo by Phil Bencomo)

Iyamidé May, who just finished her time as an Ally working with the organization Experience Matters, said she was hired by the Attorney General’s office, where she will be presenting information to students all across Arizona.

“Public Allies really allowed me to see that I actually have a voice and I have the power to make an impact," May said. "Getting us in a room and in the same space of changemakers, It showed me that I can be a changemaker myself."

Isaiah Veal, the Public Ally for Tempe Community Action Agency, said that he is going to further pursue his career now that he is out of the program. He also said that Public Allies helped to equip him with many skills that will aid him going forward.

“[Some of my favorite takeaways were] working with others, seeing personal progress, seeing how my personal progress could help others in their journey,” Veal said. “It was a good program.”

Raven “Jace” Reger, who worked with the organization “one-n-ten,” was recently hired on by the organization.

“I've now decided to stay in Arizona with these jobs as well as go to school for social work,” Reger said. “I start school this next semester, and I also start my job next week.”

Image removed. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise in ASU's Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and its School of Community Resources and Development, speaks to the audience. (Photo by Jake Teskey)

Sean Mayer, an Ally who is graduating in December and currently works with the Homeless ID Project, said that the program has been great so far and has connected them with a lot of people and places they never would have been exposed to.

“After Allies, I think I would either get a job at a larger nonprofit as a social media manager… or I would do a second year of Public Allies and kind of just explore my options more,” Mayer said.

Yaylah Trujillo, who was placed at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, said that she is also thankful for many of the opportunities that Public Allies opened up for her, like the various resources, events and internships.

“I'll be going to school full-time, so I'm planning to be an occupational therapist,” Trujillo said. “I do plan on getting a job to get me through college as well.”

Shiloh Thacker, an Ally working for the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education and graduating in December, said that she plans on moving back to Nebraska and returning to school because of her time in the program.

“[Public Allies] helped me figure out what I wanted to do after,” Thacker said. “I really didn't have very many plans going forward with my future, and it kind of helped me figure out what I wanted to do going forward with my life.”

Alexis Orozco, who is placed at Science of Sport and graduates later this year, said she plans to take the LSAT next summer so she can apply to law school in 2021.

“There have been so many people that are just really encouraging and really helpful as far as wanting to get you to the next step that you want to take,” Orozco said.