Let's Help AmeriCorps Alums Use Their Experience to Keep Giving Back | Beth's Blog

Let’s Help AmeriCorps Alums Use Their Experience to Keep Giving Back


Note from Beth:
I am looking forward to the NCVS Conference.  I will be doing  a panel on using social media as part of volunteer recruitment and looking forward to hearing author Adam Grant talk about the ideas in his book, Give and Take.     Another topic at the conference that I’m curious about is the notion of leveraging  networks for capacity building and for career development for young professionals.  Ben Duda is executive director of AmeriCorps Alums and graciously agreed to share some thoughts on this as guest post.

Let’s Help AmeriCorps Alums Use Their Experience to Keep Giving Back
By Ben Duda

Last summer, I met a young man in Arizona named Kyle. He had spent his AmeriCorps term as a liaison between a mayor’s office and the homeless community, building relationships and creating resources. But even with all that valuable experience, Kyle was stuck working double shifts at a local pizza joint.

Countless organizations could benefit from Kyle’s skills, yet there is no system connecting national service alumni with nonprofits and public sector agencies most in need of young talent.

We at AmeriCorps Alums are working toward a solution by launching Employers of Service, a program exploring how we can link national service experience and a career pipeline. We’re kick-starting this initiative and conversation on June 20 in Washington, D.C., at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service << LINK www.volunteeringandservice.org >>, which runs from June 19 – 22.

During the conference, I’m hosting a session, AmeriCorps Alumni as Leaders: How to Grow as a Leader After Your Term of Service – showcasing Echoing Green’s Work on Purpose platform, which applies lessons from social entrepreneurs to professional development strategies for young people looking to make a difference. The session will also feature a roundtable conversation and Q & A with three nonprofit leaders (all AmeriCorps alumni­): Linda Kay Klein, director of Work on Purpose; Michael Omenazu, recruitment manager at Commongood Careers and Nakeisha Neal, executive director of Public Allies Washington, D.C.

The discussion is just part of a larger conversation about innovation and uniting communities woven throughout this year’s Conference, the largest gathering of its kind, assembling roughly 5,000 nonprofit, corporate and government leaders. It will feature such big names as Grammy award-winning singer John Legend, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Will you join us? Click here to register.

We often hear of an impending leadership shortage in the nonprofit sector. Meanwhile, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps alums are uniquely positioned to be the sector’s 21st century leadership pipeline. Together let’s figure out how to leverage this tremendous resource to benefit smart, young people with fresh ideas, while better serving our communities.

We’d love to hear about your experiences and ideas. Comment below or share them at ben@americorpsalums.org.


Ben Duda is executive director of AmeriCorps Alums, a Points of Light enterprise.


3 Responses

  1. Robin says:

    Though I am not an AmeriCorps alum myself, I am really glad you are undertaking this. I feel for my colleagues that are working really hard and making taxable poverty level stipends. They are giving so much and yet get so little in return (and valuable professional experience only gets you so far as I think some employers see AmeriCorps on an applicants resume and assume they can automatically pay the applicant less because it’s still more than what they are making). Let’s help our young leaders of service continue to serve!

  2. Ben says:

    Hopefully they see AmeriCorps and assume they can do more! Thanks for reading and commenting Robin!

  3. […] Today’s post from Ben Duda originally ran on the website of social media expert Beth Kanter on June 6, 2013. […]

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