Inclusive Interviewing for National and Community Service Programs

Via magnusfranklin's Flickr photostream

Via magnusfranklin's Flickr photostream

As applications to join your service program increase, and the interview process continues, this is the perfect time to brush-up on information regarding inclusive interviewing.

As a result of feedback from the field, the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) will be providing an informative and interactive discussion to guide you in conducting inclusive interviews.

What are questions that you can and can’t ask? What if someone discloses a disability on their application or during an interview? What are strategies to ensure that all applicants know your agency provides reasonable accommodations?

Please be a part of this presentation and discussion about conducting inclusive interviews both in-person and at a distance.

Join us on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 from 3 PM – 4 PM EST (2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, 12 PM Pacific).

Our presenters this month are both from the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) (see their biographies, below): Continue reading

The Signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

SAA signingToday President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. It will take affect October 1 of this year. Read more about the Act.

During one of the most exciting National Volunteer Weeks in recent memory, President Obama and national service supporters gathered today at the SEED School in Washington, D.C., an academic and boarding charter school.

At the signing, Obama said, our “government cannot do everything alone,” but needs the help of citizens in local communities everywhere. And national service isn’t just for recent college graduates (watch news footage from AARP.) Sounding Whitman-esque, he called people every where to “Put your shoulder to the wheel” of service — and if you do, you can look back on the “moment when your own story and the American story converged.”

Michelle Obama and Bill ClintonHe also recognized Bill Clinton for launching AmeriCorps during his administration, and the First Lady Michelle Obama who was the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago, a national service program.

Obama went on to talk about the long legacy of service contributed by the Kennedy family including Ted Kennedy, for whom the legislation is now named.

He also introduced Maria Eitel his nominee for the new chief executive post at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and Acting C.E.O. Nicola Goren.

The bill re-authorizes CNCS and its programs through 2014, and authorizes sweeping expansion of national service (with a nod Continue reading

Webchats to Help Prepare for AmeriCorps Week 2009

AmeriCorps Week LogoAmeriCorps Week organizers invite the AmeriCorps community to participate in a series of webinars to answer your questions and give you the tools to make AmeriCorps Week 2009 successful.

Participation is free, but you must register separately for each conversation and download the WebEx application (for free) in order to participate.

Each with its own theme, five “web chats” — conference calls that also involve following an online presentation —  will take place at the following dates and times.

Continue reading

Your Service Networks Really Can Help with Your Career Transition

A story about how networking during Peace Corps reaped rewards after my service term ended.

I’d been back in Atlanta for six months, living off of my $5,075 Peace Corps readjustment allowance—at my parent’s house, of course—and also the pocket change I made working at an amphitheatre during the 1996 Olympics, and a very unpleasant week as a temp (who knew you needed office skills to work in an office?), before I scored my first job interview. It was for a Program Assistant position at an education non-profit in Atlanta.

I had never worked for a non-profit before and I would never have looked in that direction had it not been for connections I’d made while in Guinea.

I’d met Charles soon after arriving in Guinea two years earlier. He worked for USAID and lived in Conakry, Guinea’s capital city. A former Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), he understood the travails of volunteer life, so he let PCVs house sit whenever his work took him elsewhere.

For two years, I’d lived in a small village roughly seven hours north of Conakry. Although my house was only 15 kilometers off the main road, it took an hour — via bush taxi or on my Trek mountain bike (that road was so bad, the mode of transportation Continue reading

AmeriCorps Week 2009: May 9 to 16

picture-1If you are involved with AmeriCorps service — as a program director, current member, or alum — this is a great year to step out into your community to spotlight national service during AmeriCorps Week.

With so much national attention focused on AmeriCorps in the past year, people of all ages have heard of AmeriCorps programs and are eager to get involved.  Hearing about your experiences, and getting to ask questions of you, may be the tipping point for jumping in and applying.

To help them map a path to national service, you can play a pivotal role in educating your community about the value of service.

AmeriCorps Week, coming up in mid-May, is a great time to make a presentation at a local school, chat with your faith community’s social groups, staff a table on-campus, host an event, or bring up the notion of AmeriCorps with peers during your regular volunteer projects. Remember, people of all ages participate in national service!

Other ideas for getting involved in AmeriCorps Week are on the program’s website.

You can also order the (free) AmeriCorps Presentation Kit for:

  • Tips on speaking to groups
  • Stickers, bookmarks, and posters
  • Facts and figures on AmeriCorps
  • A DVD with a PowerPoint slideshow on AmeriCorps and a video of AmeriCorps members in action

Also you can take part in an AmeriCorps Week Web Chats to help with your project planning.

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