Roosevelt Scholarship Would Offer Students Funding in Exchange for Public Service Commitment

New College, photo from Anne.Oeldorf's Flickr stream

New College, from Anne.Oeldorf's Flickr stream

Update, July 30, 2009: Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Michael Castle (R-DE) introduced the Roosevelt Scholars Act of 2009 in the House.

The Roosevelt Scholars Act aims to create a new pipeline to public service careers for graduate students who are developing skills desperately needed by the federal government.

The Roosevelt Scholars Act, which was introduced last year in the House of Representatives but not yet during this year’s 111th Congress, would create a scholarship program to fund graduate education for students who demonstrate outstanding potential for a career in a mission-critical occupational area within the federal government, and who in turn would commit to three to five years of service in a federal government agency. The scholarship would would be similar to ROTC, but instead of committing to military service, students would commit to Federal government service.

Rep. David Price (D-NC) is planning to introduce the legislation in the House before the August recess. (Last year, he and RPCV Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) introduced the legislation; Shays was not reelected last November.)

The Act would establish a small foundation called the Theodore Roosevelt Scholarship Foundation to administer the scholarships, including tuition and living expenses. Scholarships could amount to as much as $60,000 per student per Continue reading

College Cost Reduction Act – Basic Facts and New Resources to Help You

Campus building

Update, July 1, 2009! Check out this post about applying for Income-based repayment from your lender!

This July 1st, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007 will take effect and includes provisions to make undergraduate and graduate education more affordable for aspiring social-impact professionals.

The CCRAA is a complicated piece of legislation that, if you take advantage of it, can help you retire college and grad school debt early.

The main programs that the CCRAA has created include:

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) — Caps monthly direct and guaranteed (FFEL) student loan payments based on the borrower’s income and family size. According to IBRinfo, “For most eligible borrowers, IBR loan payments will be less than 10 percent of their income – and even smaller for borrowers with low earnings. IBR will also forgive remaining Continue reading

Career Tip: Timing Your Job Search and Supporting Yourself During the Transition

April To-DoIf you aim to move onto a salaried job after your service term ends, you may be facing some big logistical challenges — when do you start actively looking for your next job? If you don’t have something lined up when your term ends, how do you support yourself till you land that job?

When to Start Your Active Job Search

Regardless of your service corps, your term probably has a definite end date.  If that is the case, lining up a job can pose tricky questions, such as when do you start applying for jobs? And when, during the application process, do you let the hiring team know your availability limitations?

When to start your active job search—sending in applications—is a little fuzzy. The typical job search takes about six Continue reading

ProInspire Helps Business Professionals Transition to Nonprofit Careers

ProInspireNew fellowship program places business sector emigres in critical roles in nonprofits in the Washington, DC, area.

Launched during the worst economic climate in generations, ProInspire eases the path of business professionals to find careers that are more meaningful to them — while helping nonprofits recruit people with the hard financial and other skills crucial for their long-term sustainability.

With the application deadline just days away (April 8th) for its first group of Fellows, ProInspire hopes to infuse the nonprofit sector with people who are trained with financial and project-management skills common in the for-profit sector. And any influx of staff may help in the long run. The nonprofit sector is projected to need to recruit 640,000 executives in the coming years as the baby boomer generation begins to retire. Continue reading

Career Tip, How to List Service Experiences on Your Resume

In addition to talking about your national or international service experience, the job search process forces you to write about it as well. How do you write about your experiences on your resume?

How to craft your resume may raise questions for you. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and other service programs are often considered a form of volunteering. You may wonder, will employers take a service term seriously as professional experience? Should you include the name of your service program in your title?

For the resume, it’s a good idea to include both your title or role within your host organization as well as the name of your service corps program. For example: “Instructor of College English – Peace Corps Volunteer,” or “Volunteer Coordinator – AmeriCorps Member.”

In the first bullet point, include a brief explanation of your program: Continue reading

Idealist Nonprofit Career Fairs Coming to a City Near You

picture-91The 2009 season of Idealist.org Nonprofit Career Fairs launches next Tuesday in Boston.

Looking for a job? An internship, full-time service opportunity, or part-time volunteer gig?

Check out this spring’s Nonprofit Career Fairs taking place in cities across the United States:

  • Boston, Feb. 24
  • Washington, Feb. 27 at the PowerShift 09 Conference
  • Philadelphia, Mar. 26
  • Los Angeles, Apr. 6
  • Cleveland, Apr. 8
  • Minneapolis, Apr. 14
  • Chicago, May 19

In addition to the nonprofit organization representatives (and even some grad school admissions staff) that you’ll meet, you can participate in workshops that run concurrently with the event. Workshops usually touch on topics of career transitions into the nonprofit sector.

At next week’s events in Boston and Washington, DC, I’ll be offering workshops on questions to ask if you’re considering full-time national or international service.

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Pres. Obama and Government Careers

images-4With record numbers of first-time voters and young people backing Obama’s presidency, perhaps a new generation of government workers will not be so hard to recruit after all.

With Baby Boomers retiring in droves over the next decade, fears have been widespread in public and nonprofit sectors that the United States will face a leadership shortage.

Not enough young people have shown an interest in government careers, and in-roads to government careers are not well known. Government has a reputation of being inefficient, less lucrative than business sector work, and very, very bureaucratic. People cite student loans that are just too high, and the need for better marketing of the compelling opportunities available in the government.

“This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program – this will be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.”– U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama during a speech given at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs July 2, 2008.

John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of youth to serve through initiatives like Peace Corps. Will a new generation of people — young people and people who are recently discovering civic engagement — be inspired to join the ranks of an Obama-led federal government? What do you think?

If you are considering a career in government — whether you supported McCain or Obama during this election cycle — you should know about these resources:

President-Elect Obama has been particularly clear that his administration will count on the help of people who have supported his candidacy and on those who didn’t. Young people may accept this invitation by entering the government workforce. If they do so with the enthusiasm and turn-out they have shown in his election bid, the looming leadership crisis may fail to materialize.