Reinvigorating Peace Corps

Sprin 2009 cover

The Winter 2009/2010 WorldView Magazine — a quarterly publication of the National Peace Corps Association — came in the mail recently, and explores questions of how to reinvigorate Peace Corps to fulfill its potential.

The issue features results of a survey of 4,500+ Peace Corps community members: applicants, current Volunteers, and Returned Volunteers; how Peace Corps might focus on “strategic” countries and partner with other organizations; how Peace Corps might strengthen the Peace Corps Fellows USA program (in which partner universities offer funding, field experiences, and special consideration for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers); how Peace Corps can better fulfill its third goal of educating people in the United States about the wider world.

A couple articles to highlight:

• An interview with Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams:

Erica Burman, National Peace Corps Association’s communications director, interviewed new Peace Corps Director, and Continue reading

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New Eli Segal Fellow Announced: Teach For America Alum Iris Dooling

Iris Dooling

Former Teach For America and Indiana Reading Corps member Iris L. Dooling has been named 2010’s Eli Segal Fellow.

The Eli Segal Fellowship annually brings former AmeriCorps members to the headquarter offices of the Corporation for National and Community Service in Washington, DC, to serve in the Office of the CEO. The fellowship is named for Eli Segal, the first CEO of the Corporation and its board founded the fellowship in 2006, the year Segal died.

According to today’s announcement from CNCS:

A native of Hobart, Indiana, Dooling, 26, started her AmeriCorps service with the Indiana Reading Corps-AmeriCorps at DePauw University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in English Continue reading

New Jersey Nonprofit Leader: Heather Calverase, Teach For America

Posted as part of Nonprofit Career Month, featuring the diversity of career opportunities in the nonprofit sector. Listen to more shows in this series.

Today’s guest is Heather Calverase, Executive Director of Teach For America’s Newark, New Jersey region where she is responsible for growing sustainable base of financial, community, and district awareness and support including cultivating and stewarding donations, building strong ties with local school districts, and recruiting corps members.

Prior to her position with Teach For America, Heather worked in the business sector, including nearly a decade with Kaplan, best known for its test preparation books and classes.

Amy Potthast chats with Heather about what is appealing about what Heather brings to the nonprofit sector from her business sector experience, as well as her background on educational issues.

Podcast transcript coming soon.

New Podcast: An Interview with Teach For America Alumna Aaliyah El-Amin

The newest national service podcast show from Idealist.org features Teach For America.

Aaliyah El-Amin

Aaliyah El-Amin

Today’s guest on The New Service podcast is Aaliyah El-Amin, an alumna of Teach For America’s 2000 Atlanta corps. Teach For America is the national corps of recent college graduates who commit to teach for at least two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity.

In the 2008-09 school year, 6,200 corps members taught in over 1,600 schools in 29 regions across the country while more than 14,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity.

In 2000, at age twenty, Aaliyah El-Amin graduated from Davidson College and joined Teach For America to teach 4th and 5th grade in Atlanta, Georgia. It was through her corps experience, that Aaliyah found her calling. During her time in the classroom, Aaliyah received her Masters degree in Elementary Education from the University of Georgia.

By the time she was twenty-three, she’d received her principal certification and had become an instructional facilitator at Continue reading

Teach For America Podcast Transcript

Aaliyah El-Amin

Aaliyah El-Amin

Below is the transcript of our August podcast, “An Interview with Teach For America Alumna Aaliyah El-Amin.” Huge thanks to podcast intern Sara Lozito, an AmeriCorps team leader, for work in creating the transcript. Listen to the show here.

Amy: Welcome to the Idealist podcast. I’m Amy Potthast and this is the The New Service Podcast from Idealist.org – moving people from good intentions to action.

This month I chatted with Aaliyah El-Amin, a Teach For America alumna.

In 2000, at age twenty, Aaliyah graduated from Davidson College and joined Teach For America to teach 4th and 5th grade in Atlanta, Georgia. After leaving the corps and working as an instructional facilitator at her placement school, Aaliyah became the executive director of Teach For America Charlotte. She’s currently a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in in Education Policy, Leadership and Instructional Practice.

Hi Aaliyah, welcome to the show. Continue reading

Wendy Kopp Shares Her Vision at the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship

Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America and Teach For All, shares her vision of our mandate to eliminate educational inequities during her Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship acceptance speech.

Teach For America is the AmeriCorps-affiliated program that brings high-achieving college grads to teach for two years in urban and rural schools throughout the United States. Teach For All is a network of Teach For America-inspired programs throughout the world run by independent social entrepreneurs.

According to the Skoll Awards page:

Wendy Kopp was struck by the inequities in the U.S. education system as a freshman at Princeton University where she saw smart, talented public school students struggle academically because of their weak preparation. 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