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Public Ally

Public Allies
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Allies serve in full-time apprenticeship positions at local nonprofits, where they create, improve and expand services that address issues including youth development, education, public health, economic development, and the environment. In addition, Allies participate in a rigorous leadership development program in which local community leaders and experts lead workshops to build the leadership skills of Allies. Allies also participate in community building activities, contribute to team service projects, and receive individual coaching to support their professional development during their apprenticeship.

Service Activities

Service varies by position as the capacity of each placement site is assessed prior to service such that a formalized position description can be crafted. Generally these position work in program development/evaluation, community outreach/engagement and community assessment.

Community Need Addressed

Public Allies' social change theory focuses on leveraging and building upon a community's existing assets as the key to long-term economic health and prosperity. We do this by providing opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds and community organizations to build their capacity through a values-led, results-driven leadership practice. Our model uses evidence-based practices to trigger transformational growth in two areas: 1) engaging young adults, particularly those currently disconnected from school or work, in national service; and 2) engaging poverty-alleviating organizations as host sites for Members, so they can improve their ability to achieve better outcomes. By placing these young adults in positions of leadership within the community, we seek to transform communities from the inside out, changing the way young people who are disconnected and economically disadvantaged are viewed, and changing the life trajectory of the individuals who serve.

Position Outcomes

Each Public Ally position is uniquely developed for that placement based on the needs of the host organization. Each host organization is assessed to craft the work plan of the Ally to help improve the ability of that organization to better do its work. Allies may help evaluate programs, survey a community to assess its needs, or develop new programming for an organization. Each position is unique and potentially changes each year.

Overall, the Ally program seeks to strengthen communities by improving how community-based organizations do their work through the development of the young diverse leaders that are placed at that organization.


Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training

Public Ally members benefit from intensive training, learning, and development. Our leadership training is rooted in our core values: diversity/inclusion, focus on assets, collaboration, integrity, accountability and continuous learning. Training focuses on leading through these values such that they can be effective community builders, with an ability to co-create or emerge community solutions from whatever position they hold--be it CEO, project manager, or line staff. To help them achieve the objectives of their service projects, Members receive skills-based training on asset-based community development, servant leadership, building inclusive neighborhoods, community outreach, collaboration, volunteer engagement, community asset mapping, and project management. To enhance civic participation, Members participate in dialogues and critical reflections to connect their service to larger social issues. To enhance Members self-esteem and self-efficacy, they receive training in topics such as conflict resolution, time management, networking, and giving and receiving feedback--key areas of learning for Opportunity Youth and other adults who lack experience in the workforce. Public Allies sites will be supported by a national training and learning structure offered by Public Allies national office.

Education Benefits

College Degree

Skills you will gain

Community awareness, networking, facilitation, professionalism, goal setting/achievement, time management, public speaking, power and privilege, etc.

Competencies You Will Develop

Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment
  • Activity Types Hands On Activities, Office Activities
  • Focus Areas Aging, Animals, Arts & Culture, Community & Nonprofit Development, Disability, Disaster, Economic Security, Education & Youth, Environment, Health & Nutrition, Public Safety, Veterans & Military Families
  • Length of Service 10 Months
  • Education Requirements High School Graduate
  • Placement Individual and Team Placements
  • Service Setting Arts Organization, Charter School, Child Welfare Agency, Community-based Nonprofit, Community Development Organization, Disability Services Organization, Early Childhood Program, Elementary School, Health Clinic/Other Health Organization, Higher Education Institution, High School, Homeless Shelter, Soup Kitchen, or Food Bank, Hospital, Law Enforcement Agency, Library, Local Educational Agency, Middle School, Museum or Nature Center, Organization primarily serving older adults, Park, Private School, Recreation or Youth Center, Religious Organization, School-based Nonprofit, School District, State Agency other than State Service Commission, Volunteer Placement Organization
  • Weekly Training Hours 7

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