SAVMA Leadership takes pleasure in presenting the Public Allies Arizona 2023-2024 class to the volunteer engagement professionals of Southern Arizona. The AmeriCorps program is operated by the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, unquestionably, a valued civic partner of volunteer managers. Therefore, Public Allies Arizona is a perfect addition to the service programs SAVMA is proud to promote.
Building a Brighter Future: Public Allies Arizona Kickstarts Their 2023-2024 Program Year
Authored by: Lou Haiduk (she, her)
A new cohort of Public Allies has embarked on a transformative journey. Public Allies Arizona, a program of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, is part of the national movement committed to advancing social justice and equity by engaging and activating the leadership capacities of all people. This group of emerging leaders in Greater Tucson and Phoenix communities is dedicating the next 10 months of their lives to service. Their focus will be on capacity building and making a difference in underrepresented communities.
Meet the Change-Makers
Presenting Brian Forkum
Brian Forkum, a member of the cohort, will be working with Arizona State Parks & Trails, SHPO, expressed his heartfelt enthusiasm for the year ahead. He revealed, “What I am looking forward to the most this year as an AmeriCorps Public Ally is to serve and aid marginalized Indigenous communities and bring light to their historical and cultural significance as a people.” Brian’s determination to illuminate the rich tapestry of Indigenous culture and history is a testament to the kind of impact this cohort aspires to make.
Welcome Jade Oji
Jade Oji, another remarkable individual in the cohort, shared the importance of giving back to the community. She said, “I come from an underserved community, and I want to give back and help influence people around me to be the best people they can be.” Jade’s personal connection to her community serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that service can have when fueled by a deep sense of purpose. She was matched with ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth.
Welcome William Renfroe
William Renfroe, who was also matched with ICAN, echoed the sentiment, stating, “I am looking forward to potentially having an actual positive impact on the lives of people.” William’s aspiration to create tangible, positive change showcases the dedication these Public Allies have to building better communities.
The Beginning of a Journey
To begin their service, this new cohort of Public Allies underwent an intensive six-day training program. During this time they got to know the ins and outs of the Public Allies Arizona program. Additionally, they built strong personal connections with each other. This period of training was crucial in building the foundation for the 10 months of service that lay ahead.
The training wasn’t just about learning logistics; it was also about forging connections and fostering a sense of community among the cohort. It was a time to share stories. A time to share hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Also they drew inspiration from the diverse experiences and backgrounds of each member. In doing so, these Public Allies laid the groundwork for a year of collaboration, support and collective impact.
Capacity Building and Beyond
The focus of service at Public Allies Arizona is capacity building, a crucial aspect of community development. Capacity building empowers communities to help themselves, fostering long-term sustainability and resilience. Public Allies understand the value of this approach. They are ready to roll up their sleeves to create lasting change. As they embark on their year of service, these Public Allies are not just promising a year of dedication; they’re pledging a year of empowerment, inspiration and change. The stories and aspirations of Brian Forkum, Jade Oji, William Renfroe and their fellow Allies are a testament to the power of service, community and the potential for transformation. Together, they’re building a brighter future, advancing social justice and equity one step at a time!
Want to Learn More?
You can visit the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation webpage to see photos of this year’s Allies, or you can follow the link to the Contact SAVMA Leadership Page. Send a quick message to let us know you want more information about Public Allies. This helps us keep track of your interests! Learn more about the process