Today we’re happy to introduce you to our latest crop of Public Allies Fellows, all of whom we are very proud to have on our campus and part of the Eagle Rock community. But before we introduce these young adult leaders, we’d like to tell you more about the amazing program that brought them to Eagle Rock in the first place.
Public Allies is an AmeriCorps-funded program that’s dedicated to developing leadership skills in young adults. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone leads, and that everyone can work to inspire others to believe in themselves, step up and take action.
Officially, the mission of Public Allies is to advance new leadership in order to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation The Milwaukee, Wis.-headquartered nonprofit demonstrates a profound conviction to the long held notion that lasting social change results when citizens of all backgrounds take responsibility and work together.
Since it’s founding in 1992, about 5,000 Allies have completed the program with more than 80 percent of them continuing careers in the nonprofit and public sectors.
Eagle Rock’s participation with the program began a decade after the founding of Public Allies, and was initiated by our own Dan Condon and directed by him for two years. In the years that followed, 132 Public Allies have walked through the gate here at Eagle Rock with 98 percent of them graduating – making the Public Allies Eagle Rock program the most successful in the nation in terms of retention of Allies.
Each year we host 12 Public Allies Fellows, and as mentioned at the top of this post, we welcomed our latest group earlier this month, including (full bios appear below photo):
- Jake Sund, Literacy and Literature Fellow: Jake hails from Starkville Miss., and has a Bachelor’s Degree in English in Secondary Education from Mississippi State University. He has taught at Starkville High School and has outdoor experience with SUW of the Carolinas.
- Sara Benge, Science Fellow: From Columbus, Ohio, Sara most recently taught at the Horizon Science Academy High School and recently returned from two years in the Peace Corps in Morocco. Sara has a Bachelor of Arts degree in exercise science from Willamette University in Salem, Ore.
- Clay Elkin, Math Fellow: Clay, “Don’t Call Me Chiles or Cindy” Elkin has a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and leadership from the University of San Diego and has served with AmeriCorps as a VISTA Volunteer. Clay previously worked at High Tech High in San Diego.
- Calvin King, Societies/Culture Fellow: This former Eagle Rock School student is a Bonner Scholar and graduate of Morehouse College where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in political science. Over the past few years Calvin has worked with the City of Atlanta Freedom Schools, as well as the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support.
- Katie Funk, Visual Arts Fellow: From Grand Rapids, Mich., Katie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art and design with an emphasis in fine arts and K-12 teaching from Kendall College of Art and Design. She has worked at Northview High School in Grand Rapids along with student taught within the Byron Centers Public School system.
- Lindsey Rodkey, Human Performance Center Fellow: Originally from Ellicott City, Maryland, Lindsey has a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and human development from the University of Maryland. She has been operating swimming programs for several years and will soon be certified to certify lifeguards.
- Jennifer Pearsall, Service Learning Fellow: Jennifer most recently served as the assistant director and AmeriCorps member of the Camp Fire Camp in Central Oklahoma. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and has done work with the YMCA of Three Rivers, Mich. Jennifer has extensive experience in working with and teaching public speaking and will bring that asset to our school and Service Learning Department.
- Mary Reid Munford, Professional Development Center Fellow: Straight out of Louisiana, Mary has worked with the ExpandEd Day Cultural Arts Academy in New Orleans, along with doing some relief work in South Africa. Mary earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton.
- Brian Rudd, Outdoor Education Fellow: Brian was a part of the HPOE Department before he joined the wilderness course in ER 59. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science from Brigham Young University and is originally from Pleasant Hill, Calif.
- Rebecca Fenn, Life After Eagle Rock Fellow: This year’s LAER Fellow most recently worked as an admissions officer at the University of Chicago and will bring that experience to our students at Eagle Rock School. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative human development from the University of Chicago.
- Jesse Taitt, Music Fellow: Our music fellow is a Berklee College of Music graduate, receiving his degree in jazz composition and professional music. Jesse has also worked with the Berklee Mentoring Program along with the Alumni Creative Corps, which is sponsored by the Boston Arts Academy.
- LuLing Osofsky, Curriculum Fellow: LuLing received her master’s degree in fine art from the University of Wyoming. She has worked for Green Seas Humanitarian Expeditions, The Art Institute of Indonesia and the Wu Wei Si Monastery in China. LuLing speaks several languages and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Indonesian.
So there you have it. Over the years, we’ve seen many of our Public Allies Fellows from Eagle Rock impact public secondary education after they leave us. Some of these include Stanley Richards who is an instructional coach for New Tech in the Bay Area, Calif.; Dan Hoffman, a teacher and curriculum specialist at Voyager Academy in Durham, N.C.; Sarah Glasband, an advisor with MetWest in Oakland, Calif.; Michael Dunn, currently an upper school history instructor and service learning coordinator at the AIM Academy in Philadelphia, Pa..
Also, Liz Berliant, who is a music teacher at KIPP Bridge Charter School in the Oakland, Calif.; Adrienne Kovacik, who teaches chemistry at Mission Early College High School in Durham, N.C.; and Emily Matuzek, director of learning and development at Teach For America.