PUBLIC ALLIES [IS] ALL ABOUT PROMISE — FINDING IT, NURTURING IT, AND PUTTING IT TO USE. IT WAS A MANDATE TO SEEK OUT YOUNG PEOPLE WHOSE BEST QUALITIES MIGHT OTHERWISE BE OVERLOOKED AND TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Founding Executive Director of Public Allies Chicago
WHY BE AN ALLY?
You believe it is time to create a future by and for everyone and that begins with you shaping the future of your community.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Any U.S. citizen or permanent resident at least 17 years of age with a high school diploma or GED.
When you join Public Allies, you join a national network of emerging leaders dedicated to creating a future by and for everyone. You’ll learn, grow, and lead in diverse and challenging environments to address real issues in your community. As you do, you will be supported by Public Allies staff and guided by our six core values of Diversity/Inclusion, Collaboration, Continuous Learning, Integrity, Building on Assets, and Innovation.
Our AmeriCorps Ally program is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, criminal record, political affiliation, marital or parental status, military service, community, or social affiliations. In fact, we work hard to ensure our program is as diverse as possible.
It is highly recommended you reach out to the site(s) to which you are interested in applying and talk with staff about their program and processes before you apply. Deadlines for applications to be submitted are usually in June, but you can verify at our Locations page.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR
We look for leaders with different skills and abilities to join our Ally program. We believe that everyone can lead, and it’s why we seek common qualities and characteristics in our applicants to the Ally program.
THE APPLICATION & SELECTION PROCESS
Complete the online application. This isn’t your typical application though, because we are not your typical organization. We’re looking for emerging leaders who are passionate to make a change in their community, and are looking to be challenged and to grow.
Time for interviews. Yes, plural. While the process may vary by site, generally each site will have you participate in two interviews: an individual interview and a group interview. Collectively, these two interviews will allow staff to really get to know about you, your goals, and how you interact in a group setting.
You’ve submitted your application and made it through the Public Allies interviews. Now it’s time for matching. Public Allies staff, acting upon your preferences and those of our nonprofit partners, determine what nonprofit you will be partnered with and the work you’ll be doing to improve your community.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Frequently Asked Questions
WHO ARE ALLIES?
Public Allies believes that Everyone Leads, that everyone has talents, abilities, and potential to be a leader through the way they live their lives and improve their community. Leaders must come from all backgrounds and all parts of a community if we are going to solve our most urgent problems. We identify and develop diverse leaders (Allies) in communities across the country. These leaders are committed to improving their communities. On average, Allies are 67% people of color, 60% women, 50% college graduates (including some with graduate degrees), and 25% LGBT. Most Allies live in the community they serve, but Public Allies sites will consider applicants who come from a community without a local Public Allies program.
CAN I BE A PUBLIC ALLY IF I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD?
Public Allies believes that everyone has talents and skills that can make communities stronger. We also believe that a person’s past shouldn’t dictate their future. Part of the learning Public Allies promotes is how to work with people who bring a variety of different experiences. We actively seek to ensure diversity in our program. Having a criminal history will not disqualify you from the Ally program, with the exception of two areas: Those who have been convicted of murder and those who are required to register on state or national sex offender registries are ineligible to be an Ally.
WHY SHOULD I BECOME AN ALLY?
You can gain valuable leadership skills, receive personalized coaching to pursue your career goals, build relationships with a diverse network of local leaders, and participate in a national movement of leaders working for change.
WHAT DO ALLIES DO?
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; engage in community building activities; contribute to team service projects; and receive individual coaching to support their professional development during their apprenticeship.
WHAT PAY AND BENEFITS DO ALLIES RECEIVE?
Allies are AmeriCorps members and receive a stipend and benefits for their service. Allies also receive health care, child care, interest-free student loan deferments, and, upon successful completion of the program, up to $6,195 in an education award to pay back student loans or pay for future education.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROGRAM?
We help Allies identify and pursue future career and educational goals as part of our Pathways initiative, and we are committed to providing additional educational and career supports for graduates of our program as well to help them succeed. In addition, we connect graduates to our growing network of thousands of alumni for career and professional development opportunities.
IS PUBLIC ALLIES SUCCESSFUL?
Nearly 5,500 Allies have completed the program. More than 95% of Allies have met or exceeded their service goals helping tens of thousands of children, adults and families achieve greater education, health, economic security, and participation in the civic life of their communities. In addition, more than 95% of Allies would participate again in our program if they could. Over 80% of Alumni continue to work in the nonprofit and public sectors, and they participate in volunteer, civic, and political activities at more than twice the rate of their age cohort. Public Allies is recognized for having many best practices in our field, and we were the first grantee of AmeriCorps to be hired to provide training to other AmeriCorps programs. The Pew Partnership for Civic Change honored Public Allies with their prestigious Civic Change Award.
HOW ARE PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS SELECTED?
Nonprofit organizations that have projects that create, improve, or expand services to meet community needs with measurable results are welcomed to apply to host a Public Ally . Organizations should view Allies as valuable tools in expanding the capacity of the organization through greater effectiveness, efficiency, or reach. Allies have served at organizations focused on youth, education, economic development, health, arts, environment, and other social and community services.
WHAT IS AMERICORPS?
AmeriCorps is a federal program operated by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created in 1993 by President Clinton. Since its inception, more than 775,000 Americans have participated in AmeriCorps, and 75,000 are participating this year. AmeriCorps provides grants to private nonprofit organizations and schools to contribute to the costs of stipends, benefits, training, and other support to Americans serving full-time or part-time meeting critical needs in communities. AmeriCorps is a public-private partnership, so programs are also required to raise matching dollars in their communities. Every program funded by AmeriCorps is considered an AmeriCorps program, and every participant in an AmeriCorps program is called an AmeriCorps member. Public Allies was identified by former President George H.W. Bush as a model for a national service program in 1992. President Clinton also recognized Public Allies as a model for AmeriCorps, and we were one of the original AmeriCorps programs.
WHY WORK FOR A NONPROFIT?
Working for a nonprofit organization is an opportunity to engage more deeply with your community, to be of service to others, and to do work that is mission-motivated and has a positive impact in your community. The nonprofit sector employs 14 million people, almost 11% of the U.S. workforce; more than in the construction, utilities, and entertainment industries combined. Nonprofit organizations need a wide variety of skill sets to operate effectively – business management, marketing and communications, human resources, information technology, accounting, education, social work and more. Many nonprofits, including Public Allies, pay competitive salaries for many positions and offer a full array of benefits, including health care, retirement plans, and generous vacation. One recent study found that nonprofit employees had greater career satisfaction than their counterparts in other sectors. At nonprofit organizations, leaders can pursue a meaningful career and make a difference in their community.
If you have any questions about Public Allies and the selection process, or you require special accommodations to apply, please let us know by completing the form below. You can also call our main office at 414-273-0533.