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Summer of Connections

Alumni Link up in the Latest Assembly Room



July’s Alumni Assembly Room kicked off by checking in with Public Allies CEO and 1994 PA Milwaukee Alum, Jenise Terrell. From her experience as an Alum to her passion for community development,  Jenise shared how she has experienced her return to the organization  since the restructure, and how it has been driven by a love for the Public Allies’ mission long held since she served her term of service. 

(00:08:40 – 00:15:13)

Jenise went on to express gratitude for additional Public Allies staffers who have also returned. In this transition her leadership style has evolved, and she emphasized the importance of continuous learning. Jenise then acknowledged the contributions of the Alumni network, and encouraged them to continue to be involved, offer feedback, and step into even greater roles of leadership when it comes to the future and re-imagination of Public Allies. Joining the National Alumni Council, being the latest way to do so.


(00:17:47 – 00:28:01)

The Alumni Team provided more detail on the National Alumni Council, noting three areas of work that the group would provide support to: re-imagining Public Allies, relaunching sites, and fundraising. 

Two celebrations of note were also announced. First is the launch of our first ever Alumni Storytelling Fellowship in partnership with National Geographic. Second was the launch of our Alumni Opportunity Board where alumni can both search and submit unique and values-aligned job postings, fellowships, seminars, and more.  


(00:28:02 – 00:30:18)

Public Allies partners from Leading for Equity in Education (LEE) stopped by to remind Alumni of the great LEE resources at PA Alum’s disposal Public Allies Alumni Dominque Johnson, Whitney Coble & V Chau shared their personal experiences working with LEE.

“Anyone that wants to get into public policy and wants to make a tangible change in your community on the public policy level should join LEE.”

Dominique Johnson, a PA Alum from Detroit initially hesitated to join LEE due to uncertainties about how it could benefit her. She eventually joined and has had positive experiences ever since. She was provided with fellowship opportunities, such as working in the office of adult education at the Technical College Systems of Georgia, where she contributed to policy that impacted technical colleges across the state.

LEE has been intentional about including her in various spaces and events and has encouraged her to run for the at-large office for Atlanta Public Schools. Dominique made it to the top three candidates and is now determined to run for office again. 


(00:30:43 – 00:34:46)

“I’m a first-generation college graduate, a former multilingual learner and a proud Public Ally.”



V Chau, a PA Alum of Cincinnati, shares their positive experience with the coaching program offered by LEE. They expressed gratitude towards their mentor, Raquel Roberts, for helping them improve their networking and active listening skills. V Chau looks forward to continuing their career in advocacy work. 



(00:34:46 – 00:44:03)

“I am excited about the opportunity and the journey ahead. If you are interested, go ahead and jump on it and get as much as you can from it. You’ll get out what you put in.”

Whitney Williams Coble shared her experience as an educator transitioning to policy work with the help of LEE. Even though her relationship with LEE is still relatively new, the organization has guided her throughout her transition, providing support and practical advice. Whitney particularly highlighted the hands-on help she received with her résumé, and the valuable guidance in understanding what she wants from her career. LEE has given her the necessary language and tools to navigate the world of policy work.

She appreciates LEE’s intentional support and the wealth of resources available if one puts in the effort. She encouraged others interested in similar transitions to take full advantage of what LEE offers.


(00:44:03 – 00:56:58)

To wrap this Assembly Room, attendees participated in our first rapid coordination session and shared some of their current projects! 

Rapid coordination is a streamlined and intentional process designed to facilitate collaboration and networking among alumni. Its primary goal is to synchronize existing activities/projects and provide mutual support to enhance the effectiveness of each individual’s work.

Ben Barker (PAMKE ‘15), offered his web design and marketing services to organizations associated with Public Allies. Nikita Anderson (PACINCY ‘18), discusses her involvement in a Black Travel app and seeks connections for expansion. Dominique Johnson (PADT ‘18), shares her nonprofit organization that supports survivors of sex trafficking and domestic violence with prom events, and invites others to join and donate. 

Get a heads up on the next Alumni Assembly Room, slated for early September, by signing up for the Alumni Newsletter. You can also get in touch with the Alumni squad by email, leaving us a voice message, or scheduling a 30-minute catch up!