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The Power of Serendipity: A Reflection with Victoria Mullins

Meet Victoria Mullins (Fresh) (she/her). A two-time Ally from Public Allies Cincinnati (Class of ’15 &’16), Victoria now serves on the National Alumni Council as the Re-Imagining Public Allies Chair. We sat down with her to learn more about her PA experience. Read her Q&A below:


Q: Let’s start by talking about your journey with Public Allies. Could you tell us a bit about how you first discovered Public Allies and what motivated you to join the program?


Victoria: My journey to Public Allies was a bit serendipitous, to be honest. I was at a point in my life where I really wanted to go back to school but ran into financial aid roadblocks. I stumbled upon Public Allies through a Facebook post by Marcie Robinson, the Program Director at the time. Initially, I thought it was just an unpaid internship, which wasn’t feasible for me as a parent. But once I discovered it offered a monthly stipend and an education award, I knew it was the opportunity I needed to keep pursuing my goals.


Q: Can you share some of your main takeaways from your two years as a Public Ally?


Victoria: My experience taught me a lot about advocacy, both for others and for myself. I realized that advocating for others came naturally to me, but advocating for myself was a skill I needed to develop. I also learned about the importance of showing up authentically in professional settings while maintaining professionalism. Public Allies reinforced the idea that you get out what you put in, and my dedication to serving the community and the young people I worked with made my experience truly rewarding.


Q: Tell us more about your commitment to give back to PA, your involvement with the Alumni Council. What drove you to join?


Victoria: My decision to join the Alumni Council was driven by a sense of frustration and disappointment with how some things were handled within Public Allies. I felt a deep connection to the program and its values, and I was upset to see those values seemingly disregarded. I wanted to ensure that the voices of alumni were heard and that we could contribute to shaping the program’s future. Additionally, I’m passionate about bringing the program back to Cincinnati and supporting its growth and success.


Q: Moving on to your journey after Public Allies, you’ve held various positions, primarily in fundraising. How do you feel Public Allies prepared you for these roles?


Victoria: Public Allies provided me with invaluable skills and perspectives that have been instrumental in my career progression. One of the most important lessons I learned was the importance of understanding and respecting people’s diverse backgrounds and experiences. This has been particularly relevant in my leadership roles, where I’ve had to manage teams with different life situations and priorities. Additionally, PA helped me develop a strong sense of empathy and a commitment to equity, which has guided my approach to fundraising and community engagement.


Q: Finally, what brings you comfort in your day-to-day life?


Victoria: Knowing that I have the opportunity to create positive change and opportunities for young people in my community. Whether it’s through my current role or by connecting organizations with resources, being able to contribute to the growth and development of youth brings me immense joy and fulfillment.



Public Allies is a robust ecosystem of over 10,000 equity-driven leaders across the country. We are dedicated to disrupting systems that impact marginalized communities, while listening, learning, and working across differences to build the common good. Join us.