Thursday, December 22, 2011

Alumni Spotlight - Carson Henry

Carson Henry - Class of 2006 Alumnus
Carson Henry embodies Public Allies Delaware’s mission to advance new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits, and civic participation.  Carson graduated with the Public Allies Delaware class of 2006.  As an ally, he served his apprenticeship with Delaware Futures where he helped to strengthen their urban youth-focused college preparatory program.  Upon completing an exemplary year of service, Carson went on to obtain a Master of Public Administration at the University of Delaware.  He is currently employed as the Associate Executive Director of the YMCA of Metropolitan DC.  In this position, he oversees the operations of the YMCA’s social services branch.

Carson credits his experience as Public Ally for guiding him to his current position.  More specifically, Carson feels that "Public Allies Delaware not only identified what I was passionate about, but it taught me that its actually possible to smile everyday while heading to work. The program helped me to build a life, career, and network. I credit most of my success, the fact that I went to graduate school, my maturity, and the rapid advancement of my career to many valuable lessons that I learned while participating in the PADE program."

Following his experience as an Ally, Carson has remained highly involved in his community above and beyond his professional position.  For the past three years he has volunteered as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters.  He is also a mentor for the Raba Leadership Initiative.  Public Allies Delaware is proud to count Carson Henry as one of the 335 alumni of our program!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Make a Difference Day in the Life - Joe Prats

Ally Alex Nedd interviews a Hilltop resident.
On Make a Difference Day, our TSP team (Little Italy/Hilltop) had the opportunity to work with West Side Grows Together, a community organization connected to the Little Italy/Hilltop Blueprint Communities team. West Side Grows is working to unite all of the neighborhood/civic associations in the West Side and anyone else that wants to be a part of this revitalization initiative.  We were able to help survey all over the West Side of Wilmington; asking people how they liked the area, how safe they felt it was, what could be better, etc.  We were also handing out flyers for a big meeting they were going to have where everyone in the West Side could come and voice their concerns and opinions about community issues in the West Side.

We met that morning at the Get Ready, Jesus is Coming Church with West Side Grows volunteers and members of the community.  They gave us our instructions and some breakfast and we were on our way.  In order to cover all of the area, we split up into pairs and got a few blocks each.  Throughout the day there were a lot of doors unanswered or addresses that weren’t actually houses.  But take heart, we ended up getting 5 surveys total, just in our TSP group.  It felt like an accomplishment, seeing as West Side Grows Together only needed 15 more surveys to reach their goal.

Actually, getting surveys was not the only reason we felt like we did something good that day.  When people would answer their door and not take the survey, we still had that chance to give the flyers and introduce ourselves. We let them know we were Public Allies and began growing relationships in our TSP community.  We also got to know the neighborhood, walking around it all day.  To finish it off, we got free breakfast, lunch, and a coupon for an ice cream shop in the area. How could that ever make for a bad day?!

Joe Prats is an Ally serving in the current Class of 2012.  He is placed in the Delaware Girls Initiative.