Monthly Archives: December 2007

Closing the blog for now

Yeah, I know. I’m lame. But the truth is, I simply don’t have the time to keep up with it, plus my work, plus my life and a few other things as well. So I’m closing the blog for the time being.

However, I still intend to write a book about Americorps. So, when that happens, I’ll probably open this blog back up to use as a sandbox for idea, and for pimpin’ da goods.

In the meantime, I’ll leave everything up and available. I’m not taking the blog down or anything. So all the stuff will be here for the edification of future stumblers-upon. (Hi!)

So, for now, goodbye, good luck and good hanging with ya!

Soni

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Michelle Obama and Americorps

In the US News article, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Michelle Obama,” was this note:

5. In the early 1990s, following the death of both her father and a close friend from college, Michelle reassessed her life. Rethinking her career path, she decided to leave the corporate law world to work in public service. She took a job in the mayor’s office and then in the city’s office of planning and development. In 1993, Michelle became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago, an AmeriCorps national service program that provided training to young adults pursuing careers in the public sector.

It looks like public services is a deep vein in the Obama family. Always good to know.

Bill Clinton remembers Eli J. Segal at Brandeis University speech

On December 4th, as part of the kick-off speech for the new Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program lecture series at Brandeis, Bill Clinton reminisced about his friendship with the late Eli J. Segal, architect and original head of the Americorps program. The presentation included video footage of Segal speaking about his friendship with Clinton.

“I was just thinking all over again what an astonishing human being he was,” Clinton told the crowd.

“He had a quality that was relatively rare in public service, government service, at the time. He could take a vision and turn it into a reality.”

The new leadership program is divided into 3 parts:

The Eli J. Segal Citizen Service Fellowship will provide stipends to create 15 summer internships at Brandeis, in which students will serve with selected non-profits and other organizations dedicated to public service.

The Segal Fellows Network will serve to connect Segal Fellows and others who have been recognized in programs created in Segal’s honor, as well as Americorps Alums, in an effort to foster relationships that will boost community service efforts and effectiveness, and make the Segal Fellowship credential more valuable and useful.

The Eli J. Segal Memorial Lecture will provide lectures from prominent leaders – including policy makers, service leaders, social entrepreneurs, Segal Network members, etc. – speaking on the subjects of civic leadership and public service.

Keeping my hand in

The Americorps Alums chapter I belong to here in Asheville is sponsoring an essay contest for students in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. The winner will get a ticket to the swanky MLK Day breakfast, and some other prizes like a gift certificate and whatnot (those haven’t been finalized yet).

Knowing that I’m a writer by trade, the chapter leader asked me to help out by writing up the flyer/handout that goes out to the students explaining the contest. It was fun, easy and felt good to be doing something to keep my hand in with my Americorps program. It’s that whole “Lifetime of Service” thing – it sounds cheesy sometimes when you say it, but it really is nice to be a part of something that continues after your year or two of service is up.

Anyway, just wanted to share what I’m up to. I can’t wait to see the essays when they come in (I think I remember volunteering to help judge, as well; I may live to regret that 😀 ).

Is Americorps about to go BOOM?

In this brief piece, the author talks about the increasing need for more programs like Americorps and Peace Corps to absorb the coming influx of Baby Boomers who are going to be suddenly finding themselves retired and looking around for something to do with their time that doesn’t make them feel like an old fart.

The writer mentions the Americorps Senior Corps, along with Peace Corps and Experience Corps, as great options for aging go-getters, but notes that more will be needed.

He may have a point. There are a lot of Boomers out there, and these programs are only so elastic. Perhaps we need to start working on ways to make use of this incredible and probably unique population surge of restless energy. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the legacies of the Boomer generation was the creation of even more powerful ways to serve others.