Winter Regional Updates

The Bay Area

In October, fellows got together to enjoy a historic San Francisco walking tour of the Embarcadero neighborhood (titled “Making Waves on the Waterfront”). The tour explored both popular attractions and hidden gems along the Bay, while providing colorful history and interesting trivia about the area. It was a unique opportunity for recent (and not so recent) transplants to the area to learn something new and discover new spots in SF!

In November, Princeton AlumniCorps Bay Area and the Princeton Club of Northern California collaborated to host a panel and mixer on Careers in Social Impact for fellows and other Princeton alumni. Featured panelists included Emily Chiswick-Patterson ’05 (former PP55 fellow, currently at Isaacson Miller), Josh Brankman ’99 (Executive Director of Outward Bound California), Rachel Zwillinger ’05 (legal fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council), and David Veneziano (CFO/COO at ZeroDivide.org). The panelists shared their experiences in the nonprofit and social sectors, provided guidance on career paths, and answered tough questions from the audience about the pros and cons of working in social impact. Future events include a similar seminar on the topic of education reform.

Boston

The Boston area committee organized an info session at the end of January for prospective partner organizations. The event was co-hosted with the Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard (CPIC) and the Stanford SPIN program. About 25 organizations attended.
At the end of February, a seminar cosponsored with CPIC was held at the Phillips Brooks House at Harvard focusing on public interest law and Andrea Campbell ’04 spoke.

Connecticut

Our Connecticut Project 55 fellows continue their great work. Housing Development Fund, one of our Connecticut partner organizations, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Three alumni or current Project 55 fellows, Diane Cho ’13, Sabrina Szeto ’12, and Mary Thierry ’12,  are all busy helping HDF meet its mission during this exciting time for the organization. Nabiha Nurruzaman ’13 continues her work as a Special Projects Fellow at the Norwalk Community Health Center.

Chicago

 The Chicago weekly seminar series has continued to thrive, with recent seminars at the Center on Halsted, Academy for Global Citizenship Charter School, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Lawndale Christian Legal Center, Crossroads Fund, and Greater Chicago Food Depository.  The Greater Chicago Food Depository seminar has been one of the favorites of the year so far, as fellows had an opportunity not only to learn about the organization but also to volunteer. In total, the Project 55 fellows, along with fellows from Northwestern University and University of Chicago Public Interest Programs and other volunteers, sorted 19,000 pounds of apples for distribution.

On February 10, we hosted a kickoff event to start planning for Chicago’s AlumniCorps 25th anniversary celebration. We had great attendance from current and former fellows, area committee members, and other Chicago alums. We were also honored to have Executive Director Andrew Nurkin, Outreach Coordinator Jasmine Jeffers ’11, and Development Officer Sharon Keld ’80 from AlumniCorps speak to us about the work of AlumniCorps nationwide and their plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary. We’re looking forward to a great 25th anniversary event this October, and we’d love to get even more volunteers on board to help plan. Please reach out if you’d like to help with this exciting work!

On February 27 we hosted a happy hour for mentors, fellows, and mentors at large.  Fellows got to know each other better and made connections that may help them as they plan for what to do after their fellowship year.

 We’ve been working hard to recruit great fellowship applicants to Chicago. Whitney Spalding Spencer ’07 met with 21 applicants in Princeton in January, and our fantastic communications subcommittee, mainly Katie Thaeder ’09 and Kathy Qu ’13, developed a marketing video for the Chicago program.

New York

Project 55 fellowship alumni in the New York area reconnected during a networking event planned and hosted by Clara Botstein ’07.  Also, Scott Taylor ’75 and Courtney Taylor s’75 graciously hosted a holiday party for current fellows, recent fellows, mentors, and Steering Committee members.

 In January the fellows enjoyed watching an Upright Citizens Brigade improv show with fellows from the Harvard Center for Public Interest Careers and Dartmouth Partners in Community Service programs.

In late January fellows, mentors, and committee members braved the freezing cold to attend a seminar at the Architecture Research Office (ARO) featuring a discussion and question-answer session with ARO Principal Adam Yarinsky *87.  Seminar attendees were intrigued to learn more about ARO’s proposal for the redesign of lower Manhattan to address rising sea levels due to global climate change (which was featured in the Museum of Modern Art) as well as ARO’s innovative, sustainable design approach toward cultural landmarks such as the Donald Judd House.

This month the New York Area Committee is teaming up with the Harvard Center for Public Interest Careers program to host a Career Night for the fellows, during which they will have the opportunity to mingle with and learn from professionals representing a range of industries including law, communications, and international development.

Washington, DC

The DC Steering Committee has been keeping the Project 55 and TAN affiliate fellows quite busy in the last few months. In November, our fellows engaged in a thoughtful discussion on “Managing Relationships,” facilitated by DC Steering Committee Mentorship Chair Lisa Lazarus ’02. The seminar encouraged fellows to cultivate relationships with colleagues, supervisors, and peers- both inside and beyond the workplace. Suggestions were provided on how to strengthen pre-existing relationships, as well as how to identify and approach new mentors or sponsors. Many thanks to Lisa for her excellent facilitation and fantastic content. Thanks also to Partners for the Common Good and DC Steering Committee Co-Chair Dana Weinstein ’12 for hosting the seminar.

In December, DC Steering Committee Social Chair Amy Sweeny ’12 and Committee Co-Chair Dana Weinstein ’12 hosted a holiday dinner and get-together for PP55 and TAN Affiliate fellows at Local 16 on U St. The venue provided the group the use of the upstairs dining area and several fellows from Harvard, Washington and Lee, and Dartmouth joined PP55 fellows and committee members for the dinner. As most fellows had been in their positions for several months and had acclimated to their new city and work, this event was a great chance for them to catch up with their peers. The dinner included discussion on beginning to take ownership of work within fellowship positions and on understanding the various aspects of public interest work from a first-hand perspective. Altogether, it was a nice break from the pre-holiday rush!

In January, we were fortunate to continue professional development opportunities for our fellows with a seminar entitled “Planning Your Next Move.” The seminar was co-presented by Ari Altman ’97, emeritus Chair of the DC Steering Committee, and Annie Czerwinski of LeaderFit, an executive search and human capital consulting firm serving nonprofits, foundations, and social enterprises. Annie guided an interactive dialogue to help fellows consider what they are passionate about and how to structure a career path(s) around those interests. Ari provided a hands-on resume-crafting workshop to help best position fellows for their future endeavors. We are grateful to both for their expertise and generous donation of their time! Thanks once again to Partners for the Common Good for hosting the seminar at their offices.

Recently, the Steering Committee completed mid-year check-ins with our fellows to find out how we can best support them throughout the remainder of the fellowship year. Additionally, we were fortunate to be able to recruit fantastic organizations and positions for next year. We are looking forward to a great rest of the year and getting in touch with our new fellows soon!

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