Announcing TAN Placement Numbers for 2010-11

Program Fellows Interns
Adelphi Community Fellows Program (Internships) 18
Bucknell Public Interest Program 28
Carleton Project 60: Developing Civic Leaders
Center for Public Interest Careers at Harvard 28 26
Colorado College Public Interest Fellowship Program 7 13
Dartmouth Partners in Community Service 11 12
Northwestern Public Interest Program 19 0
Princeton Internships in Civic Service 65
Princeton in Africa 26 0
Princeton in Asia 132 13
Princeton in Latin America 15 0
Princeton Project 55 (A Program of AlumniCorps) 51 0
Princeton ReachOut 56 2 0
Stanford Public Interest Network 11 0
The John and Mimi Elrod Fellowship (Washington and Lee) 10 62
University of Colorado Public Interest Internship Experience 0 8
Subtotals: 312 245
Total Interns and Fellows: 557

Community Volunteers Program Launches

By John Shriver, Program Director

On October 13, Princeton AlumniCorps, in conjunction with the Princeton Club of Washington, held our first Community Volunteers outreach event in Washington DC, bringing together over 25 alumni for a rousing discussion around board service and how to best get plugged into the nonprofit sector. This event was a wonderful opportunity for the AlumniCorps community to engage a new group of Princetonians around our vision of civic engagement and leadership; it was a great start as we begin to reach out to nonprofit organizations and identify their needs at the Board level.

Alumni from the '60s, 70's, 80's and 90's gathered in Washington, DC for the launch for AlumniCorps' newest program.

Panelists Bill Richardson ’73, Dick Walker ’73 and Hilary Joel ’85 shared from their personal  experiences working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector, and offered advice to alumni looking to lend their skills in a new way.  As a precursor to the networking event Princeton AlumniCorps hosted November 15th with representatives of local nonprofits, this was a heartening first step for Princeton AlumniCorps newest program! Board member and facilitator, Arthur McKee ’90, closed the panel discussion by saying, “I hold this organization as a sacred trust bequeathed to us, the younger generations, by a truly inspiring group of individuals. It is up to us to continue to carry and lead their legacy through programs like Community Volunteers.”

For more information on the Community Volunteers Program, email Program Director John Shriver at jshriver@alumnicorps.org

A Focus on Food

Sheila Mahoney and Gordon Douglas '55

Gordon Douglas ’55 and Sheila Mahoney are committed to communicating and helping to find solutions to the perils of industrial food production. They approached the Princeton AlumniCorps Board with a plan to help increase the number of fellowship placements focused on this important public health issue. Here is an update from Gordon and Sheila on their work to bring attention and expertise to this issue through our fellowship program:

Our idea for food fellowships was presented to the Board of Directors of AlumniCorps on September 25, 2010. The problem addressed in the proposal is modern industrial food production (“factory farming”) and its devastating effects on human health, the environment, and on animal welfare. The marked rise in obesity and Type II diabetes plus sustained high rates of cancer and heart disease are directly attributable to modern food production.

With the goal of creating fellowships in this very important area we have been approaching nonprofit organizations that are working on making the facts clear, increasing public awareness of the issues and promoting sustainable alternatives. Fellowships may be focused in a variety of areas including public policy, science, public health, alternative agriculture initiatives, and advocacy.

Some of the most active organizations with whom we are in contact are Pew Charitable Trusts, Union of Concerned Scientists, Center for a Liveable Future at Johns Hopkins, Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Humane Society of the United States. They have all been very enthusiastic about the program. Additional organizations that have indicated interest include universities, health departments, foundations, state and community food programs, and more. One of the officers at the Pew Charitable Trusts called this the “new environmental movement.”

We plan to continue to email you with updates and we welcome your involvement.

Gordon Douglas ‘55
Sheila Mahoney

For more information, email project55@alumnicorps.org

Individual Donors Shine in 2009-2010, Despite Economic Recession

Princeton AlumniCorps’ 2009-2010 annual campaign, led by volunteers and staff, raised a total of $192,123 from 331 individuals, an 11% decline from the previous year. However, events in celebration of our 20th anniversary were instrumental to bridging decreases in support. The gala and other anniversary celebrations across the nation raised a net total of $114,194 from 291 individuals to supplement funds raised from our annual campaign.

We are delighted to report that last year was a record year for gifts from new donors, with more than 130 individuals making a first time gift to Princeton AlumniCorps. A special thanks to all of those who made their first gift last year – we hope you will continue your support!

The support of our individual donors also mitigated an immense decrease in foundation funding last year. We received $72,000 from foundations, a decrease of more than 50% from the $146,557 raised in the previous year. Although we anticipate increases in foundation funding in 2010-2011, individual donors provide our largest source of support, and your help is critical to advancing the mission of Princeton AlumniCorps.  

“We have the stalwart supporters from the Class of 1955 and the many donors from younger classes to thank for our success. In 1989 we were an organization envisioned and supported by members of one visionary Princeton Class. Since our inception, Princeton AlumniCorps has engaged donors representing 58 different Princeton classes,” says Executive Director, Kathleen Reilly. “When you choose to give to Princeton AlumniCorps, you are not only supporting yourself, your community, and current Project 55 fellows and Community Volunteers. You are bringing attention and social context to the good work of Princetonians of all ages, for many generations to come. Our impact in cities across the country is only made possible because so many passionate, dedicated alumni give.”

As we launch our new umbrella name, two exciting new programs, and a renewed commitment to engaging alumni of all generations, Princeton AlumniCorps is relying on your support! Make your gift count for the future of AlumniCorps and donate today!

Board Member Spotlight: Margarita Rosa ’74

Margarita Rosa '74

Margarita Rosa, Esq. ’74 has dedicated much of her life to the pursuit and promotion of social justice. As an undergraduate she joined other students in advocating, and planning for, the creation of the Third World Culture Center (now the Carl Fields Center) at Princeton University. As a student, and later as a member of Princeton’s Alumni Schools Committee, Margarita recruited students to college from inner city schools in NYC, her hometown. Since 1995, Margarita has led a community-based, human service organization the Grand Street Settlement (GSS), located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Margarita has taught public policy/public administration and law to graduate students and has spoken extensively on subjects related to human rights, justice and equality, and inclusive diversity.

How/Why did you get involved with Princeton AlumniCorps? Did it surprise you to learn that Princeton AlumniCorps is a multigenerational organization?

Some years ago, I hosted a visit of Princeton Project 55 participants, including Board members, to the Grand Street Settlement, where I have served as the Executive Director since 1995. I have known of the work of PP55 and have interacted with a number of PP55 fellows over the years and have been impressed with their dedication and their service.

Last year, two members of the Board of Directors of AlumniCorps who are familiar with my work as a nonprofit professional and former government official, asked me to consider serving on the Board. AlumniCorps seemed to be a place where I, as a Princeton alumna, could work with other like-minded individuals to encourage and support members of the Princeton University community interested in participating in public service and in affecting social change. In the summer of 2010, I was elected to the Board of AlumniCorps.

What is your background regarding nonprofits/volunteering? How have you demonstrated “Princeton in the Nation’s Service?”

My engagement in volunteer activities began in elementary school where I tutored young children from my own, and other, underserved communities. While in high school I worked as a Red Cross volunteer and also served as an after-school program volunteer working with school-aged children at a school for the deaf and hearing impaired.  During summer vacations I served as a summer day camp counselor in a camp for deaf children.

While at the Harvard Law School I had summer internships at the Office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund – a civil rights organization – where I subsequently worked as a staff attorney.  I also had the privilege of serving as the NYS Commissioner of Human Rights in the administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo. I began my work in government as General Counsel of the NYS Division of Human Rights and served as Executive Deputy Commissioner before being appointed Commissioner.  My work at the Division of Human Rights solidified my commitment to public service, advocacy, civic engagement and the pursuit of social justice.  When the Cuomo administration ended, in 1995, I joined the Grand Street Settlement as its Executive Director.

What’s the most important thing you look for when supporting an organization or serving on a nonprofit board?

Understanding and believing in the mission of the organization is of paramount importance to me.  I also want to know who the professional (staff) and lay (Board) leaders are and how they carry out their leadership roles. I want to know whether the leaders are well-informed, inclusive, open to new ideas and to new people. Are their interactions with each other, and with the organization’s constituents, respectful? Is there transparency in the organization’s financial and programmatic transactions? Are the organization’s resources – including its human resources (i.e. staff and Board) – used wisely and in service of the mission?

Please discuss the importance of what Princeton AlumniCorps does for the Princeton community and communities across the country.

AlumniCorps gives alumnae/i the opportunity to share their professional and personal experiences and expertise with individuals and organizations that can use their help and support. Volunteers also have the opportunity to learn from the organizations in which they serve and from the individuals whose lives they touch.

For 2010-11, AlumniCorps placed 51 Project 55 fellows. What would your advice be for our newest class of PP55 fellows, and to those Princetonians who are still looking for a job next year?

Whether you’re employed or looking for a job, don’t hesitate to use your formal and informal networks, including classmates, professors, and alumni. Remember that demonstrating that you can “work and play well with others” makes you a valuable and respected member of a team and can lead to new opportunities and lasting relationships.

Project 55 Fellowship Program Update

The deadlines for the Project 55 fellowship program may be in December (3rd for organizations and 15th for students), but October and November are certainly the months to put things in motion. Area committee members have diligently been sending in organization contact information, students have been trickling in through our offices, and there is a steady stream of emails from people who want to know more. How does the process work? How can they take part?

The first major applicant information event of the month occurred on the first day of the month: Friday, October 1st was Princeton Career Services’ General Interest Career Fair. More than 80 students stopped by the Princeton AlumniCorps’ Project 55 table and filled out a sign-up sheet, including 74 seniors. The students had varying degrees of familiarity with Project 55 fellowships: from knowing just our name, to knowing current fellows, to knowing what organization they envisioned themselves at next year.

We also held an information session on October 12th that was well attended by approximately 40 enthusiastic students. Katie Ko ’09, Scott Welfel ’06 and Julianne Grasso ’10 spoke about their fellowship experiences in New York, Newark and Philadelphia respectively. We will be participating in three information sessions in November: a November 9th panel hosted by Career Services featuring staff from Princeton AlumniCorps as well as Princeton in Asia, Princeton in Africa, and Princeton in Latin America; a panel event hosted by the Princeton Varsity Club aimed at reaching student athletes on November 16th; and a Project 55 fellowships information session on November 17th.

Alumni interviews with fellowship applicants take place in Princeton in January. If you’re interested in helping to interview fellowship applicants or learning more, please contact Sara Gordon at project55@alumnicorps.org.