Christen shares below about her experience as a 2nd Year Fellow through the Public Ally Indianapolis program. Girls Inc. is grateful for her hard work, bright smile, and strong commitment to greater Indianapolis girls. Thank you for two wonderful years, Christen!
My responsibilities as a 2nd Year Fellow were very different from my first year as a Public Ally. At Girls Inc, I was responsible for creating a sustainable process for the distribution of our Program Facilitator Toolkits that are given to each volunteer that facilitates programs to our girls. Last year, my role was primarily in direct service with our girls, delivering programs. As a Public Ally, I worked with another 2nd year Fellow to coach five 1st year Allies on a service project. We worked with an organization that was trying to help foster a healthy lifestyle for those who live in “food deserts” in Marion County, by giving access to convenient and affordable fruits and vegetables.
The greatest challenge I faced was missing direct service. I missed spending time with our girls! I have worked directly with youth for six years and working in the office all day was very different. My role this year was as the Project Manager of the Program Facilitator Toolkit Process. This role involved many skills that I had not yet honed and I found myself learning as time progressed.
My favorite part of the Public Ally program will always be getting to know the other Allies. It has been such a pleasure watching almost 50 young people over the course of two years that work hard to impact the Indianapolis community. The passion that these Allies have for youth development, education, public health, economic development, the arts and the environment is truly contagious.
I think that my work will continue to impact Girls Inc. as volunteers come to help create our Program Facilitator Toolkits throughout the year. Before I started working on this project, our Program Facilitator Toolkits were created by staff members. This took away from their ability to concentrate on curriculum and to be out in the community. Now, with this process I have created, volunteers can help by stepping in and creating our toolkits. This leaves staff available to give Indianapolis girls all of their time and attention.
One of the greatest gifts I have received from serving my AmeriCorps term at Girls Inc. is strong facilitation skills. I look forward to continue serving youth here in Indianapolis. I will definitely utilize the principles and techniques I learned while teaching our girls to be strong, smart, and bold into my next endeavors for years to come.