Summer in Washington, DC, means hot temperatures, long days, and only a few more weeks until we welcome our next Class of Fellows! On August 29th, Class 7 will start their first day of Orientation Week. In the weeks leading up to that date, we are making the final preparations and will announce this latest group of dynamic nonprofit leaders and organizations in August.
Every Class is a milestone for Atlas Corps and this group will be no different. For starters, Class 7 marks our first national expansion as we welcome new cities to our network. In addition, Class 7 culminates our 50 in the 50th Campaign - to engage 50 leaders from 25 countries in 100,000 hours of service. I am happy to report that we are on track to achieve that goal. I also invite you to read more about our current and Alumni Fellows.
Thank you for making the Atlas Corps network so dynamic!
Atlas Corps Fellow Update
Even while living in another country, Atlas Corps Fellow Windy Previl (Haiti, Class 6) still actively engages with his home country of Haiti. Recently, Windy returned to Haiti to connect with the nonprofits supported by his Host Organization, American Jewish World Service. “I was so happy to be back home,” shared Windy as he enjoyed his duel role as a Haitian and an Atlas Corps Fellow, “I met more people (with my new role). I hope that we will stay in touch in order to develop our partnership.” Windy is already excited for how he will benefit Haiti after his Fellowship year, “I'll be ready to bring my skills back and to contribute to development.” Previl thanked Atlas Corps for the wonderful opportunities it offers to so many young leaders because “when they return home, the skills they learn will help them to be true assets for the development of their own communities.” His advice for future Fellows is that "despite all the difficulties one might encounter in the United States, you have to be open to change because here you will learn and develop important skills that can help you in your future career." We look forward to hearing more about Windy's achievements throughout his year of service.
You can read more about Windy and Atlas Corps updates in the latest edition of the Atlas Corps newsletter.
Atlas Corps Alumni Update
Since we welcomed our first class in 2007, we are grateful for all of the support and excited for all our current and alumni Fellows have achieved. Here are a few highlights:
Atlas Corps Prepares for Class 7 - September 2011Wow! We just closed our application cycle for September 2011, which means we received more than 1,000 applications from outstanding nonprofit leaders from around the world. These dynamic individuals learned about Atlas Corps through our current Fellows, Alumni, Nominator Network, listserv, job postings sites, and the list
continues. It amazes me how our headquarters in Washington, DC can reach as far as Nepal and South Africa. It is this collaboration that
will inspire positive impact in the global nonprofit sector. When a community health leader from Uganda can connect with a social
services expert from Michigan, we are making it happen. This month, we focus on that network effect and how each one of us has the
ability to build those bridges that are not easily divided. In effect, we are all citizen diplomats, ready to be ambassadors of our
own countries and causes and eager to share and learn from others.
Scott & the Atlas Corps TeamFellow Feature: Collaboration Gets Results!
Networking - more than an action, it is a necessity within the global nonprofit sector. Collaboration is essential to achieve solutions, at
least that is the lesson that Becky Nerima (Uganda, Class 6 Fellow) learned in her first two months in the United States. "There is a
strong environment of networking in DC," shares Becky, who serves at CORE Group and recently helped facilitate their Annual Meeting. "It
is interesting how you meet people and it just clicks. This sense of collaboration is not present in all parts of the world." At CORE
Group, Becky promotes this collaborative spirit as coordinator of a community health task force. She also experienced the value of the
"network effect" during the CORE Group Annual Meeting. "You really have to communicate with people," were her words of advice for other
events planners. In fact, it was networking that led Becky to the Atlas Corps Fellowship. She meet Amira Resnick (USA, Class 4) through
the Peace and Collaborative Network. Amira inspired Becky to apply and she became a Fellow in March 2011. When Becky completes her term
of service in 2012, she plans to utilize these networking skills to enhance existing community health activities in Uganda, "I really
want to create a small project that will enhance the current work being done in Uganda." She is excited to bring this collaborative
spirit to her home country.
Atlas Corps Fellows - Building the Citizen Diplomat Network!
The Atlas Corps Fellowship is a "comprehensive learning journey", as described by the Fellows. From service at a Host Organization to
navigating public transportation to interacting with people from around the world, we like to call it "citizen diplomats in action!"
Last weekend, the Fellows took their style of citizen diplomacy on the road to Richmond, Virginia, to build that network of citizen
diplomats. From the Civil War Museum to a picnic in the park and even a Bollywood film, the Fellows gained unique insight on southern-style
America while also learning more about each others' cultures. "The trip was an amazing opportunity to experience an American family
setting and gain authentic insight into American history" expressed Gbenga Ogunjimi (Nigeria, Class 6). Atlas Corps thanks our gracious
hosts and looks forward to future "citizen diplomacy" adventures with the Fellows.
Great news! Our Class 6 successfully completed their Orientation Week! On Monday, they started placements in their Host Organizations! Thank you for the continued support that helped us to achieve: 1. Our largest class to date: 21 Fellows from 14 Countries 2. Some significant firsts - including our first Spaniard in Colombia; our first Ghanan, Russian, Moldovan, Haitian Fellows; our first Class with 4 Fellows from one country (Nigeria); and our first Fellows to serve in New York. 3. Visits from USAID and the State Department - VIP Lunch guestsOf course, you can experience it for yourself! View photos: www.facebook.com/atlascorps View video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqIAM4dLw-8 (I have to give a shout out to Phil Mlanda for the expert creation! And to Class 4 and 5 for hosting a super fabulous Welcome Celebration yesterday!) Thanks for being inspiring parts of our network! It is amazing to see all that we have accomplished in five years.-Abby
PS Keep contributing to help us engage more inspiring nonprofit leaders!