Nonprofit Organizations in Delaware: Public Allies Delaware Prepares Young Adults for Careers at Nonprofits Through Apprenticeships in Services Like Youth Development, Public Health, Community and Economic Development and Housing
Public Allies may be one of the most important nonprofits in the state, and that couldn’t make its participants happier.
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When Samantha Oppenheimer was preparing to graduate from the University of Delaware last year, she scheduled an exit interview with her academic adviser for some career guidance in the field of anthropology. The meeting left her feeling lost.
“He told me, ‘You have a beautiful smile and that will get you far,” says the 22-year-old Wilmington native. “That was depressing.”
So she dropped in on another professor, who encouraged her to apply to Public Allies Delaware. Public Allies partners participants with agencies throughout the state to prepare them for careers in the nonprofit world.
Oppenheimer had always had an interest in helping others. Within two days of speaking with her professor, she found herself competing with more than 180 applicants for one of 30 slots in the class of 2010-2011. She succeeded and matched with her first choice, Meeting Ground, a faith-based organization that helps the homeless in Maryland and Delaware.
“It’s a great work environment for me because my supervisor is really involved in my experience, and I love the people I work with and the work that I’m doing,” she says. “It’s nice to wake up every day and look forward to coming to work.”
Public Allies Delaware is part of the national Public Allies network formed in 1992. It was cited as a model for public service by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. President Barack Obama was a member of the founding advisory board, and his wife, Michelle, was the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago.
The program seeks to identify young, talented adults from diverse backgrounds to prepare them for careers in the nonprofit arena.
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