Twenty-eight emerging leaders are uniquely equipped with a vision for the change they want to create and a career plan to make it happen.
On June 16, 2009, they graduated from RCLA's Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service with a map of the field, a career plan to pursue, and a network of other outstanding professionals committed to public service to support them.
The graduation, held at NYU's Torch Club, marked the culmination of the selective six-month program, which provides women and men holding early positions in public service with the knowledge, skills and tools to pursue a variety of public service career paths.
The program gives Fellows opportunities to reflect on the issues, roles and organizational settings that interest them and to learn from government and nonprofit executives about their own career trajectories.
This year's speakers included New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein; Jennifer Jones Austin, United Way's senior vice president for Community Investment; and Khary Lazarre-White, co-founder and co-executive director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol.
Fellows also meet regularly with their career guides -- senior directors and advisors at government and nonprofit organizations who provide guidance and mentorship as fellows strategically shape their career goals and plans.
NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall, who founded the program, kicked off the graduation with words of congratulations and encouragement. NYU Wagner Associate Dean Tyra Liebmann and FELPS Director Megan Golden also spoke, highlighting the many paths open to graduates and their readiness to take up new leadership challenges.
Fellows were inspired to continue their public service work by Laurie Kerr, the senior policy advisor on Sustainability from the NYC Mayor's Office.
Samuel Pierre, the Brooklyn South director for US Congressman Edolphus Towns and a 2009 fellow, reminded fellows to remain connected and not to forget to challenge the status quo on their journeys through public service. Representatives from his office and those of other fellows were on hand to show their support.
This event marked the last fellowship class for director Megan Golden. The 2010 fellowship will be led by Colleen Coffey and Mo Coffey (no relation).
Applications for next year's fellowship will be available online July 20, 2010.
Tyra Liebmann, NYU Wagner associate dean for Student Affairs and Administration, speaks at the graduation.
Fellows Russell Gordon,
Caitlin Dean, Jamie Alter, Harini Angara and Nonya Collier with Career Guide
Fellow Samuel Pierre
from the Class of 2009 addresses the fellows and guests.
Career Guide Josh Klainberg presents 2009 Fellow DJ Pizzani with his certificate.
Fellows Hilary Beber and Whitney Hampton celebrate.
Fellowship graduates and guests enjoy hearing from Laurie Kerr, senior policy advisor on Sustainability in the NYC Mayor's Office.