Friday, June 17, 2011

Public Allies' Presentations of Learning

By: Bianca Mijares, Catalyst Miami Intern
Cheryl Mizell, Communications Director

Yesterday June 16th 2011 was the first of two days of Presentations of Learning put on by the Public Allies to illustrate what their experiences with the program have been in the past 10 months. Eleven Public Allies presented. Their presentations ranged from performance pieces to singing to dancing. All were extremely moving and insightful.
Laselve Harrison, Communications Coordinator with Catalyst Miami, launched the day by presenting his Public Ally learning experience through the template of the Voice, the e-newsletter, drawing parallels to the organization’s values while highlighting a transformative path to finding his own voice. Anne-Valerie Pierre-Canel gave a stellar performance worthy of an Oscar by spotlighting her star experiences and allies in best supporting roles in award winning films. Autumn Romer from Take in Stock Children, a scholarship program that pairs children with a mentor and an advocate and gives them the opportunity to receive a scholarship for college upon completing a set of requirements, did a performance piece about her personal transformation, growth, and discovery. She is a Leader! Jalyssa Whitaker spoke emotionally about her professional and personal growth and later expressed the same feelings through a choreographed dance to “Pieces of Me” by Ledisi. Diana Pena Rojas wrote a letter to her fellow allies detailing the struggles of her troubled life and everything the program has done for her. Then she had everyone plant their very own peanut plant.
All of the allies who presented spoke about one or more of these things: adapting difficult sometimes chaotic situations, realizing you are a leader, learning from experiences no matter the outcome, redefining success, and finding happiness. The event was inspiring and provided an opportunity to spotlight these wonderful people and to reflect on oneself and on the value of service.

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