Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Awesome Fellowship Opportunity at New Education Organization

Posted by Zach Maurin on August 21, 2009


Organizational Overview: One of the most effective tools to improve student achievement – summer learning – is currently one of the most underutilized. Summer learning, not be confused with summer school, provides children with a rich array of academics and enrichment (i.e., art, music, drama, physical fitness, and community service); connects children with experienced educators and caring adult mentors; and engages parents more deeply in the education of their children.

By engaging all children in quality summer learning programs, we can increase children’s state test scores, improve high school graduation rates, reduce risky behavior, and most importantly, ensure all children receive a well-rounded, high quality education.

Summer Advantage USA will bring high quality summer learning programs to children throughout the country using a business model focused on sustainability and growth. Team members must demonstrate a passion for the mission of the organization, a truly entrepreneurial spirit, and a significant record of success in specific functional areas.

Summer Advantage USA Leadership: Summer Advantage USA was selected from over 800 applicants to be a member of the inaugural cohort of the Mind Trust Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. Summer Advantage USA’s founder, Earl Martin Phalen, was honored by President Clinton with the President’s Service Award for his work as founder and CEO of the BELL Foundation (Building Educated Leaders for Life), which has served more than 15,000 scholars in 75 public and charter school sites. Earl is also a three-time recipient of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Awards, a Mind Trust Fellowship recipient, and an Ashoka Fellow.

Fellowship Program: Summer Advantage USA is excited to unveil its Fellowship program. This cohort of pro-bono, part-time (up to 10-15 hours per week) curious, hard-working, dedicated graduate students will help develop one of the five Summer Advantage USA key project areas. This select group of Fellows will also gain experience in valuable skills such as strategic management, grant writing and stakeholder engagement strategies. Members of the cohort will work remotely while on a unified front.

A Summer Advantage USA cohort member should encompass the following characteristics and values:

  • Deep commitment to and passion for the education of children
  • High level of self-confidence and enthusiasm
  • Ability to work and be productive with minimal supervision
  • Ability to work in a team environment as well as independently
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Exemplary project management skills and ability to produce under tight deadlines
  • Exceptional work ethic and follow-through on all assignments

Individuals or pre-established teams may submit an application. University contacts, specifically interested in pro-bono consulting, are critical for the success of the cohort. There will be regularly scheduled conference calls to report progress and to connect with cohort members nationwide. Cohort Team Lead positions are also available.

Responsibilities per area vary depending on subject matter.

5 Summer Advantage USA Key Project Areas:

1. Educational and Professional Development: Summer Advantage USA seeks to help develop a training institute for franchise owners and other site leaders. Cohort member tasks include:

Review best franchise training programs (i.e., McDonald University)

Review best practices of entrepreneur/social entrepreneur programs in the country (Ashoka as partner)

Study training programs of Teach for America, KIPP, Public Allies and others

Identify elements and content for the social entrepreneur training programs

2. Foundation Involvement: Summer Advantage USA continues to build philanthropic networks. Cohort member tasks include:

Research Foundations with a potential interest in Summer Advantage

Strategize ways to build partnerships with Foundations

Grant writing

3. Human Capital: The longevity of Summer Advantage USA is dependent upon strong human capital. Cohort member tasks include:

Recruitment plan for teachers and other critical staff for summer programs

Retainment strategy for teachers previously trained

Recruit Summer Advantage USA volunteers to serve as tutors, mentors, and guest speakers in support of the program and its students

4. Government Relations/Public Policy: Awareness of all policies and pertinent issues is critical for Summer Advantage USA to continue to be on the forefront of summer learning policy. Cohort member tasks include:

Weekly news updates

Develop funding streams

Establish a relationship with AmeriCorps

Determine possible work-study arrangements with local institutions

5. Growth Development: It is imperative to foster a strong relationship with the communities and schools that Summer Advantage USA serves. Cohort member tasks include:

Support and improve scholar outreach strategy

Refine new site development criteria

Evaluate and improve the school district contract development process

Stakeholder engagement process

Application Process:


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and are due

September 1 (fall semester)

September 20th (full academic year)

Email the following to

(1) Short essay: Please submit a 250 word essay describing how your skills and experience would contribute to the success of Summer Advantage USA’s mission to provide quality summer learning programs for children.

(2) Resume and references: Please submit a resume and 2 references.

(3) Areas of Interest: Please rank 1-5 key project areas that you are most interested in (1 being most desirable).

(__) Educational and Professional Development

(__) Foundation Involvement

(__) Human Capital

(__) Government Relations/Public Policy

(__) Growth Development


Posted in education, Jobs/Internships | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Public Service Academy

Posted by Zach Maurin on July 30, 2008

The need for more public service appears more urgent than ever. As co-founder of the U.S. Public Service Academy, Chris Myers Asch, puts it, “It is absolutely necessary that Americans understand that we cannot neglect the public sector, especially after Hurricane Katrina.” And that is where the Academy comes in.

By educating, training and developing students, theAcademy hopes to raise the level of excellence and expectation of public service to a country that is in dire need of it.
    Aside from increasing people’s involvement in public service, the main goals of the Academy are to “perceive, prepare and pursue.” The reputation of the public sector is currently bruised by labels of being “bureaucratic” and “ruthless” which in turn, pushes people away from government jobs. With the curriculum and training of the Academy, students will be prepared to change the reputation and reality of public service as the country knows it. 
    How exactly can this be done? Like the military academy, the U.S. Public Service Academy plans on focusing mostly on leadership development in their students. The curriculum is described as “rigorous” on their website, and Asch reiterates this by explaining what the course load may actually look like. “Of course part of it will be academic but there is also a requirement to study abroad and learn a foreign language.” 
    Moreover, by adopting the “civilian leadership model” of the military academy, students will immediately be part of a team and they will gain developmental and leadership skills that will allow them to train others by the time they graduate.”
    Because of the rigorous curriculum, the application process will also be no joking matter. “I imagine that it will be very competitive, says Asch. “Applicants must first receive a congressional nomination. Then, there will be a strict admissions process like other colleges.” 
    Since the education will be free for students (80% will be funded by the government and the other 20% will be privately funded), it is highly anticipated that many students will apply. “Yes, you get a free education and graduate debt-free. But you also have to dedicate 5 years to one of the six areas of service” and that takes a certain individual. 
    With such detail and organization already put in place for the Academy, it’s hard to imagine that this was once a mere idea of Asch’s. But what’s easy to see is the enormous support and encouragement received from all areas of the spectrum. 
    “Along with support and endorsements of 20 senators and 115 representatives of Congress, service programs have helped publicize and strategize, like Teach for America and AmeriCorps. We’ve also gained enormous support from the military academy as they recognize that this is an absolute medium, tapping into a different pool of students.”
    Despite all the encouragement, only time will tell. In a couple of months, the congressional elections will take place, determining the future for the Academy and the public sector. Meanwhile, perhaps the best hint of the Academy’s future is indicated on their website: They are going to make it happen.

Posted in education, National Service | Leave a Comment »

Service or Salary?

Posted by Zach Maurin on June 27, 2008

The NY Times published a story this week examining the dilemma (or maybe it’s not a dilemma for some) that many students are facing upon graduation from top colleges: go into public service or get paid lots of money on Wall St.  One student put it well.

He said, “We came to Harvard as freshmen to change the world, and we’re leaving to become investment bankers — why is this?”

Well known education professor Howard Gardner is leading reflections at Harvard and a few other schools that “he hopes will push undergraduates to think more deeply about the connection between their educations and aspirations,” wrote Sarah Rimer in her piece.

Anthony Marx, Amherst’s president and who is on the leadership committee for ServiceNation, says, “We’re in the business of graduating people who will make the world better in some way.  That’s what justifies the expense of the education.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Posted in education, service | Leave a Comment »

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