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Public Allies Reflect on Their Growth and Service in First-Half of Apprenticeship

February 20, 2019
By Megan Bennett
Community Outreach Specialist, Public Allies AmeriCorps Member

The Public Allies Miami cohort participated in their mid-year retreat marking the halfway point of their 10-month tenure of service over January 31st to February 1st, 2019. The overnight retreat at Oleta River State Park was spent connecting with nature, each other, self-reflection, and learning what leadership looks like as a Public Ally.

After a rainy start, the Allies did some team bonding by kayaking through mangroves and wildlife. There they tapped into their “blue heart”, a term their kayaking guide used to explain the feeling of calm and oneness when on the water and in nature. Being a Public Ally is about the protecting and advocating for those in need. Through their guided tour, they learned just why the beauty of nature and the environment needs to be protected as well.

The last activity for the evening was “Gift Seat”, where an Ally was chosen for the ‘seat’ and all members of the cohort gave the selected Ally praise, constructive criticism, and a unique perspective about the individual that they may have not seen about themselves. Though this was more of a difficult activity, each Ally came out with a better sense of self and a deeper respect for each other.  

The next morning, each Public Ally was awarded a superlative that best described their interaction within the cohort and their best qualities. After saying good-bye to Dave the duck and Fred the feral cat (friendly animal neighbors), the trip ended with the Allies writing a letter to our future selves. In that letter, the Allies reflected on how they struggled, and what they learned in the first half of the year and how they will strive to continue learning and be their best selves for the remainder of their service.

Cheers to a phenomenal first half of service and the growth that awaits in the second half!