Estes Park Trail Gazette – Allies in education at Eagle Rock School

Eagle Rock School not only offers something special to their students, but offers a rare opportunity to prospective educators. The Public Allies Fellowship program invites individuals who have college degrees in various disciplines to live on the grounds for one year, and share their unique talents with the community of faculty and students at Eagle Rock School.

This year, the Professional Development Center of Eagle Rock School welcomed 12 new leaders to the program. The Allies began their service on Aug. 28, after an application process that included meeting proposed guidelines set by the Public Allies Fellowship program and AmeriCorps.

The Public Allies Fellowship is a program affiliated with AmeriCorp’s section of the Corporation for National and Community Service. AmeriCorp is a national service which meets needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

Active in Estes Park, AmeriCorps gives adults an opportunity to mentor and/or tutor children in the community through Partners of Estes Park. AmeriCorp also honors grants for specific education programs. Annually the AmeriCorps program engages more than two million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of programs.

Dan Condon, the Director of Public Allies at Eagle Rock School has a long history with Public Allies. According to the public allies website, Condon was introduced to Public Allies as a “Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” honoree in 1994, and served as an Ally twice from 1994 to 1995, and from 1996 to 1997.

Condon was hired in 1997 by Public Allies to coordinate Milwaukee’s Youth Mapping Project, organizing teens from five city neighborhoods to map the assets of their community, and then became Director of Education and Training at Public Allies Milwaukee for five years.

Having interned at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in his two Ally service terms between 1994 and 1997, Condon had the idea to transform Eagle Rock’s internship program to a Public Allies program, and became the founding Program Director of the Eagle Rock program in 2002.

In 1992, Condon was a co-founder of Camp Heartland, which has grown into one of the nations largest organizations serving the needs of children and teens affected by HIV/AIDS. Who Cares Magazine honored him in 1996 as one of 20 young visionaries. He studied leadership and organization through Marquette University’s College of Professional Studies, and serves as a house parent at Eagle Rock.

According to information provided by Dan Condon, the Public Allies Fellowship is an opportunity made available to individuals who are passionate about education, youth development and working with 15 to 21 year old students from diverse backgrounds across America who have not found success in conventional school settings.

The Public Allies Fellowship has two perspectives—local and global. Locally, fellows contribute skills, energy, and knowledge to the community. As residents they are involved in student activities and campus life as well as classroom teaching and administration. Like everyone else at Eagle Rock, they serve as role models, take on leadership roles, and live the values expressed through Eagle Rock’s commitments.

Public Allies’ mission is to advance diverse young leaders to strengthen communities, non-profits and civic participation. Its vision is to create communities where people of all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences work together and share responsibility for improving their own lives and the lives of those around them. For more information see the Public Allies Apprenticeship Program at Eagle Rock’s website www.publicallies.org/eaglerock.

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