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Emerging leaders share their remarkable impact on Miami communities

July 21, 2017
By Elyse Marrero

On June 23, 2017, the tenth Public Allies Miami class graduated at Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus. The year concluded with the Presentations of Impact (POI): an opportunity for each Public Ally to illustrate how they impacted the community and how they grew personally and professionally. Through laughter, tears, and eye-opening stories, the Public Allies shared how ten months of AmeriCorps service in nonprofit organizations changed their lives.

Different from previous years, the POI was held in a “poster-session” format, allowing guests one-on-one engagement with each graduate. The Allies also presented summaries of their Team Service Projects at three local high schools: Miami Northwestern, Edison, and Miami Jackson.

Anneth Izquierdo (pictured above), presented about the importance of accessible workplaces for people with disabilities. She drew from her experience as a person with visual differences explaining in detail how she navigates work and office spaces differently than typically sighted people.

Ashley Cevere (pictured above on left, with fellow Allies Daija Barnard and Gabriel Perez), discussed her growth and reflections from her term of service, as well as the connections she made at her placement. At one moment, Ashley was found hugging and shedding tears of joy with her co-workers and supervisor.

Phillippa Paisley (pictured above with her supervisor and coworkers) exhibited poise and confidence as she spoke to each guest about the over 1,800 hours she worked during her service.

Yareliz Mendez-Zamora pictured above with Roxy Azuaje, Public Allies Miami Manager) cleverly blended pop music and her service impact by incorporating inspiring lyrics and themes from Beyoncé’s Lemonade into her presentation.

Public Allies' national mission is to create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it. Public Allies Miami engages young adults, most of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, in rigorous training and service to become community leaders. Catalyst Miami is the local sponsor of the only Public Allies program in South Florida, with support from The Children's Trust. Learn more at or


Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Public Allies Miami class:

Ashley Cevere
Early Learning Coalition

Ashley Cover
Opa-locka Community Development Corporation

Daija Barnard
Center for Social Change

Julia Doucet
Catalyst Miami

Anneth Izquierdo
Silent Victims of Crime

Brandon Johnson
Catalyst Miami

Mariana Martinez
Le Jardin Community Center

Yareliz Mendez-Zamora
Centro Campesino Farmworker Center

Samantha Niravong
Common Threads

Phillippa Paisley
Children's Movement of Florida

Myles Parker
The Education Effect

Gabriel Perez
Community Justice Project

Timothy Richardson
University of Miami - Office of Civic and Community Engagement

Christopher Silio
Catalyst Miami

Kaleem Washington
Miami Children’s Initiative


Special thanks to the ACCESS (Disability Services) & MEED Program at Miami Dade College – Wolfson Campus for hosting our Presentations of Impact.


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