Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spotlight on Colette Ostrye

Colette Ostrye from cohort two recently completed her volunteer hours with Abode Communities, a nonprofit organization dedicated to opening new doors in people's lives through the creative and responsible design, development and operation of service-enhanced affordable housing.

We recently received a glowing recommendation for Colette Ostrye from Marla Alvarez, Community Services Manager at Abode that we would like to share a piece of:
Thank you, Colette for exemplifying the very best of the LA Fellows program and congrats on completing your volunteer hours at Abode Communities.
"Colette updated and reorganized the Excel tabulation matrix, entered the data and analyzed the results. She also made further refinements as needed to generate clearer answers from respondents. We will use the survey instrument that Colette adapted as a template for our current and future properties.
I have been very pleased with her work and the projects that Colette has completed. Colette is a warm and thoughtful person who is methodical and focused in her work. She is eager to learn and has graciously taken on tasks that can be quite tedious. She is self-directed and while she works independently, she does not hesitate to ask for additional clarification on tasks when needed. Our department can be quite busy and new projects come up quickly. Colette was always flexible and adapted to any changes with good humor. In addition, Colette solicited feedback on ways to improve her work.
We are pleased that we were able to provide Colette with an opportunity to explore other fields and to further enrich her skills. I am certain that she would be a welcome addition to any organization."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cheryl Norris talks about her new job and the LA Fellows experience

We are thrilled to announce that cohort 2's Cheryl Norris has just made an exciting career transition!  Cheryl will be configuring, testing, and training court employees in the use of new case management software in the California Courts system.  There is so much we could say about Cheryl's journey as an LA Fellow, but we thought you might enjoy hearing about her experience directly: 

"When I started the program, I had been unemployed for over a year and had no confidence that I would be able to find a job. I really didn't know what job I wanted, how to look for a job, or where to get started.
One of the most important things I learned, was to be honest with myself about what I liked doing and what I was good at, instead of just applying for jobs that were the same as my last job. Once I was able to find my focus after several false starts, I signed up for email alerts with many employment webesites, such as, and received emails everyday with new opportunities.
It only took 3 months for me to land a new job, which required me to use all the skills I recently learned during the LA Fellows program, such as resume writing, interviewing, networking, and most of all, the self confidence to go out and sell myself. 
I found the job I was looking for in terms of salary, commuting distance, and business application, and am grateful that a program like LA Fellows exists to help people in my situation get back to work."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hello and Welcome Cohort 4!

We are thrilled to welcome the exceptional men and women selected to be a part of the fourth cohort of LA Fellows!

Hailing from a variety of backgrounds and industries, this outstanding new class truly distinguished themselves during the long LA Fellows interview and application process. 

Cohort four officially started on June 6th and very soon they will be putting their newly refined skills to good use at their host nonprofit organizations.

Please give a warm LA Fellows welcome to cohort 4!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kenneth Strong creates marketing video for Valley Village

Thanks to our excellent nonprofit partners, the LA Fellows from each cohort have had exciting opportunites to contribute in meaningful ways to the organizations where they have volunteered. 

Kenneth Strong from Cohort 2 recently wrote, filmed, narrarated and edited this great promotional video for Valley Village, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting, fostering, developing and advancing the rights and interests of people with developmental disabilities: