PHENND Fellows Spotlight: Alanna DiGioia

Posted by PHENND on October 30, 2017


Name: Alanna DiGioia

University: Drexel University

Major(s): Political Science major, minor in Science, Technology and Society. (If I could go back, I’d finish up the last few classes required for a Philosophy minor. )

Where are you from? Do you have a fun fact about your hometown?

I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s home to the largest Navy base in the world! I never thought it was a very cool place when I was living there, but now I’d move back in a heartbeat. There’s a really vibrant arts scene, lots of festivals and events, and tons of really interesting history.

How did you hear about PHENND and why did you apply?

I knew that I wanted to be an AmeriCorps member after I graduated. I loved all the direct service I did in college, but I wanted to gain more experience in a professional workplace. I was applying to a lot of different programs and Philly Fellows interested me the most. I liked the idea of working in a non-profit and the professional development opportunities really caught my eye. After being in the program for three months now, I’m happy I made the decision to apply!

Where are you serving? What do you do?

I serve at Springboard Collaborative, a nonprofit which closes the literacy gap by coaching teachers, training family members, and cultivating reading habits in K-3rd graders. I am the coordinator of our newest program, Schoolyear, which integrates the Springboard approach into the classroom during the school year.

What is your office and daily schedule like?

I’m living the standard 9-5 lifestyle!

What is your favorite memory so far during your VISTA term?

My favorite memories so far have been getting to know my PHENND Fellows Cohort. We love volunteering together, meeting up during our lunch breaks, and even just hanging out and watching movies.

Talk about a challenge and a success you have had at your position already within the first month:

It’s been a challenge getting up for work in the morning! In college I took a lot of afternoon classes so I’m not used to getting up early every day.

Something I’ve had success in is getting more students enrolled in the program than ever before! We currently have 360 K-3 students in 5 schools throughout Philadelphia.

What do you hope to get out of the year?

I hope to improve my public speaking. My boss, Aubrey White, is a huge inspiration. She is so dedicated to Springboard’s mission and can really captivate an audience and convince them that the work we’re doing is important. I hope that one day I will be able to express my passion for my work in the same way (and that I will continue to do work that I’m passionate about).

We have to ask, if you could be a character from any book who would you be and why?

Hermione Granger! She was one of the first feminist book characters I was ever exposed to and I’ve always looked up to her dedication to her beliefs.

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