Public Spirit, April 2015

Let’s Play with Words…

May we be allowed to do so? The InterCorps Council of Minnesota has the hope youMay have a month filled with continued sunshine and positive service. May you enjoy this edition of Public Spirit, and with it, feel more comfortable about life after your service year, find entertainment and spring clothing bargains, and so much more! Mayyou enjoy your May and as always… May the force be with you, AmeriCorps members!


Road Trip!

Memorial Day Weekend is coming up; are you looking for ideas on how to spend it? How about a road trip with your friends to explore Minnesota? Sounds pretty awesome, right? We thought so! We did a little research for you to find the best places to visit in Minnesota. Take your pick!

  • Minnesota is home to 11,842 lakes which gives us more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined! Go hang out at one of Minnesota’s great lakes; click here for a list of some of them!
  • If you want to spend a whole weekend somewhere doing various activities,Duluth is the perfect place for you! It is home to Lake Superior, great restaurants & pubs, various shopping opportunities, parks & trails, historical places, etc. Check out everything here!
  • If you are the outdoorsy type, we’ve got just the place for you! Chippewa National Forest, located in northcentral Minnesota in Itasca, Cass, and Beltrami counties, has pretty much everything you could ask for. Check out all it has to offer here!
  • Want to travel to Southern MinnesotaThis website will give you some great ideas on where to go and what to do. 
  • Don’t live in the Twin Cities but would love to take a trip here? This link will help you decide what to do.
  • Did you know Minnesota is home to one of the largest open pit iron mines in the world? It’s located in Hibbing, Minnesota! The Hull-Rust-Mahoning Minesupplied one fourth of all the iron ore mined in the US during both World Wars. They give free tours! Check out more information here. 

We hope this article gives you great ideas for a fun and warm (knock on wood) Memorial Day Weekend! Safe travels everyone!


Life After Service


As you embark on the last leg of this service year, you are surelythinking ahead to what’s happening next year—and beyond—right? It’s likely that your thoughts have begun to venture that way, and even more likely that you are fretting a little. Thankfully, the InterCorps Council of Minnesota is here to save the day and perhaps make you fret a little less about the future. 

Describing Service

A year of service is a reflection of a strong, passionate commitment to core values. So, what’s important to mention in an interview—or on a resume? Check out the thoughts below.

  • New skills and proficiencies – your skills from this year are not isolated, buttransferrable!

Don’t short change yourself! Look back on this year at all the new competencies you gained. These could be: working with different personalities; managing volunteers; helping write promotional material; etc.

  • Describe your core values – connect your values to the organization’s mission.

You chose to serve for a specific reason related to your core values and belief system. There are few stronger ways to show commitment to a value than committing a year of service for that value.

  • Discuss RESULTS! Share specific, numeric results. When appropriate, connect those results to broader changes.

For example, a result might be: I helped 20 students improve their math scores to the 85th percentile, jumping from the 65th percentile at the beginning of the year. The broader change: “I helped get a community excited about learning and I enhanced the math experiences of middle-school-aged youth.”

Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE)

For those of you who are VISTA members or former Peace Corps members who have just returned in the past year, you have non-competitive eligibility status for searching for federal jobs. This means that you are placed into a smaller pool of applicants from the beginning of the agency’s hiring process, so there’s a greater chance of getting an interview. Here are some aspects to keep in mind:

  • This applies ONLY to federal jobs. (Not state, city, or county positions).
  • This lasts only 1 year, effective right after your service ends. 
  • Go HERE for more information! 

Informational interviews

Here’s the scoop: an informational interview is a 30-minute meeting with someone who has a job in a career field that you’re interested in. Here are some tips:

  • Be interested! Duh. But seriously, make sure your questions reflect a truecuriosity in the position—something deeper than, “what’s something surprising about your field?” 
  • Have a thorough list of questions for the professional you meet with. You’ll need to be prepared with “priority” questions – ones that you really want to have answered—and “secondary” questions.
  • Ask the professional if she/he would recommend anyone else for you to talk with for an additional perspective, and DO send a thank-you note within a week after the interview.

Finding your calling

Here’s a suggestion: do a free-write about your past experiences. You think this is silly? Pshhhh. Seriously, it’s helpful. Create an unconventional resume. Write out an entire list of your work experiences, meaningful experiences, and other volunteering. Then detail why you liked each of those experiences. What stands out to you from your past? Put in the time to figure out what you like.

You Tell Us!

Answer this survey to tell us what your plans are. We want to know! We’ll display the results as a graph in next month’s Public Spirit! Go HERE!


Entertainment Galore!
Keeping it Going on a Budget

Do you sometimes wish your life could have a continuous musical soundtrack complete with people randomly bursting into song and dance? Do you enjoy a good musical performance? Are moviesyour thing? The AmeriCorps budget does not need to halt your entertainment activities. There are a lot of resources out there to help theatre, music, and movie-loving individuals on a budget stay entertained at a discounted price. In fact, check out the May Day parade occurring this Sunday in Minneapolis!


Mixed Blood Theatre has a program called “Radical Hospitality” that allows people to see plays for free.

Guthrie Theatre and Jungle Theatre sell reduced-price rush tickets (the remaining seats) 15-30 minutes before any performance. 

The Soap Factory is an art space that features really interesting works. And it’s free!

Every Saturday night, Balls Cabaret holds a midnight cabaret at the Southern Theater where anyone can take the stage for 5-7 minutes to do anything they want. Price is $5, but free if you perform.

Comedy and Music

At the end of the month (May 25th), Minneapolis Music & Movies begins! Grab a few friends and enjoy a free concert. 

Open Mic night every Monday is free at Acme Comedy Club! You can also get 4 free tickets to attend a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday show during your birthday month.

Many bars, pubs, and coffee shops will have free musical performances. Some might charge a cover, but not always! Check out this website for Twin Cities coffee shop information, or do a quick Google search for your surrounding area.

Lastly, if you live near a college/university, check out their website for upcoming performances! Nearby high schools might be worth taking a look at as well. Chances are tickets are fairly priced.


Want to take it old school? Vali-Hi Drive-In in Lake Elmo offers 3 movies currently in theatres for the cheap price of $8.50.

The Plaza in Maplewood plays recent movies for only $2 movies, and for a mere $1 on Tuesdays!

The Riverview Theater in Minneapolis plays movies for $3 and $2 on Tuesdays and for matinees.

Hopkins Cinema 6 plays matinee and Tuesday movies for $2.50 and $3 regular admission.

Minneapolis Music & Music also has free movies in the parks- Check back here to see the movie schedule, as it hasn’t been published yet.

May the tickets at the box office be ever in your favor, and live well and prosper with these great deals! 

Shopping On a Budget This Summer Season

The summer season is upon us – or so it seemed a week ago – and it is time for us to put away our winter coats and scarves and whip out our shorts, sandals, and summer dresses—or isn’t that what everyone is waiting for?

As the season changes from winter, spring, to summer it is difficult not to fall into thedazzle of summer ads advertising the hottest (and most expensive!) summer trends for this year. But what about those of us AmeriCorps members who can’t go on a shopping spree? For individuals on a budget, we know, the struggle is real.

But don’t worry my fellow AmeriCorps members—below we have compiled a few tipsfor where and how to find good deals this season to add a few new items to your closet.

Try Outlet Mall Shopping! Everyone knows about the Mall of America but what about trying new places to shop this year? If you’re willing to hunt for a good bargain try the Opitz Outletwhere you can find discounted authentic designer apparel, shoes and accessories or the Twin Cities Premium Outlets, an outdoor mall where you can enjoy the beautiful weather. Stop by a nearbyGoodwill or other thrift store along the way to store some more deals! Take some AmeriCorps friends with you and bond over finding those good deals!

Furthermore, don’t underestimate the power of the garage sale—check out this list for upcoming garage sale weekends around Minnesota!

If you decide to give those outlet malls a shot, be sure to check out these 7 Tips For Outlet Mall Shopping to find the best deals out there!

Best of luck in your shopping endeavors this season, friends!


A Spotlight of a VISTA Member, Chelsea Gabrielle, Serving with Cycles 4 Change

Cycles for Change (C4C) is a bicycle advocacy organization with a mission to build adiverse and empowered community of bicyclists. They achieve their goals by:

  • Providing access to bikes, bicycle mechanic classes, and tools
  • Advocating safe bicycling paths
  • Promoting racial and gender equity in transportation 

Cycles for Change has partnered with many community organizations to maximize their impact. They have a retail shop at their headquarters on University Avenue that shares retail space with The Hub Bicycle Cooperative. They have recently partnered with Spokes Bike, Walk, Connect in the Seward neighborhood. They also partner with Grease Rag to provide a safe place for women and transgender bicyclists to learn bicycle mechanics and riding safety at their Women/Trans/Femme Open Shop Nights.  

Chelsea serves our community as C4C’s Youth Programs Outreach and Development Specialists through grant work, meeting facilitation, and connecting with young people in the Apprenticeship program from the Frogtown and Aurora St. Anthony communities in St. Paul. C4C’s apprenticeship program seeks to provide resources and tools young people want, to make the change they hope to see via values of youth voice and choice. Beyond the nuts and bolts of youth leadership, C4C’s apprenticeship program fosters relationships between youth apprentices to create a stronger network of young leaders both in and out of the cycling community. Chelsea is most excited about her work in maneuvering resources to support the ideas,energy, and creativity of all the youth apprentices and sees herself as someone who can move resources around to support the work that’s already being done rather than starting fresh and doing it all herself.

Exciting things are on the horizon for Cycles for Change: the development of a youth track-racing team, invitation to the 2015 Youth Summit to explore social justice work through transportation (to take place in Seattle), and the hosting of the 2016 Youth Summit.

Get Involved!

You can get involved in several ways:

  • Donate a Bicycle
  • Take a basic bicycle mechanics class with Cycles for Change
  • Volunteer your time helping fix up donated bicycles
  • Donate your money to a cause you support
  • Tell a friend about Cycles for Change

To find out more about Cycles for Change, visit them on the web


To view the list of all ICC members, including the names of the Communications Committee who bring you your monthly Public Spirit, click on this link.

That’s all, folks! May you enjoy your May, and until next time, as always-stay classy!