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Allison Conyers: Decision Maker for Aug. 20
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Allison Conyers: Decision Maker for Aug. 20

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New position: director of education & training, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities — "I am responsible for developing and implementing programs in schools, businesses and communities to achieve success through inclusion."

Previous position: independent organizational consultant in Washington

Birthplace: Hampton

Education: bachelor's degree, Howard University; master's degree, American University

Career: communications specialist at the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth in Washington, October 2009-February 2012; director of communications at the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association in Washington, April 2007-October 2009

Best career move: "My best career move was my first! I accepted an exceptional offer to work for Virginians Against Domestic Violence (now called the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance) when I was a sophomore in high school. It introduced me to nonprofit professionals working tirelessly to support the people they serve."

Career goals: "To change the world by bringing my best self to help create inclusive communities."

The best advice she ever received: "Trust your gut."

The most difficult situation faced on the job: "There are often critical competing priorities in nonprofit organizations. It's challenging but essential to take out time for self-care when you provide life-changing programs and services."

Career tip for students: "Volunteer, intern and network! Volunteering gives students a sneak peek into the workplace and lets you begin to build relationships in your chosen industry."

What motivates her? "I am motivated by the amazing people I work with every day, committed and caring co-workers, program participants and volunteers who work with VCIC."

Role model: "My parents always pressed the importance of community service; they piqued my interest in social justice at a very young age."

Family: parents; brother

Pastimes: "Yoga, photography and reading great books."

The most memorable book or movie: "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe

Favorite food or restaurant: "I love Tex-Mex food."

Ideal vacation: "I have always wanted to visit Accra, Ghana, and Auckland, New Zealand; however, a couple of weeks at an island resort sounds nice, too!"

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