Atlas Corps volunteers are essential to the organization for making sure things run smoothly. Today, we would like to talk more about Atlas Corps Group Captains. Our Group Captains facilitate monthly peer coaching groups as part of our new Virtual Leadership Institute, an online learning community for global social change leaders from around the world.

Since launching the Virtual Leadership Institute, 16 Atlas Corps Alumni became our Group Captains helping Scholars create a productive environment for co-learning, develop leadership projects, and guide discussions about leadership and social impact.

Today we talk with Alisa, Atlas Corps Alumna from Russia and a Group Captain for the Atlas Corps Virtual Leadership Institute.

Atlas Corps Fellows and Alisa—pictured second from the left

Why did you decide to volunteer for Atlas Corps as a Group Captain?

There are two main reasons why I decided to volunteer as Atlas Corps Group Captain. First of all, as Atlas Corps Alumna, I wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to me. And I wanted to help Atlas Corps Scholars get the feeling for the Atlas Corps community and learn about its values. I also wanted to continue being engaged with people who deeply care about their communities, who strive to make a change, who are driven and passionate. Being among Atlas Corps Fellows always gave me an extra boost of motivation to work on the projects that I am involved in, and I felt that getting to know the fellows would have a similar effect on me. And I was 100% correct!

How has volunteering with Atlas Corps impacted you?

Volunteering as a Group Captain allowed me to meet some exceptional individuals who inspire me with their work and commitment every time we interact. Secondly, helping the Scholars thinking through their projects and listening to them share their challenges and accomplishments gave me a glimpse into the realities of different communities worldwide and the issues they are facing. I find it invaluable to be able to learn from the first-hand experience of others, and it wouldn’t be possible without Atlas Corps. 

I also think that volunteering impacted me professionally. Preparing for the Group Calls or working through the exercise with the Scholars provided me with tools and opportunities to look at the projects that I am working on from a new perspective. 

Photo from the Alisa’s personal archive

What message would you like to send to individuals who are thinking of volunteering with Atlas Corps as a Group Captain?

I would say that there hasn’t been an occasion when I wouldn’t have left a conversation with the Scholars or anyone from the Atlas Corps community, for that matter, without having learned something new or being inspired!

Atlas Corps Scholar Ariane (Cohort 1, Rwanda) shares, “As the group captain, Alisa has been flexible in regards to everyone’s availability; she always makes sure everyone’s voice is heard and encourages everyone to participate. She cares about everyone’s mood while joining the conversation and always transmit positive energy with a big smile. She is a great facilitator, and our conversations have been very enriching, encouraging, and supportive.”

Another Atlas Corps Scholar Osnel (Cohort 1, Haiti) shares, “My tenure with the virtual leadership so far is nothing but amazing. It’s a life-changing experience that allowed me to add value to myself while networking with scholars from around the world. Besides, I enjoy the peer coaching session led by Alisa our Group Captain. Alisa is exceptional. She is kind and disciplined. I always feel invigorated after the sessions. Alisa brings smoothly the best out of me for my personal project.”

Thank you, Alisa and our hundreds of volunteers who help achieve the Atlas Corps mission every day. Learn more about becoming a volunteer at