THE PITTSBURGH PROMISEâ€™S
Our Schools Our Inspiration Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates who changed Pittsburgh and the world
Gene Kelly Peabody, 1929
Andy Warhol Schenley, 1945
Derrick Bell Schenley, 1948
1 ideapod // SPRING Langley, 1954 2014
ideapod THE PITTSBURGH PROMISEâ€™S
14 A Game Plan For Student Athletes
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
Pack Your Suitcase and Prepare Your Inner Self For the Future
Our Schools, Our Inspiration
Realizing The Dream
Ask The President
EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril
PITTSBURGH PROMISE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Contributing Writers Erika Mangual, Patty Popek, Pamela Arroyo, Alexis Papalia, Darnell Dinkins, Afiya Bey, Antonia Macpherson, Janay Coleman, Daniel Peters, Valerie Michael, Jullian Henry, Julia Cahill, Tal Kroser, Crystal Evans
Franco Harris (Chair) Member, NFL Hall of Fame Owner, Super Bakery, Inc.
David Malone President and CEO Gateway Financial Group
Martin McGuinn (Vice Chair) Chairman and CEO (Retired) Mellon Financial Corporation
Grant Oliphant President and CEO The Pittsburgh Foundation
Candi Castleberry-Singleton (Treasurer) Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, UPMC
Bill Peduto Mayor City of Pittsburgh
Art Direction/Design Phil Mollenkof Photography Joshua Franzos, Karen Meyers, Bruce Krane, Phil Mollenkof Illustration Juliette Borda Advertising Marsha Kolbe
CONNECT WITH THE PROMISE
The Pittsburgh Promise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and is an affiliate of The Pittsburgh Foundation The Pittsburgh Promise is a partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools, the City of Pittsburgh, UPMC and other key funders. Ideapod is funded through advertisements placed by Promiseeligible, post-secondary institutions.
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Olga Welch, EdD (Secretary) Dean, School of Education Duquesne University
Cindy Shapira Senior Policy Advisor Allegheny County Executive
Debra Kline Demchak Community Leader
David Shapira Executive Chairman Giant Eagle, Inc.
Linda Lane, EdD Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools
Edith Shapira, MD Psychiatrist Private Practice
Mark Laskow Managing Director Greycourt & Co.
Kiya Tomlin Parent Volunteer Pittsburgh Public Schools
Anne Lewis Chair Oxford Development Company
Demetri Zervoudis Senior Vice President Bayer Material Science
Pamela Little-Poole Youth Organizer A+ Schools
Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise
GROWING INTO YOUR VISION Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise In this issue of Idea Pod, we feature just a few of the many Pittsburgh Public Schools alumni who have made this world a little better, healthier, happier, smarter, safer, and even a little jazzier. Some walked the halls of our schools, or danced through them, decades ago, and a few were there practically yesterday. Their minds were shaped, their curiosity fed, their creativity fueled, their passions kindled, and their visions set free, at least in part, by the many peers, teachers, families, and community members who loved, served, and taught them along the way. Their impact is powerful, and their black and gold imprint (or is it black and yellow?) makes us all proud. I have the privilege of visiting our schools, talking to our students, and working with our educational leaders often. And it is indeed a privilege. Whether it is a pre-kindergarten commencement, a 9th grade civics class, or a 12th grade HVAC laboratory, I cherish the opportunity to be with our students along with their teachers and families.
fed and fueled and kindled and set free today. Today, in Pittsburgh Public Schools, the raw materials for transformational global leadership are present and are being stewarded with care and with intentionality. We recently did a photo shoot with a few of our elementary school kids. They told us what they wanted to be when they grow up. After we heard from them, we got each of them the “uniform” that they would wear when they reach their vocational destination (see below). One catch: we deliberately got them adult-sized uniforms, and after they wore them, we shot the photographs. We have a picture of little girl swimming in a grown-up police uniform, and a little boy peeking through a man’s business suit. We have many others. The reason the uniforms are way too big for them now is because our job – the job of the adults – is to help them grow into them. To be able to help a kid grow into her or his vision for their futures is a holy calling to which we must tend with great care and humility. I hope I am around for the 2034 issue of Idea Pod that captures the impact of today’s 3rd and 7th and 11th graders in Pittsburgh Public Schools. The promise does indeed live in each of them.
Without fail, in every one of our buildings, in each and every neighborhood, there are young lives that are being shaped and
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Ten things Pittsburgh Public S chool s gave the world
Zola Horovitz, PhD. saved and improved countless lives through the creation of medications for heart disease and anxiety. -ALLDERDICE
Chuck Cooper brought equality to the NBA as the first African American player to be drafted. -WESTINGHOUSE
Clifford Shull’s Scattered Neuron Technique won a Nobel Prize in Physics. -SCH ENLE Y
Architect Lou Astorino desig ned internationally acclaimed building The Chapel of the Holy Spirit in the Vatican. -SOUTH HILLS
Directed by Rob
Billy Strayhorn’s song “Take The A-Train” instantly became and remains a jazz standard. -WESTINGHOUSE
Ivan Jirak ’s mapping of the Laurel Caverns in the Laurel Highlands revealed a natur al treasure. -L AN GL EY
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Marshall, Th e film Chicago won 8 Osca rs. -ALLDERDIC E
l, The Terrible Towe n ro My invented by ved by Cope, has been wa fans. r millions of Steele E IC –ALLDERD
Wiz Khalifa’s song “Black and Yellow” helped put Pittsburgh on the hip hop ma p. -ALLDERDICE
Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park was a #1 album on the billboard charts. -ALLDERDICE
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GIVING HOMELESS YOUTH A VOICE
Erika Mangual is a Pittsburgh Promise scholar studying Business Management and Accounting at Point Park University.
Erika is speaking up for homeless youth and finding her passion in the process.
GET INVOLVED: Learn more about the Homeless Children’s Education Fund and Beverly’s Birthdays: homelessfund.org
would never have guessed it, but working with homeless youth has changed my life. After I finished my freshman year of college, I knew I wanted to get involved in my community. I wanted to dive in right away, but I took some time to search for a volunteer opportunity that was meaningful to me. Eventually, I came across The Homeless Children's Education Fund, a non-profit organization that promotes education among children who are homeless in Allegheny County. As soon as I discovered the organization, it felt like it was the right choice. My heart connected with The Homeless Children's Education Fund because I love children, I love helping others, and I believed in their mission to provide equal opportunity and educational services to homeless kids. After spending some time volunteering, the organization’s Director of Outreach and Volunteer Services, Suzy, described a public action to support homeless children that really inspired me. The action was an art performance entitled “Stand Up for Children.” The performance was created to raise awareness about homeless issues that occur right here in Pittsburgh and in Allegheny County. The performance literally gives
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beverlysbirthdays.org a face to homeless individuals. It consists of volunteer advocates standing in silence in a public space, each holding a drawing of a child's face representing a homeless youth. The event was created to turn heads because homelessness, especially among children, is an issue that tends to make some people uncomfortable and it sometimes gets swept under the rug. Suzy informed me that the art performance had already been performed at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University. I thought it would be a wonderful idea to stage the same performance at Point Park University along the very busy Boulevard of the Allies. At first, the thought of planning and executing an event alone was pretty terrifying. But I became even more passionate about the homelessness cause in the process of planning. I think my love for the organization allowed me to get the job done efficiently and effectively despite my nervousness. The action went perfectly with many volunteers despite rainy, cold weather. We even got media coverage through Point Park’s website and newspaper and eventually the Pittsburgh Obama High School and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper!
Volunteering allows me to put my time and energy into places where it is most needed. I love knowing that at the end of my day, I made one child smile or I taught one child how to write in cursive. The feeling of helping children is beyond rewarding. My time with the Homeless Children's Education Fund has also led to my involvement with Beverly's Birthdays; a nonprofit organization that gives birthday celebrations to homeless youth. The issue of homelessness has touched my heart so much that someday I would like to start my own non-profit organization, a soup kitchen geared towards women and children. I am passionate about ending hunger among youth in Allegheny County with food that is delicious and nutritious. Getting involved has been one of the best decisions I have made and has created a snowball effect for me, leading to one opportunity after another. Now I feel that the best advice I can give someone is to find where your passion lies and act on it. Use your passion to better your community and invest your time and energy generously. It may change your perspective and your life.
If you’re trying to figure out what to do next with your life, consider this. We believe God has big plans for you. And that includes becoming everything He meant you to be. We can help. We’re Geneva College. A challenging Christian college that prepares you to challenge the world. And succeed. We have the majors and graduate programs you need to compete. A rigorous academic environment grounded on the truth of the Bible that helps you keep the faith—no matter what life throws at you. Discover a whole new take on your life. Together, we can meet the challenge.
geneva.edu • 800-847-8255
Your Promise + Ours
As a Pittsburgh Promise scholar, you’ve secured $40,000 toward your college education. At Chatham University, we want to further support the promise in you with the opportunity to apply for one of our new Pittsburgh
Housing Scholarships, covering the housing costs of Pittsburgh Promise scholars during their time at Chatham. Financial support, in-demand degrees, women’s leadership, and our career-focused approach to education are just a few examples of how Chatham helps Pittsburgh Promise scholars hone creative and critical thinking skills to break the mold, shatter the ceiling, and bring big thinking to life.
That’s our promise.
big thinking for a big world
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Every Dollar Counts A PROMISE PARENT'S PERSPECTIVE
Patty Popek is a proud Promise parent who gives her time, energy, and donations to help strengthen The Pittsburgh Promise. We asked Patty to tell us what inspires her to be one of our top volunteers and a recurring donor: When the vision for The Pittsburgh Promise was announced in December of 2006, I knew immediately that it was something special. I felt that I had to help regardless of whether or not my two sons would benefit from it, because so many children would. My older son graduated before the scholarships took effect, but thankfully my younger son received a scholarship. As a Promise parent, I can fully appreciate what The Promise scholarship means to families.
I wasn’t sure what I could offer, but I knew I had to be a part of making sure the vision for The Pittsburgh Promise came to fruition. I started early on by helping with The Promise’s Pittsburgh Marathon fundraising campaign. In 2009, I attended a parent meeting to kick-start parent involvement at individual schools. I became one of the founding members of Allderdice Parents for The Promise committee where we initiated a successful letter-writing campaign. In March 2010, I was laid off from my job and I had the time to volunteer at The Pittsburgh Promise office. I spent those hours contacting schools and parents to kick-start ideas for fundraising campaigns at individual schools. After returning to work, I continued to help The Promise through my donations. While I can’t afford to attend the big ticket fundraisers that bring in thousands of dollars, I do give in little ways regularly throughout the year. I love that no matter how small my donation may be, it is matched by UPMC’s matching grant of $1 for every $1.50 The Promise receives. It gives me great pleasure to know that my $15.00 donation actually becomes $25.00, which means to me
that every dollar donated counts no matter the size. I give in lots of different ways throughout the year. My husband and I both designate our United Way donations to The Pittsburgh Promise. It’s a quick, easy and painless way to donate because it comes straight out of our paychecks and we don’t even miss it. We also give small amounts throughout the year directly to The Promise and we sponsor a Promise runner at the Pittsburgh Marathon. I have never been more passionate about an organization as I am about The Pittsburgh Promise and I encourage other Promise parents to get involved! The Promise has blessed our children with a wonderful gift, and I know firsthand that it is not only a gift to our children but to their families as well. I feel that the least I can do to thank The Promise for that gift is by paying forward whatever I can afford; whether it’s $5.00 a year, $50.00 a year or $500.00 a year, every dollar matters!”
GIVING TO THE PROMISE: Are you inspired by Patty? Below are some ways that you can give. UPMC will give $1.00 for every $1.50 that is contributed to The Pittsburgh Promise!
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MAIL Mail your check to: 1901 Centre Ave, Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The Pittsburgh Marathon Sponsor runners at: www.crowdrise.com/ pittsburghpromisepitts2014
UNITED WAY Use our agency code number 9576075 when donating.
A CAREER IN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY
ccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an aging U.S. population combined with increasing longevity, expanding insurance coverage and the addition of approximately 5.7 million new jobs in the field by 2020 make the health care industry a smart choice when starting your career.
munications; human resources; supply chain management; and information. All areas of a health care organization impact the ultimate mission of patient care in their own unique way.
But perhaps the most compelling reason to pursue a career in health care is the impact you can make in the lives of patients. You can help bring a life into the world, save a life during a time of crisis, or provide dignity and respectful care in the final hours.
•Study, study, study! It is essential that your GPA demonstrates your dedication to academics. Earning a strong GPA (usually at least a 3.0) can be a requirement for internship programs.
Top health systems throughout the United States, like UPMC, need employees with a wide variety of educational backgrounds, in both clinical and non-clinical disciplines, to deliver life-changing medicine. Opportunities exist within allied and behavioral health; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; nursing; and physician and physician extender functions. There is also a need for business professionals in several fields, including finance and accounting; marketing and com-
No matter which health care career path you decide to pursue, obtaining a good education is crucial. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your educational experience:
•Get experience early. Join clubs and find opportunities to volunteer or work part-time. The best way to obtain an internship is to prove that you are serious about your passion and dedicated to your commitments. Attend career fairs and events to learn more about your potential field and meet professionals that may be able to advise you.
Pamela Arroyo is UPMC’s Program Director of Campus Programs and Recruitment Events.
LEARN MORE Want to dig deeper? Check out these sites: upmc.com bls.gov healthcarecareers.about.com UPMC is recognized for its outstanding clinical opportunities for medical students; we also have clinical and non-clinical internships for college students. Learn more at:
•Have a great attitude… and an even bigger heart. Health care is all about people. Kindness, positivity, and compassion are essential traits in the industry.
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Alexis Papalia is a Promise Scholar studying Political Science at Chatham University.
AND A SENSE OF HUMOR Alexis has a disability, but she doesn’t let that stop her from pursuing her college education… or playing practical jokes.
ALEXIS' ADVICE Alexis shares five tips for anyone with a disability. It’s okay to ask for help. Part of being independent is knowing when to ask for help. At the same time, don’t feel that you have to accept help you don’t need just to be nice.
aving a disability and going to college can be an interesting adventure, but with the help of The Pittsburgh Promise and a lot of people who wanted to see me succeed, it’s been an amazing journey for me.
protect my eyes. There were times that I got teased but I was usually the one making the jokes. And I had amazing teachers, friends and a vision teacher who taught me everything from how to use a cane to how to read Braille.
If I’m looking at the world optimistically, it is pretty unlikely I’d be born with my rare eye condition. If I’m not being so positive, it’s pretty unfortunate that I was born with a disease that would eventually make me go blind in one eye and lose some of the vision in my right. The good news is I lead a normal and independent life as an adult, even if I can take one of my eyes out (don’t worry, it’s fake!)
When I went to college there was a department to help accommodate me in any way I needed for my classes. I’ve gotten Power Point slides from professors on jump drives so I did not have to take notes from the projector I couldn’t see. I’ve also been permitted to take tests on a computer instead of handwriting them so I can zoom in if I want. I’ve found that almost every teacher wants to help as much as they can—sometimes a little too much, but I can forgive them for wanting me to learn.
I went to Pittsburgh Public Schools from Kindergarten through graduating high school, and I had a lot of interesting adventures along the way. There was the time in second grade just after I got my fake eye that it came out in class. My poor teacher was so freaked out that she sent me to the nurse’s office. Throughout school, all the other students were curious about the tools I used—magnifying glasses, white boards that transmitted what was written on them to a computer, or even the ugly sports goggles I had to wear in gym class to
While I attended the Pittsburgh Public Schools, I had an amazing vision teacher who brought me lots of equipment to try (some things helped, some didn’t) and helped me talk to my teachers about my needs. When I did go off to college she helped to connect me with the Blind and Vision Services and the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services, both of which prepared me for the real world with technology, trainings and even help finding a part-time job. With their help and the help of The Pittsburgh Promise I am able to be successful in college, even if it isn’t always easy.
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Try not to take the people who look down on you or make fun of you to heart. Use them as motivation to try even harder.
Don’t feel like you need to have a “normal” life. Everyone has something weird about them- never feel like you have to suppress yours! Laugh at the little things; it makes everything easier.
The thing is, I can do most things pretty well on my own. I mean, I can’t drive—unless I can make just right turns the whole way—and I’m never going to be an astronaut, but I loved school and learning and with a little help, I’ve done that well. A lot of people say they don’t even notice I can’t see very well. That is, until I take my fake eye out and put it on top of the cherry on their milkshake (yes, I did this to a friend, at the age of 20…and it was hilarious). I know that sometimes being different makes people uncomfortable. I believe being “normal” is relative, and my disability does not make me any better or worse at being normal. I make great oatmeal cookies and I know all the words to “Lose yourself” by Eminem. I’m graduating college in May and I have an internship at The Promise office this semester. When I look back at my education, I know that it wasn’t always easy but I’ve had great support and I’m excited for what happens next.
International Brotherhood International Brotherhood of Workers ofElectrical Electrical Workers Local Union No. 5No. 5 Local Union 5 Hot Metal Street, Southside, Pittsburgh, PA For youryour electrical & telecommunication Forallall electrical & telecommunication contractors with needs, using needs, using qualified contractors with highly-trained electrical workers, contact highly-trained electrical workers, contact (412) 432-1400 (412) 432-1400 MichaelMichael R. Dunleavy, BusinessBusiness Manager Manager R. Dunleavy, Thomas H. Dennis Higgins,E.President Eicker, President Michael W. Varholla, Vice President Thomas R. McIntyre, Vice-President Thomas R. McIntyre, Jr. , Recording Secretary Thomas H. Higgins, Recording Secretary Richard R. Dunkel, Treasurer Michael W. Varholla, Treasurer
“EARN OU LEARN ” “EARN WHILE LEARN” WHILE YYOU
A PAID A5-year 5-year PAID Electrical Electrical Apprenticeship Apprenticeship Program (the equivalent of a $200,000 Program (the equivalent of a $200,000 scholarship) scholarship) ••Earn & benefi Earnwages wages & benefits tswhile while going program goingthru thruthe the program
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••Receive a CCAC Associate Receive a CCAC Associate Degree DegreeininElectrical Electrical Construction ConstructionTechnology Technology
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For & Application ForQuestions Questions & Application Information, please call:call: Information, please JOINT JOINTAPPRENTICESHIP APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING COMMITTEE TRAINING COMMITTEE I.B.E.W. Local Union No. No. 5& 5 & I.B.E.W. Local Union W. NECA W.PA PAChapter, Chapter, NECA (412) (412)432-1145 432-1145 55 Hot Street, Suite 100 100 HotMetal Metal Street, Suite Pittsburgh, 15203 Pittsburgh,PAPA 15203 www.ibewlocal5jatc.com www.ibewlocal5jatc.com
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A HUGE, HEARTFELT
On January 7th, 2014, 300 Promise college students braved a -20 degree wind-chill to meet with over 30 local employers at our Promise Career Launch. The companies who participate in The Promise Career Launch join us in creating opportunities for talented Promise scholars to connect to the workforce of the region. Thank you for helping our scholars to smoothly make the transition from college to career!
EXECUTIVE SCHOLAR COMPANIES
$100 MILLION UPMC
Aerotek American Eagle Outfitters Bayer Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management Block Communications BNY Mellon City of Pittsburgh Direct Energy Dollar Bank FedEx Ground Giant Eagle Google Highmark Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania Mascaro Construction Massaro Corporation Mylan Peoples Natural Gas Pitt-Ohio Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Public Schools PNC Financial Services Group Range Resources Robert Morris University Thermo Fisher Scientific UPMC U.S. Steel WESCO Distribution Z Brand
$4.7 MILLION Highmark $1 MILLION American Eagle Outfitters BNY Mellon Giant Eagle Mylan PNC Financial Services Group Thermo Fisher Scientific
EVENT VOLUNTEERS Ann McGuinn Founding Event Chair Mayor Bill Peduto City of Pittsburgh Carolina Pais-Barreto Beyers c-leveled James Court and Danielle Magnus Development Dimensions International Pam Arroyo UPMC
watch the video
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monumental futures some assembly required
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A Game Plan for Student Athletes Rethinking college athletic recruitment
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I SAT IN THE NEW JERSEY HOME OF ONE OF THE TOP FOOTBALL RECRUITS IN THE COUNTRY. INSTEAD OF CELEBRATING A CHOSEN COLLEGE TEAM, I HAD TO WATCH HIS MOTHER CRY WHILE REVIEWING HIS ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPTS WITH THE FAMILY. The 2.5 GPA that he thought he had was actually a 1.9 with low grades in core classes. His options were limited. That was the moment that I realized that I needed to help inform families about the recruitment process, because it is not just about athletic talent. We live in an “HD society”- not “High Definition,” but “Head Down.” Many students spend a lot of time tweeting, texting, facebooking, and not communicating with parents about school. This can lead to families being unaware of their need to create a game plan to get into college that includes academics. I know about the recruiting process because I’ve been through it! As a former NFL player and Schenley graduate, I was blessed to play for the University of Pittsburgh and multiple NFL teams before winning a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints. I’ve also been blessed with the ability to travel the country teaching Blue Print to College Recruiting seminars. At my seminars I help coaches, guidance counselors, parents, and 8th through 12th grade students to understand the recruitment process and the ever-changing National College Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations. I always ask parents and students, "Who wants to go to college?" Every single person raises their hand. Then I ask "How many core classes do you need to be academically eligible for Division 1, 2 or 3 sports?" No one knows, and that is where the problem lies.
My seminars include an SAT/ACT prep CD with over 1100 hours of training because these test scores are essential. In addition, recruiters will take into account the public persona of a student. They will look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts. Students should absolutely keep potential recruiters in mind when they are posting and keep posts appropriate. The old adage is true-what a student does off the field is just as important as what they do on the field.
seminars, I believe it is just as
It is also important to remain realistic through the recruiting process and weigh every option. Every parent believes that their child is the next Division 1 recruit, but 80% of universities are not Division 1. Many also don't know the importance of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) division. I enjoy letting students know that NAIA is similar to Division 2 or Division 3, but unlike Division 3 schools, NAIA schools will give full athletic scholarships to athletes. Each student will have a different scenario of options, but it is always in the best interest of a student athlete to investigate them all. I cannot predict a student’s future, but realistic goal setting will allow students and parents to get into the right school for them.
important to teach youth the
I grew up in the Hill District and attended Schenley High School so I especially love speaking to high schools, parents, and student athletes in Pittsburgh. I know that students and families have a lot to think about in the athletic recruitment process. Remember some of the basics- academics, maintaining image, and weighing options realistically- they can put you steps ahead in your game plan for a great college sports career.
to hold a 6 week Concussion Pre-
BEFORE A SCHOOL EVEN THINKS ABOUT MEETING A RECRUIT, THEY WILL LOOK AT THEIR TRANSCRIPT AND SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES.
Parents and students must understand this very important fact about college recruiting: before a school even thinks about meeting a recruit, they will look at their transcript and social media pages. Grades, the SAT, and the ACT are important. Many athletes do not prep for the SAT/ACT which is a grave mistake.
Make Injury Reduction Part of the Plan
concussions and injuries. An estimated 140,000 athletes under 19 sustained concussions while participating in sports in 2012. Concussions are serious injuries and without the appropriate training, every play that a student participates in could put them in harm’s way. Playing for 9 years in the NFL, 4 years in college, and 4 years in high school, I have seen the effects of head injuries that resulted in big time trauma. My company E.T.H.I.C. Training (Effort, Toughness, Heart, Intensity, Commitment) teams with PISA (Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena) vention Camp. The camp teaches the proper techniques to reduce concussions, as well as the effects of injuries in both the short and long term. 10% of proceeds from each student who participates go to injury prevention at their school.
Darnell Dinkins is a motivational speaker, athletic educator, and former NFL player. When he is not travelling the country helping families to understand the recruiting process, Darnell spends his time with his wife Melyssa and children, Kayla, Khalil, Kolin, and Jaylen. For a full speaking schedule or booking, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 15 ideapod // SPRING 2014
CAREER EXPLORATION BEGINS NOW From a very early age we are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” That question tends to follow us through adolescence, and as we approach high school graduation the question becomes “What will your major be in college or trade school?” For most people, the answer to that question changes over time. Your answer in kindergarten is probably not the same as a high school senior.
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Eddie & Sophia of Pittsburgh Dillworth
In fact, there are internship opportunities and programs that exist specifically for high school students. Completing an internship in a field of interest in high school will not only equip you with leadership and professional skills that you can use in a post-secondary professional or academic environment, but it will give you the experience you need to determine if the job is the right choice for your future. You don’t want to spend four years in school as an education major only to realize that you don’t like children. For a long time, Symphony, a senior at City Charter High School, thought that she wanted to be a pharmacist, “...I realized after completing my internship at a pharmacy that I really wanted to work with patients.” She has since decided to pursue a career as Physician Assistant instead. Symphony gave herself the opportunity to “try on” the white Research at Purdue University coat before she decided to pursue has shown that up to 80% of the career track of a pharmacist. entering college students admit Internships are opportunities to that they are not certain what “try on” careers before we commit they want to major in, even if to them. they have declared a major.
oday, colleges are placing more and more pressure on students to choose their major earlier. Each year students invest thousands of dollars in their education, only to realize upon graduation that they in fact chose the wrong major. We are human beings; we grow, we mature, we change our mind, and sometimes what we thought we wanted turns out to be not at all like we expected. This is why it is important to begin career exploration early.
A great way to do this is by taking advantage of internships and job shadowing opportunities in high school. Internships and job shadowing are fantastic tools to find out what you really want to do, Job shadowing is another great way or perhaps what 50% of students who declare a to gain knowledge about a specific you really do not major change majors, with many field or career. Job shadowing is a want to do, before doing so two and three times learning activity that involves acyou invest your before graduation according to companying an employee in a parmoney and eduNBC News. ticular profession at their work-site cation to pursue According to the College Board, and observing them perform their a specific career. roughly 40% of those who start daily job functions. Job shadowing Would you ata four-year degree program still differs from an internship in that it tend a university have not earned one after year is limited to observing and asking without first vissix, often due to changing questions and typically lasts only a iting and taking a majors multiple times. day. Visiting and observing all of tour of the campus? the detailed aspects of the job will Of course not! Cagive you the perspective you need to determine whether reer exploration is the same idea. you can see yourself doing it every day. This is also an By gaining an authentic work opportunity to ask all of the burning questions you may experience before entering posthave about the job or company. Questions like what secondary education, you can career path led them to their position, what the comgain firsthand exposure to pany culture is like, the necessary education/training/ an occupational area of your skills required for the job, the things they love about interest without the committheir job, and also the difficulties they face. Witnessing ment. firsthand all that is required of an employee on a daily Many high school students have basis in your field of interest will assist you in making a the false impression that internwell-informed decision about your future and your eduships are only for college students. cational direction.
Afiya Bey is the High School Internship Coordinator with The Pittsburgh Promise. Afiya is a Schenley High School Alumna and graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications with a Promise scholarship.
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work with young adults who are busy preparing for high school, college, and life.
My work focuses on helping people learn how to adapt, how to bounce back, and how to build resilience. Resilience is adapting in the face of adversity and stress. It means you can bounce back from difficult experiences. Everyone finds that there are both challenges and opportunities in life, and you will need to strengthen your resilience, your ability to adjust and bounce back, so that you will be ready to respond effectively to your challenges and opportunities. Think of this time in your life as if you are preparing to go on a trip. The trip is your future and you need to pack your suitcase! Think about all of the things you normally need to put into a
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suitcase: clothes, shoes, cosmetics, tooth brush, books, mobile devices, and lots more. This ‘stuff’ represents the external things that you have accumulated and want to have with you. Now imagine that you will pack a second suitcase with the internal parts of you: your emotions, feelings, reactions, and thoughts. The contents of this suitcase are the composite of YOU! This suitcase will go absolutely everywhere with you, and the contents will help or hinder your progress. Now you have two suitcases ready for your trip: external: ‘stuff’ and internal: ‘feelings/ reactions/capacity to adapt.’ First, let’s think about your external ‘stuff.’ As you go through your daily life, you may decide to change or move around the external ‘stuff.’ A good example is your clothing. You change your clothing when you wake up and go to class, you change again for sports, you may change again when you are going out with friends. The clothes that you wear this year may not work in three years. So, you continuously evaluate your
physical ‘stuff.’ It is easy to understand that you will need to add and subtract, pruning your physical items over time. Second, let’s think about your internal ‘feelings/ reactions/capacity to adapt.’ You have developed a way of responding to stressful things that happen to you. You have also developed patterns of behavior. Now is the time for you to think about whether or not these patterns work for you, or work against you. You will continue to face stress in the future as you head to college or trade school and again when you begin your career. Do you manage the way you react to stress like homework, tests, being late for class, or fights with parents or friends? Or does your reaction manage you? Are you in control, or are your emotional reactions in control? You can learn how to change your reactions and your behavior. Instead of yelling or reacting in a way that you don’t like, you can use some of the tips on the following page to help you maintain a healthy internal suitcase:
1. WHEN STRESSED, TAKE SOME TIME TO DO SOME DEEP BREATHING
It will help you to shift your focus. When you are stressed your breathing gets constricted and shallow; deep breathing helps to increase oxygen!
2. DISCOVER YOUR BEST TIME OF DAY
Do you have the most energy in the morning, afternoon, or evening? You can use that time to do the things that are hardest to do, like studying for a test or writing a paper.
3. TAKE BREAKS
When working at something that is hard, take a timed 15 minute break. Take a walk or talk to a friend. You will come back to the work feeling refreshed and energized.
4. SET REASONABLE GOALS
Reward yourself when you reach a goal and then set the next one. Unreasonable goals and expectations can lead to frustration.
5. FRIENDS ARE IMPORTANT
You need people as support systems in your daily life.
6. PRACTICE SELF CARE
You are in charge of managing and taking care of yourself, and you deserve the very best! Eat well, get some exercise, and get sleep!
I hope that these simple hints will help you to find your best path. There will be many interesting opportunities ahead of you. Your current task is to prepare yourself to take advantage of those opportunities. Keep your mental suitcase packed with those internal items that continue to help you to become the best “you” that you can be. Remain willing to evaluate and discard the internal thoughts and behaviors that are no longer effective. That is the test of growing and improving!
U n i v e r s i t y
P i t t s b u r g h
Antonia E. Macpherson is the Executive Director of LEAD Pittsburgh with over 35 years of professional experience as a psychologist. To learn more about stress management and building your resilience for college success, visit www.scoreforcollege.org.
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OUR INSPIR ATION
W 20 ideapod // SPRING 2014
Our Schools Our Inspiration When someone asks, â€œWhere do you go to school?â€? how do you feel when giving your response? As a Pittsburgh Public Schools student you ought to feel a swelling pride. PPS students and graduates are among a group that has broken down racial and gender barriers, scaled mountains, invented life saving medicines, and created world renowned art, music and film. PPS alumni changed our city and our world for the better by sharing their talents and hard work. We are inspired not only by the notable PPS Alumni of the past but by all 4,700 current Promise scholars. So we asked a few of those Promise scholars for help in writing about the extraordinary PPS Alumni who inspire them to reach higher, work harder, practice longer, and color outside of the lines. The historic alumni featured here are just a selection of the countless incredible graduates who have come from Pittsburgh Public Schools and gone on to contribute greatly. Their stories are as inspirational as we know each of yours will be.
"Derrick Bell's courage"
CHATHAM UNIVERSITY WRITING ABOUT: DERRICK BELL SCHENLEY // 1948
JANAY'S DREAM JOB: Working for an urban youth focused nonprofit
errick Bell can be described as humble, inspirational, powerful, and committed. I hope that my life can reflect these strong words. Derrick Bell was born in Pittsburgh’s Hill District on November 6, 1930. He graduated from Schenley High school in 1948. He also gained his post-secondary education from two Pittsburgh institutions. He began his career by working with the Department of Justice. Bell resigned from his position because officials requested that he revoke his involvement with the NAACP. Derrick Bell joined Harvard Law School’s faculty and in 1971 became the first tenured African American professor. At Harvard, Bell advocated for the tenure of two female professors of color by staging a 5 day sit-in in his office. In 1992, Derrick was invited to join the faculty of New York University’s School of Law as a visiting professor. I am inspired by Derrick Bell because he led by example. Despite all that he had to lose in his advocacy work, he focused on what others could gain. Bell is quoted saying “Courage is a decision you make to act in a way that works through your own fear for the greater good as opposed to pure self-interest. Courage means putting at risk your immediate self-interest for what you believe is right.” Any new venture we take in life requires some amount of courage. We can all learn from Bell by believing in what is right and putting our fears, doubts, and self interest aside and making a difference. When I began college, I had to have courage because I faced various life challenges and the fear of not being prepared. I focused on obtaining my degree so that one day I could help other urban youth in their pursuit of a better future. I hope to start my own nonprofit that helps urban youth become the best that they can be. I feel like I am similar to Bell because I believe in all of our youth and I feel that I could make the most difference in the lives of urban youth. Like Bell, I hope to take courageous steps that can inspire others to make a difference for a cause that they believe in.
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OUR INSPIR ATION
"Helen Faison's determination"
ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY WRITING ABOUT: HELEN FAISON
WESTINGHOUSE // 1942
he story of Dr. Helen Faison is one of a trailblazing educator who transformed our city’s education system. Dr. Faison graduated from Westinghouse high school and went on to gain her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education in 1955 from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Faison aspired to be an educator during a time when our city’s schools did not enjoy the diversity that they do today. She applied unsuccessfully many times to teach before finally being hired as one of the only African American teachers in the district in 1950, four years before U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregated public schools. Dr. Faison went on to become the district's first African American high school counselor in 1960 at Westinghouse, where she was later named Vice Principal. In 1968, she became Principal at Fifth Avenue High School and was the first African American woman to hold this position at the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Dr. Faison earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration in 1975 from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1983 she was promoted to Deputy Superintendent, the district's then-highest-ranking woman and African American. Dr. Faison’s legacy is not only one of personal accomplishment, but one of equality and justice for Pittsburgh’s schools. Faison Elementary was even named in her honor. When I learned about Dr. Faison’s story I felt like she and I were really different. But I realized that we do share a couple of important things in common: a love for Pittsburgh and a love of helping and serving others. I believe that having a heart to serve can be simply about looking beyond ourselves to help others in need. Dr. Faison did not become a principal overnight. She was determined to help others through education and worked for years to reach that title. Being born and raised here in Pittsburgh, Dr. Faison’s accomplishments hold even more value to me because it happened right in my backyard, in the city I love. Dr. Helen Faison is someone all of us can learn from. I hate to be corny and say “if you follow your dreams you’ll be successful,” but Dr. Faison defines that phrase. I hope I can follow her example by helping people in any way that I can, no matter what stands in my way. I believe that Dr. Helen Faison’s story is a beautiful testament to helping others and overcoming adversity and I know we can all learn something from her.
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APPLY AT CLARION.EDU/ADMISS 800-672-7171 (SELECTION 1)
Clarion University is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer.
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OUR INSPIR ATION
"Ivan Jirak's sense of adventure"
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH WRITING ABOUT: IVAN JIRAK LANGLEY // 1943
r. Ivan Jirak, born in 1926, was a PPS alumnus with an incredible, adventurous spirit. During his time serving in the US Marines, Jirak developed a deep love of outdoor activities and went on to explore the world summiting mountains, rafting rivers, skydiving, hang gliding, base jumping, scuba diving – you name it, he did it.
VALERIE'S DREAM JOB: Neuroscientist
To me, what made Jirak a true inspiration were not simply his amazing adventures but his desire and dedication to share the great outdoors with his community. Jirak founded the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh and ran a tour company that took people on trips all around the world, from Mount Chimborazo in South America to Mount Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas and everywhere in between. Closer to home, he taught students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and eventually became the vice principal at Langley High School, his alma mater. Jirak’s accomplishments register deeply with me because I share his passion for the outdoors. I have travelled the country hiking, backpacking, skiing, boating, and climbing mountains in some of our most incredible National Parks such as Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons. I know from experience that time spent in nature is invaluable and creates happiness, calm, and a respect for the world around us. Jirak’s influence on our community lives on. Today, the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh is still thriving and giving members the opportunity to partake in a wide and diverse range of activities from nature walks in Frick Park to climbing Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Jirak’s words also live on in his memoir, Why Do People Climb Mountains. I believe that people climb mountains in order to experience beauty and to gain the joy of connecting with nature, and I am grateful to Dr. Ivan Jirak for sharing these gifts with so many individuals from the community that I live in and love.
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"Rosetta Burke's dedication"
COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY WRITING ABOUT: ROSETTA BURKE LANGLEY // 1954
osetta Burke graduated from Langley High School in 1955. After attending Harlem Hospital School of Nursing, she ended up getting a job as Superintendent of the New York State Department of Corrections and serving in the Army Reserve from 1962 on. In 1993 she joined the New York Army National Guard full time. After 35 years of determination, ambition, and service she was the first woman in the United States to be promoted to Major General in 1997. Burke is an incredibly successful figure who was granted many other awards for her service including being appointed, under President Clinton, to New York State Director of Selective Service, and being awarded the Medgar Evers Courage Award from the NAACP. Burke went above and beyond achieving her goals and blazed a trail for other women and individuals of color in the armed services. What makes Burke such a true inspiration to me is the dedication and hard work she demonstrated during her career. Her story reminds me that no matter your background or gender you can do anything. The true key to success is motivation, and that motivation is what drives you out of bed and pushes you forward. Staying motivated and dedicated are what can bring us all success. Burkeâ€™s accomplishments really hit home because she had the work ethic to be all that she could be and I hope that I have that work ethic as well. My major is Accounting which is obviously very different than a career in the armed services. However I feel that what links my future to Burke is the discipline and organization required in both fields. She inspires me to reach my goals. I hope that someday I can inspire someone else to strive for success as Rosetta Burke has done for me.
Crowdsourced: TODAY'S ALUMNI STARS
We asked our Facebook friends to nominate PPS Alumni that are making a difference in our city today!
Sean R. Farr, Schenley Nominated by: Wendy "Sean is the Center Director for Higher Achievement's Hill District Achievement Center. Every day, he is a walking testimony of success, and he gives back to the community and our middle school scholars to make a difference. Sean is a star! He should be recognized for his success and for making a difference for the next generation of PPS grads."
Eric Allen, Westinghouse Nominated by: Joy "Eric is a talented and devoted PPS graduate. He currently teaches at PPS Liberty, with three sons in PPS Liberty as well. He works every day to the enrichment of all of our children. Eva Allen, his wife, is also a teacher at Liberty School, and we are nothing short of blessed to have them as teachers and parents in our school."
Evan Frazier, Peabody Nominated by: Lorena "Evan has been a grand leader in the Hill District while working at the Hill House Association. His work has helped to improve the area including the development of the new shopping center."
Alaina L. Spanoudakis, Schenley Nominated by: Mary "Alaina, who is my daughter, is truly inspirational. She attended Pittsburgh Public Schools from K-12th grade and now she is a distinguished teacher for the district. She is extremely dedicated to the education and wellbeing of the 8th grade students she teaches Math to every day at Schiller. Alaina always goes above and beyond for the children. She has organized school dances and activities and coached both soccer and softball."
David Tepper, Peabody Nominated by: Patricia "David Tepper grew up in Stanton Heights, and has had incredible success in his professional life. His success and generosity allowed him to become the largest donor in the history of Carnegie Mellon University. CMU's Tepper School of Business carries his name."
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OUR INSPIR ATION
"Andy Warhol's innovation"
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY WRITING ABOUT: ANDY WARHOL SCHENLEY // 1945
f you are from Pittsburgh, you have more than likely passed by the iconic Andy Warhol Museum. Warhol was born in Pittsburgh in 1928 and attended Schenley High School as well as Carnegie Tech. He then moved to New York, where he spent the rest of his life as a revolutionary American pop artist. He explored silk screening techniques and made artwork that questioned if art could still be art if it was commercialized and geared towards making money. Though he was almost assassinated in 1968 by radical feminist writer Valerie Solanas, he died of complications after a routine surgery in 1987. When I was little, I felt that I had a magical connection to Warhol because my grandmother is buried in the same cemetery and Warhol’s mother’s name was Julia, whom he depicted in a lot of his work. I also went to CMU for my BFA, which is where he attended college when it was “Carnegie Tech.” In fact, when I worked at the School of Art, I was cleaning up some of the old files in the “attic” of the building and I came across one of Warhol’s transcripts! One of the classes he had to take was Hygiene and his grade was a D. Luckily, I’m not quite that similar to Warhol! Warhol inspires me because he was such a complex individual who took many risks as an artist. Some have even devoted their life’s work to studying Warhol. As an artist myself, especially now that I am out of college, I find Warhol even more inspiring because I’ve begun to truly understand the challenges of creating profitable art while still keeping true to one’s artistic values, styles, and concepts. He received a lot of criticism for his art and lifestyle yet he always continued forward, making breakthroughs that have helped shape the art world as we know it today.
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POINT PARK UNIVERSITY WRITING ABOUT: GENE KELLEY
PEABODY // 1929
rue greatness is rare. Many can be good at something; their art, their job, their sport. The few who are remembered as "great" achieved their acclaim by having unrelenting passion for what they did. In the world of theatre, Gene Kelly's greatness is something of legend. As a current acting major at Point Park University and recent graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, I have studied Gene Kelly's technique extensively in a wide range of performing arts classes. He has had a tremendous and lasting influence in his field and is described as being one of the most passionate performers of all time. While having a very impressive stage career, known for Broadway shows such as Time of Your Life and Pal Joey, Kelly's primary source of recognition was through timeless films such as Singing in the Rain and An American in Paris. Through his work he earned multiple lifetime achievement awards, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, and even an Academy Award. Through all the success, he remained steadfast in his strive for perfection. He would refuse to release a product until he was one hundred percent satisfied with it, insisting on rehearsing for extra hours or even days. While Gene Kelly may have been known for his talent, he was certainly remembered for his passion. I cannot see myself doing anything with my life other than theatre. I have a love for what I do and a great respect for those who share that love. In this and in life, Gene Kelly is a constant inspiration. He achieved more than most could hope to, but never stopped working to improve. His greatness and devotion to his craft should be what we all strive for in the things we are passionate about, and he will be remembered for a long time to come.
of graduates employed or enrolled in graduate school six months after graduation
For 138 years Grove City College has upheld its commitment to provide a rigorous academic education in an authentically Christian environment at an affordable price.
rove City College is a selective four-year liberal arts, science and engineering college.
We offer more than 50 programs of study, NCAA Division III athletics, dozens of intramural and club sports, plus 145 clubs and organizations. And because we’re committed to financial responsibility – ours and yours – Grove City College offers one of the best higher education experiences in America at a price that is about half that of other colleges and universities.
Learn more about the Grove City College experience, or schedule a campus visit. www.gcc.edu | 724-458-2100
“Visiting the campus helped me make my decision.” GCC_IdeaPod_9x6.75_2014.indd 1
3/5/14 1:56 PM
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REALIZING THE DREAM Improving the Transition from High School to Post-Secondary Education for Students with Disabilities By Crystal Evans
THE TRANSITION FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO THE “REAL WORLD” CAN BE STRESSFUL FOR ANY STUDENT, AND FOR SOME, HAVING A DISABILITY CAN MAKE THIS TRANSITION SEEM NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. While the law (IDEA 2004) says we must prepare students with disabilities “for further education, employment, and independent living,” there is more work to be done in making sure all students are prepared to complete high school, enter post-secondary education, earn a degree or certificate and find employment that leads to independence, self-sufficiency, and community engagement. On average, people with a college education earn nearly twice as much as those with only a high school diploma. Unfortunately, for some individuals with disabilities, college remains an unrealized dream. The good news is, national trends show a rise among students with disabilities attending college. Many high school students, including students with disabilities, select post-secondary education or vocational training as a path to entering the job market. Both are considered common alternatives to direct employment for students transitioning from high school to post-secondary education. Students may choose from a number of settings including four-year colleges and universities, community colleges,
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and vocational programs that offer certificates in a specific skill area. With the help of The Pittsburgh Promise, students with disabilities can be afforded the same opportunities as their peers to earn a college degree or certificate and become gainfully employed. Based on a 2005 study of working-age adults with disabilities, only 12.8% of those with disabilities earned a bachelor’s degree or more, compared to 30.1% for those without disabilities. There are many factors that play a part in the reasons why students with disabilities choose not to attend college. Those factors may include inadequate academic preparation, lack of family/ adult support, housing or transportation concerns, lack of knowledge regarding available supports and accommodations, and securing financial support. Fortunately, the burden of financial difficulties can be eliminated for many students with disabilities who meet the eligibility requirements of The Pittsburgh Promise. Students with disabilities want what we all desire the opportunity to learn, to work, and to achieve. We all want to pursue our interests, nurture our skills, and participate to our maximum potential in the workforce. The Pittsburgh Promise can help to ease the financial burden so students can focus on their individual needs and strive to achieve the success we all strive for! There is a wealth of information out there for students with disabilities who are pursuing post secondary education. The list following of websites can help!
AccessCollege: Postsecondary Education and Students with Disabilities www.washington.edu/doit/ Provides instructional materials regarding accessible technology and transitions from high school to college and school to work.
Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) www.ahead.org Professional association of disability services providers producing a wide variety of materials
ThinkCollege www.thinkcollege.net Provides information to youth with intellectual disabilities who may not have the opportunity to go to college. The website provides information and links to those interested in finding out more about the possibilities. Crystal Evans is the Transition Coordinator (Program for Students with Exceptionalities) at Pittsburgh Public Schools
Disability.gov www.disability.gov Disability.gov is the U.S. Federal Government's one-stop website for people with disabilities, their families, employers, veterans, and workplace professionals for the purpose of helping individuals with disabilities participate in the workplace and their communities.
DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) www.uw.edu/doit/Careers/ Uses assistive technology and the Internet to maximize independence, productivity, and participation of students with disabilities attending higher education. Provides instructional materials on accessible technology and transitions from high school to college and school to work.
HEATH Resource Center—Online Clearinghouse on Postsecondary Education www.heath.gwu.edu/ Resources for postsecondary students with disabilities and their families.
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) www.ncset.org Coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.
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Apply today at edinboro.edu. Edinboro’s Nursing program is ranked among the NATION’S BEST online graduate nursing programs* Edinboro’s Animation program is #1 IN PENNSYLVANIA** Edinboro’s online graduate programs in Education rank among the NATION’S BEST* Edinboro is ranked as a TOP COLLEGE IN PENNSYLVANIA for return on investment *U.S. News & World Report **Animation Career Review
Self-Determination for Postsecondary Students www.ncset.org/topics/sdpse/default.asp?topic=7 Explore how self-determination, self-awareness, self-advocacy, selfefficacy, decision-making, independent performance, self-evaluation, and adjustment can contribute to the ability to establish and achieve one’s goals during and after higher education.
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For over 160 years, Saint Francis University has been keeping promises to students just like you. The promise of a better education and the promise of a better tomorrow. Today, 97% of all Saint Francis graduates are employed or in graduate school just six months after they graduate. That’s a promise kept. www.francis.edu | Reach Higher. Go Far.
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We asked three Presidents of Promise eligible schools a question...
From top left across: Dr. Suzanne K. Mellon Dr. Cheryl Norton Dr. Karen M. Whitney
Engaging Minds. Embracing the World. Whether you are an entering freshman or transfer student, La Roche College in Pittsburghâ€™s North Hills offers the innovative, skills-driven education you need to succeed in todayâ€™s global economy.
Classes for Summer College begin in May 2014.
firstname.lastname@example.org 412-536-1272 | 800-838-4572 laroche.edu
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How has your life and career been shaped by a role model or mentor?
DR. SUZANNE K. MELLON CARLOW UNIVERSITY
DR. CHERYL NORTON SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
DR. KAREN M. WHITNEY CLARION UNIVERSITY OF PA
I’ve had several mentors over the course of my career. Sister Maureen Fay, who is the president emeritus at the University of Detroit Mercy, really became a mentor for me. When I began to move into a higher professional level – executive vice president – I started thinking about presidencies. She really had a broad view of the world and was well connected in Catholic higher education which provided me with a very good perspective.
I have always told my children, “you never know who may be watching you, so always do your best!” This adage was never more meaningful for me than when I was given the opportunity to become the provost at Metropolitan State College of Denver. I had worked at MSCD for more than two decades when the president offered me the provost position. At first I declined citing lack of experience, better people available, etc. But, it was obvious she had been watching my work and believed I was capable of doing the job. The president, much like a coach, was good at assessing not just what individuals had done, but how they approached their responsibilities, solved problems, collaborated with others, sought advice and accepted challenges. She also believed in bringing together diverse teams and allowing each individual to contribute in their unique way.
According to my grandmother, Romaine Campbell Greathouse, by age 4 I was already destined to do great things. Of course, if you knew my grandmother, you would never dare to disagree with her. She was born in Kittanning in 1899 and lived a life of greatness. She was my first role model. She took me with her to her many civic meetings - Methodist Women's Guild, Garden Club and many others. She was always saving labels from cans or tops from bottles to raise money to help others. She would walk her neighborhood to acquire signatures on petitions to address worthy causes, and she definitely made sure I was with her when she went to the polling booth to vote!
I would also say you get pieces of mentorship from other people in your life. I’ve gained a lot from other presidents that I’ve interfaced with or worked for, just by observing them and running ideas by them. Father Dennis Holtschneider at DePaul University in Chicago comes to mind. Watching him and how he has operated as a president has been valuable to me. My former president at St. Anselm College, Father Jonathan DeFelice, was also a very seasoned president who gave me a lot of, I would say, ‘wingspan’ to look at how I could develop myself as an executive vice president and in many ways, function like an internal president. His mentoring gave me a lot of ability and confidence in myself. That is an important quality of any mentor.
Fortunately, I decided to accept her offer and that has made all the difference in my career. Now, after more than 17 years in higher education administration and two university presidencies, I continue to reflect on and admire her wisdom in selecting team members not only for what they have achieved, but also for their potential.
Through her actions and the thousands of conversations we had, covering all of the social, political, moral and ethical dilemmas faced by humanity, my grandmother provided an extraordinary model for my life and my career.
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Promise fulfilled. Your future looks promising, and Penn State can open doors. Take advantage of all we offer to help you achieve your potential. > Twenty campuses and more than 160 majors for undergraduates > Tools for success: academic advising, career planning, internships, scholarships and other funding options > Leadership opportunities through a variety of student organizations > Resources for multicultural students: educational services, guidance, support Contact one of our campuses and take the first step toward fulfilling your promise.
penn state in WesteRn pennsYLVania Penn State Beaver Monaca, PA 724-773-3800, 877-JOIN-PSU beaver.psu.edu Penn State Erie, The Behrend College Erie, PA 814-898-6100, 866-374-3378 behrend.psu.edu
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus Uniontown, PA 724-430-4130 877-568-4130 fayette.psu.edu
Penn State New Kensington New Kensington, PA 724-334-LION (5466) 888-968-PAWS (7297) nk.psu.edu
Penn State Greater Allegheny McKeesport, PA 412-675-9010 ga.psu.edu
Pittsburgh Community Recruitment Center Pittsburgh, PA 412-263-2900 E-mail: email@example.com
Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. Produced by the Penn State Department of University Marketing. U.Ed. ADV 13-8
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NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT : Mt. Washington Moviegoers in Grandview Park enjoy the dramatic backdrop of the Pittsburgh skyline on a warm summer night.
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1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 www.pittsburghpromise.org
giving kids the chance of a lifetime, it’s
their dreams of going to college, trade or technical school. This goes a long way towards improving our city’s schools, nurturing great talent and keeping our Pittsburgh’s kids by giving at pittsburghpromise.org
or calling 412-281-7605. It will do more than you know.