Idea Pod Magazine Fall 2015

Page 1

1 ideapod // FALL 2015




One Promise Scholar's Guide


First Word


Choosing the Right School for You




A Second Look at Summer Camp


Building Community


Award-Winning Summer Learning


Giving Glimpse


2015 Executive Scholars


Career Spotlight


Promise Voices


Ask the President


Last Look

EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril Contributing Writers Ashley Rieser, Susan Karas, Todd Faulk, Sadik Roberts, Theo McCauley, Rachel Gogos, Dan Peters, Taleesha Johnson, Dynae Shaw, Hilda Pang Fu, Lindsay Surmacz Art Direction/Design Phil Mollenkof Photography Joshua Franzos, Phil Mollenkof, Joshua Gates Illustration David Pohl, Kate Bingaman-Burt Advertising Marsha Kolbe


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.

Idea Pod is funded through advertisements placed by Promiseeligible, post-secondary institutions.

2 ideapod // FALL 2015

PITTSBURGH PROMISE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Franco Harris (Chair) Member, NFL Hall of Fame Owner, Super Bakery, Inc.

Anne Lewis Chair Oxford Development Company

Martin McGuinn (Vice Chair) Chairman and CEO (Retired) Mellon Financial Services

Greg Peaslee Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer UPMC

Candi Castleberry-Singleton (Treasurer) Founder and Chair Dignity & Respect Campaign

Pamela Little-Poole Youth Organizer A+ Schools

Olga Welch, EdD (Secretary) Dean, School of Education Duquesne University

David Malone President and CEO Gateway Financial Group

Chester "Chip" Babst Shareholder Babst Calland

William Peduto Mayor City of Pittsburgh

Debra Kline Demchak Community Leader

David Shapira Executive Chairman Giant Eagle, Inc.

Kirk Johnson Senior Vice Presient, Wealth Management Merrill Lynch

Edith Shapira, MD Psychiatrist Private Practice

Maxwell King President and CEO The Pittsburgh Foundation

Kiya Tomlin Owner & Designer Kiya Tomlin Pittsburgh

Linda Lane, EdD Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools

Demetri Zervoudis Senior Vice President Covestro

Mark Laskow Managing Director Greycourt & Co.

Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise


DREAMS DON'T WORK UNLESS YOU DO Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise

I don’t believe there is just one right college for you, and if you miss it then you are doomed. I do, however, believe that there are some colleges that are better for you than others, that fit who you are, how you are wired, what you value, and where you want to go in life more personally and naturally. Much like a truly good friend, a well-matched college brings out the best in you, sets you up for success and for significance, challenges you to grow, demands that you invest in the friendship, and at the same time is a lot of fun. Good friendships do not happen by accident, and neither do good matches. It takes time and effort to find, make, and keep a good friend, and the same is true of the right college.


In the City of Pittsburgh

90 Neighborhoods to choose from!

In this issue of Idea Pod we talk about the care that is required to make sure that you choose and attend the college that is right for you. It’s a big decision. It costs money and requires time and hard work. It impacts your life and future. Of course we think you should approach it with a lot of thought, and should seek good advice. In addition to online resources, family and friends, guidance counselors and teachers, mentors and coaches, as well as good friends, are people with whom you should consult in the process of selecting the right school for you. The final choice is largely yours. The night before you make your choice, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if the school is a right fit. After you have done all the hard work that this magazine recommends, I have a feeling that you will have peace about your decision. Your hard work will make your dream more possible. Then lay your head down and get a good night’s rest.


Pittsburgh Public Schools


A Promise Scholarship


90% +

2.50 GPA

(cumulative and unweighted)

= Your Promise Scholarship 3 ideapod // FALL 2015




What types of information sources did you utilize to research colleges?







What were the biggest factors influencing your decision about where to apply?






4 ideapod // FALL 2015

5 ideapod // FALL 2015


Ashley Rieser is Director of Volunteer Services at Animal Friends.

ANIMAL FRIENDS Helping Pets Find a Home


nimal Friends has been serving the needs of pets and people for more than 70 years. Animal Friends cares for more than 250 homeless cats, dogs and rabbits on site and up to 100 more in foster homes. Each year, Animal Friends saves the lives of thousands of animals and prepares them for their second chance at a loving home. Animal Friends wouldn’t be able to assist pet owners without the support it gets from volunteers of all ages. Helping the animals is a rewarding way to give back to the community. The animals may not be able to thank the volunteers with their voices, but their wagging tails, happy purrs and quiet nuzzles are rewards for compassion and kindness.

Friends, to tell us about her experience. Rachel’s friendly and outgoing personality not only enhances the lives of the shelter cats that she works to socialize, but also the other volunteers and staff around her.

RB: I want to continue to volunteer with Animal Friends throughout my life. I would like to have a career working with animals, possibly as a veterinarian.

• Hold supply drives for our homeless animals.

• Make tie-knot fleece blankets for the dogs.

• Create toys for the cats and bunnies from recycled materials.

• Distribute our Petsburgh Press magazine to help spread the word about our home- less pets.

A Caring Volunteer We asked Rachel (pictured above), a sophomore at Allderdice and a volunteer with Animal

6 ideapod // FALL 2015

For more information about the Kids’ Club Program (accepting applications for membership in August and December) go to:

We Can Come to You! Animal Friends visits area schools with a furry, four-legged friend. Would you like to start a club for other teens who like animals? Or are you in a club that promotes leadership or community service? Animal Friends can teach your club members about its work and the ways in which a supply drive done by your club can help the animals at the shelter. And did you know that Animal Friends can help with stress relief too? At Keystone Exam time, Animal Friends’ Therapets dogs visited with students at Pittsburgh Perry High School to help ease anxiety during Keystones. Other Hands-On Opportunities with the Animals Kids can enrich our animals’ stay at Animal Friends by joining our Kids’ Club Program (grades 5-7). Animal Friends’ animals love spending time with our Kids’ Club members and appreciate the attention and kindness they are shown. And almost every Saturday, our adoptable rabbits are hopping around at our Bun Runs, stretching their legs and enjoying attention from members of the public. Kids and teens are welcome to drop in on Saturday afternoons to pet and socialize our bunnies!

Helping the Animals from Your Home or School Students can help in many ways from their classrooms, club meetings or in their communities:


AF: What pets do you have? RB: Two adopted cats—Max, a 2-year-old orange cat, and Sam, a 1-year- old black cat. AF: What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Animal Friends? RB: Interacting with the animals and making a difference in the community. AF: What are your future plans?

AF: How did you like the process of becoming a volunteer? RB: It was easy and simple. My mom and I worked as a team. It’s been fun to spend time with my mom doing things that we like to do. AF: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about Animal Friends? RB: Yes, I just want to say how grateful I am for Animal Friends­—for what this organization has done for me, for the animals and for helping the community.

An education that challenges you. The values that guide you. A location that inspires you.

And an experience that will define you. 99% of freshmen receive financial assistance 80 undergraduate majors 15:1 student-faculty ratio 200+ student organizations


7 ideapod // FALL 2015





here has never been a time that I didn’t want to be a teacher. I think that’s the case for so many of us who enter this important profession. As a child, I played ‘school,’ I taught Sunday school in high school, and, when it came time to go to college, elementary education was the only major I considered, even though teaching jobs were scarce. So back in 1979, when I got hired for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, it was a dream come true. It is so humbling to see nine and ten-year-olds enter my fourth-grade classroom each day with the hope and expectation that something interesting is going to happen that day. The relationships I have with my students and the

A caring Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher for 36 years, Susan is inspired to invest in the future success of her students.

responsibility that has been placed on me to teach them to read better, write more thoughtfully, and think more deeply are the reasons I come to work every day! They are worth all of my energy and enthusiasm, all of my evenings of creating lessons and correcting papers, and all of my worry and concern. Because my students and their future success are so important to me, I feel it’s just part of my responsibility to them as their teacher to give to The Pittsburgh Promise. All of their other teachers and I are laying the groundwork, but, when their time comes, my students will need to access further educational opportunities— whether a workplace certification or a four-year course of study. The Pittsburgh Promise will

help make those opportunities a reality, and I need to help The Promise help them. I have always believed in the words, “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.” In my life I have been given so much, and so now it is my responsibility to give back. Giving to The Pittsburgh Promise through The United Way has made it simple. The United Way does such good work in so many areas, but I really appreciate that I can designate my workplace donation and target an organization that I believe in. As a teacher, it means so much to be able to help my students achieve the future they deserve.

Susan Karas is a fourth grade teacher at Pittsburgh Linden K-5.

OVER 100 PPS TEACHERS GIVE TO THE PROMISE THROUGH UNITED WAY: You can join them. UPMC matches $1.00 for every $1.50 that is contributed to The Pittsburgh Promise!

UNITED WAY Use our agency code number 9576075 when donating.

8 ideapod // FALL 2015


MAIL Mail your check to: 1901 Centre Avenue, Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219


A CAREER IN THE Todd Faulk is the Vice President of Human Resources at Duquesne Light.



rewing a morning pot of coffee. Sending your first text of the day from a fully charged smartphone. Researching a term paper on your laptop. Watching your favorite TV show. Unwinding with your favorite video game at the end of the day. Electricity helps make a typical day typical. Take a quick look around your home and school and you'll notice the many things— besides lights—that are powered by electricity. Electric utilities like Duquesne Light are dedicated to providing customers a secure supply of affordable power. We're also committed to helping customers make the most out of every dollar they spend on energy. You may have a relative, neighbor or family friend who works for an electric utility. They come from a wide range of educational and technical backgrounds. As you can see by viewing the job descriptions that follow, there are a variety of career paths to pursue at your local electric utility.

center customer support, billing, business analysts, logistics and scheduling, and field services and metering. Information Technology Utilities are committed to providing cuttingedge solutions to support the needs of customers today and in the future. We look for savvy professionals who know the value of teamwork and collaboration in the following areas: cyber security, enterprise applications, corporate applications, project management, technical services, IT planning and management, and operations applications. Engineering Entry-level and experienced electrical engineers can find employment in areas like asset management, planning and engineering design, transmission planning and project management.

Technical/Skilled Craft Positions Entry-level laborer positions are available for individuals with a degree/certificate in a craft or trade skill (electrical maintenance, HVAC, electronics, etc.) who have the ability to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Operations Management Technical-minded individuals that possess an electrical engineering degree, certification in a craft/trade skill, or experience in the electric utility industry can find supervisor opportunities that oversee the operations and maintenance of the equipment and facilities that are used to provide electricity.

Through apprentice programs, you can receive hands-on training to work on transmission and distribution systems that deliver safe and reliable electric service. Apprentice programs are available for substation employees, overhead lineworkers and underground splicers.

Professional Services Utilities also offer a broad range of hourly and salaried positions in Human Resources, Legal and Regulatory Compliance, Finance and Accounting, Supply Chain and Communications.

Individuals trained to operate and maintain equipment used to provide electricity can find opportunities as lineworkers, underground splicers or as a switching dispatcher/system operator.

Through the years, utility workers have helped transform the way people live—delivering dependable energy for greater comfort and leisure, faster communications, more efficient transportation and improved health care. Whether you are planning to go to college, trade school or would like to pursue a job straight out of high school, consider a career at an electric utility if you’re looking to be part of a dynamic, promising future.

Customer Service Electric utilities rely on a group of dedicated, caring individuals with diverse experiences, perspectives and backgrounds to provide exceptional service to customers and stakeholders. Job opportunities include call


9 ideapod // FALL 2015



TRAVEL Behind every Promise Voice, there are untold stories and a world of potential. All Promise scholars have their own hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations that make them, well…them. That’s why we created Promise Voices, a space where our scholars can share a little bit about what makes them unique. Sadik is a junior at Duquesne University who is inspired to travel the world. We asked Sadik to tell us, what’s behind his Promise Voice? Describe your first experience abroad. Where did you go? What did you do there?

and acceptance. No matter where in the world you go, people will always have the same intent of love and happiness and a desire to succeed. Once you get over small anomalies like language barriers, dress, and social cues, you begin to realize that we are all of the same stock. In your opinion, why is it important to see other parts of the world? In my opinion, it is important to see the world because one must understand and be forced into accepting the fact that the world is bigger than oneself. It is a harsh reality to face, that statistically speaking, there are about 20,000 people on this earth with almost the same personality as you. It is imperative to get out there, show your face and show the world what makes you special.

My first experience abroad came at 17 when I was awarded a scholarship through the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh to travel to Ghana for five weeks. It was a lifechanging experience What are your which opened my recommendations eyes to the depth to students who are of African culture interested in travelling and the communal to another country? ideologies which Sadik Roberts My recommendation govern it. I have Read more voices at: for students who are never felt so looking to travel abroad connected to a is to find scholarships people and culture, and it made me feel proud and not be afraid to ask for help. In today’s world, to be of African descent. While in Ghana, I there is no need to pay for just about anything was a part of a service project which revitalized as a student. Where there is a will, there is a way. a community center in the village of Pesse and There is always an organization looking to change we also planted trees at a nearby clinic. a life and mold a young mind. You just have to Can you list all of the countries you’ve go out there and get it. Travelling is for everyone, travelled to? How did each of the regardless of fears and preconceptions. Whatever experiences abroad change you as a person? you are looking to change, reveal, or understand about yourself or the world through travel can be Since I began travelling in 2012, I have been to accomplished with an open mind and an open Ghana, India, and the U.K. My trips, though heart. different in destination and culture, taught me the same lesson from different angles. They have all taught me the importance of tolerance

"I travel because it gives me the opportunity to reflect. The long flights allow me to put the world into perspective."

10 ideapod // FALL 2015

SADIK'S DREAM DESTINATIONS: We asked Sadik to share his travel bucket list with us.



Saudi Arabia



EXPERIENCE CAMPUS VISIT DAYS Experience what it means to be a student at Washington & Jefferson College during an upcoming open house. Meet faculty, staff and current students, learn about the curriculum, tour the campus, eat in the dining hall, explore a student residence hall and make new friends.

u Know... Did Yo


of W&J graduates are employed or are in graduate school six months after graduation? learn more


4048-COMM_W&J_Events_Ad_IdeaPod_FullPg_8.437x13.5_Ad_2015.indd 1

VISIT W&J DURING THESE OPEN HOUSE EVENTS Columbus Day Open House: Oct. 12, 2015 Fall Senior Overnight: Nov. 15-16, 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Open House: Jan. 18, 2016 Presidents’ Day Open House: Feb. 15, 2016 9/21/15 11:58 AM

11 ideapod // FALL 2015

12 ideapod // SPRING 2015

13 ideapod // SPRING 2015


14 ideapod // SPRING 2015


The good news is, you shou ld be able to experience a ll of t he above no matter what college you choose. Still, you’ ll be happier a nd more successf u l if you la nd at a college t hat better matches your unique persona lit y a nd goa ls.

But wit h so ma ny options, how do you choose t he right college for you? According to t he Nationa l Center for Education Statistic s, t here a re well over 4,000 to choose from in t he U.S. a lone. Given so ma ny options, t he pressure to ma ke such a n importa nt decision ca n be staggering.

• W hat a re your long-term goa ls?

• W hat a re your beliefs a nd va lues?

• How do you best lea rn?

• A re you more comfortable in a rura l or urba n setting?

our college yea rs will be some of t he most exciting a nd inf luentia l of your life. The sk ills you lea rn, t he experiences you have, a nd t he people you meet during t hese formative yea rs ca n have a profound a nd la sting ef fect on your ca reer a nd your f uture.

But where you go may not matter quite a s much a s you— or your pa rents —t hink it does. In his recent New York Times a rticle, “How to Sur vive t he College Admissions Madness” (Ma rch 2015), Fra nk Bruni insists t hat what a student does in college is more importa nt t ha n where he or she goes, writing, it’s “t he nature of a student’s college experience —t he work t hat he or she puts into it, t he self-exa mination t hat’s underta ken, t he resourcef u lness t hat’s honed—t hat matters more t ha n t he na me of t he institution attended.”

"The best way to approach the college search process is to start by looking inward." This seems to be backed up by t he inaug ura l Ga llupPurdue Index, which determined t hat t he level of support a student receives a nd t he experiences he or she ha s in college have a bigger impact on post-collegiate success t ha n t he school itself. The poll, which sur veyed 30,000 graduates, found t hat so-ca lled elite schools “ fa red no better t ha n less selective private a nd public schools in ensuring graduates' well-being.” W hat matters, according to t he poll, is t hat students have t he support of a professor or mentor enabling t hem to have “ deep lea rning experiences.” Of t he graduates sur veyed, t he ones who were t wice a s likely to feel engaged a nd, t herefore, more satisf ied wit h t heir work, were t hose who: • had at lea st one professor who made t hem excited about lea rning.

• felt t heir professors ca red about t hem.

• had a mentor who encouraged t hem.

• worked on a long-term project while in school.

The best way to approach t he college sea rch process is to sta rt by look ing inwa rd. Ta k ing some time to understa nd yourself better will help you better understa nd t he t y pe of lea rning environment t hat is best for you. A sk yourself:

• A re you sure of your ca reer a spirations or a re you still tr ying to f ig ure it a ll out?

• How do you t hrive?

Once you feel conf ident t hat you k now yourself, t hen you ca n sta rt considering ot her importa nt factors, including:

• Academic rigor

• School size

• Dista nce from home

• Majors of fered

• Ca mpus ca reer ser vices

• Ty pe of housing

• Climate

• Ca mpus atmosphere

• Extracurricu la r activities

• At hletic progra ms

• Fina ncia l a id /schola rships • Student support ser vices

If you’re still feeling over whelmed, don’t forget t here a re tons of college sea rch websites out t here t hat ca n help you whittle down your college options. Check out sites like The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, Accredited Schools Online, Peterson’s, a nd Nood le — each of which of fers some great resources a nd online tools to help you na rrow your focus a nd ma ke your list of options more ma nageable. There may not be such a t hing a s t he absolute PER FEC T college for you. But a s long a s you ta ke some time to understa nd yourself before pick ing a school, a nd t hen focus on ma k ing t he most of college once you get t here, you’re likely to reap long-term rewa rds, in college, your ca reer a nd beyond.

R achel Gogos is t he founder a nd CEO of MyPat, a proprieta r y, web-ba sed membership site dedicated to helping students use t heir vita l college yea rs to develop t heir identit y, lea rn how to present t heir best selves to t he world, a nd emba rk on a pat h to a f u lf illing ca reer.

• had a n internship or job t hat a llowed t hem to apply what t hey lea rned in t he cla ssroom. • actively took pa rt in extracurricu la r activities while attending college.

Sources: "How to Survive the College Admissions Madness" by Frank Bruni (March 13, 2015) "Life in College Matters for Life After College" by Julie Ray and Stephanie Kafka (May 6, 2014) 15 ideapod // FALL 2015

16 ideapod // FALL 2015


What resources did you utilize in high school to explore postsecondary options? My guidance counselors were a huge help and they really kept me on track. They set up mini college fairs right in our cafeteria that were full of recruiters and more free water bottles and key chains than anyone could handle. In eleventh grade the mail and phone calls came pouring in; I had tons of mail from potential colleges.

What were the most important factors to you when applying to schools? I started to ask myself, what do I want to do? Then I looked into schools that have success in the field of study that I was interested in. I always knew that I wanted to get into the business side of things and be creative at the same time. I felt like Marketing would help me grow in those areas and my school has a great Marketing program.

Dan's Words of Advice: Sit down and map out the pros and cons of the potential colleges that accepted you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; chances are, someone else is thinking the same thing. Once you get there, seek help from a tutor if you are facing trouble in a course, because at the end of the day, you’re paying for it. If you are unsure about your school and how you fit in, get active and join a club. You’ll figure it out by trying new things and broadening your horizons.

Tell us about your overall experience with your school. There were times that I felt a little bit indifferent about my school. Especially when I would visit friends who go to other colleges and I would compare their college experience to mine. Sometimes I regretted that I was close to home. It didn’t feel like I was “off at college” because I could go home anytime I wanted to. But I enjoyed my university overall, and I found a better connection to my college experience through campus involvement. I also really liked living on campus; I could be anywhere in five minutes.

What aspects of your school did you really like? Though it was a smaller school, I enjoyed the pride that everyone showed being a member of the university. I also really liked how everyone jumped into clubs or organizations to keep active on campus.

Tell us one thing you would change about your school or your experience. I am a very strong believer in being active on campus but you need to know your limit. Freshman year was so exciting; I began to build relationships with new people and try new things. I wanted to be the “poster student” for our university, so I got my hands on anything I could. Then I realized I couldn’t do it all and I cut some activities out to focus attention on the main thing that mattered, my classes. I found the right balance over time.

What are some things about your school you wish you would have known? The biggest thing for me was financial aid. I really didn’t have a working knowledge of FAFSA, grants, federal loans, private loans or Parent-Plus. I was thankful to receive The Pittsburgh Promise and to get some guidance from my high school and college.

Now that you are a college graduate, what do you think makes a college a good fit for a student? College is a changing point in your life. It’s the time when you start to mold into the person you want to be. Whether you’re into sports, art, music, or fitness, colleges try to do their best to provide these resources for you to enjoy. You have to take the initiative to get out there and try new things. You can find your fit if you work for it.

17 ideapod // FALL 2015

TALEESHA MADE AN INFORMED DECISION TO TRANSFER TO A SCHOOL THAT FELT MORE LIKE HOME AND OFFERED HER MAJOR. What resources did you utilize in high school to explore post-secondary options? I visited the guidance counselor and researched schools online. I also attended the NEED Black College Tour. I went to college fairs and I attended all of the sessions that college representatives hosted at my high school. I went on three college visits, visiting the colleges that I was most interested in. Looking back, I wish I could have made more visits. I think it would have given me more insight on schools as opposed to just learning about them online or from college representatives.

What were the most important factors to you when applying to schools? The most important things to me when considering schools were using my Pittsburgh Promise scholarship, pursuing the major I was interested in, and the school having clubs and organizations that I could see myself getting involved in.

Why did you pick your school originally and what did you like about it? I picked my first school because it was close to home, it had a potential major that I was interested in studying, and I could use my Pittsburgh Promise scholarship there. I liked that the campus was not too big and it was very diverse. The dorm rooms were new and very nice. They offered a course that every freshman had to take to help us transition into college and meet new people.

Tell us one thing you would change about your school or your experience? My overall experience wasn’t bad, it was ok. I made good grades and joined a few clubs on campus. I didn't get into the major I wanted, so I remained undecided while I was there. I think that it was a great school; I just didn't feel like I was at home while I was there.

How did you decide to transfer? How did you know that your new school would be the right fit? I actually visited the college that I transferred to often on the weekends because my best friend went there. I was there all the time and I loved the campus size and environment; everyone was friendly. It was close to home and I was able to use my Pittsburgh Promise scholarship there too. The only thing I struggled with was the cost difference between the schools. At my first school, I basically had my education paid for by aid and scholarships. When I transferred, my parents had to pay some money out of pocket. My parents were supportive in my decision despite the cost difference, because they knew I wasn’t as happy as I could be. I do thank them for helping to pay for my education.

Now that you are a college graduate, what do you think makes a college a good fit for a student? I think the number one thing is that the school must be solid in your desired field of study; at the end of the day, you are there to receive your degree. Second, I think it should feel like home. You need to feel comfortable and enjoy the environment you are in, especially if you are living on campus. After those two key things, I think that everything else will fall into place.

18 ideapod // FALL 2015

Taleesha’s Words of Advice: Do research and go on college visits. Some schools have overnight visits so that you can shadow a college student. I think that’s the best way you can know if a college is right for you. When it comes to transferring schools, I think you should definitely explore all of your options first. Get the help you need on your own campus to make sure you aren’t jumping ship too quickly. The next steps are to take into consideration the cost differences between schools, explore scholarship options, make sure your credits will transfer, and make sure your new school will have the major you want. Also visit the campus and get to know it thoroughly to make sure you are making the right choice.

19 ideapod // FALL 2015

20 ideapod // FALL 2015

Dynae’s Words of Advice: Start early It is never too early to start looking at colleges. You will thank yourself later. Look early and apply early. Do your homework It is imperative that you do your research on schools. Talk to current students and financial aid and admissions counselors and really get a feel for how the school operates. You should learn what the campus culture is like. Research the cost of applying and what you need to apply. Go for it! Do not limit yourself. Check out every school you are even considering and then some. You never know what you do, and do not, like until you try it. Take charge of your education and go for it! Apply for every school you love, regardless of cost because you never know what kind of aid package you could get.


What resources did you utilize in high school to explore postsecondary options? I started looking at universities early so that I had ample time to get everything in order. I started looking in ninth grade and touring schools in tenth grade. By my junior year, I knew exactly which schools I wanted to go to. The main resources I used to guide me through my decision-making process were campus visits, internet research, and speaking with admissions counselors.

What were the most important factors to you when applying to schools? I developed a four-item wish list while evaluating my experiences with different universities. The four most important things to me were the strength of their academic programs, living arrangements, class size and cost. These four things were important to me as a high school student and are still important to me as a junior in college.

After all of that research, how did you make a decision? I chose my school because it just felt right! I toured my campus back in tenth grade and left that tour amazed. Everything about my college exceeded my expectations and wish list. I was fortunate enough to tour all of the different housing options, sit in on a class, go to a campus event led by a student-run organization, eat on campus and so much more. I knew then that my university was the school for me and I am even more confident in my choice as I go into my third year.

What aspects of your school do you really like? My experience at my school has been nothing less than amazing. I feel truly blessed to have found the school for me the first time! I like that my school is small enough to build relationships with faculty and staff. The living options have made the transition from high school very comfortable. And last, but certainly not least, my school offers my unique major and provides a plethora of opportunities for students.

Tell us one thing you would change about your school or your experience. The only thing I would change is having a little more diversity.

Now that you are a college student, what do you think makes a school a good fit for a student? A good-fit school is one that encourages students to make their mark on campus, focuses on the professional development of their students, and makes students feel comfortable. When students are able to network with faculty and staff as partners, learning inside and outside of the classroom, I think it makes students feel like a part of that school. Students need to feel comfortable to start this new chapter in their life.

21 ideapod // FALL 2015

A SECOND LOOK AT SUMMER CAMP From cooking to fiction writing to diplomacy, summer learning offers you a chance to grow your skills. By now the theme is a cliché of back-to-school writing classes: How I Spent My Summer Vacation. The phrase invites images of cannonball dives off docks and team workouts on grassy fields. Think summer camp and most will think of days spent outdoors, with sports or in nature. But there’s another way to think about the long, hot days of summer— with camps that bring students off the field and into a world of experiences that broaden the mind and invite innovation. Luminari provides that kind of experience. Each year, we offer weeklong camps to middle and high school students who are looking for more excitement and learning during the summer. Our I Want to be an Ambassador camp helps students develop the skills of everyday diplomacy; it’s a multi-cultural experience that encourages teens to find the common ground that we all share. Each year, the camp includes a field trip to Washington, D.C. In summer 2015, Luminari took campers to the State Department, the Greek and European Union Embassies, and many of the city’s monuments. Students said the camp increased their understanding of other cultures, improved their leadership skills, and gave them a new way of looking at the world. Campers preparing for their senior year have used the Ambassador program as a springboard for their senior projects, often bringing what they learned back to their schools and communities. Luminari offers other camps, including one for teen writers. Even the most enthusiastic student writers don’t want to sit in a classroom in mid-July, and so our camp shakes things up with field trips and games to give the creative muscle a workout. Students from the 2015 Teen Writer! Fiction camp say they’ll not soon forget their noisy game of Twister and

the characters it inspired. Or the friends they made. And summer 2016 will bring Speak and Tell, a camp created to take the stage fright out of public speaking—and put the fun in. Everyone’s summer memories include delicious food, and we have that covered, too. Camp Delicious celebrates eating—from the farm to the chopping board to the table. At Luminari, we believe every teenager should learn how to carve a design into a watermelon, as the campers did this summer. Luminari is different. It’s innovative. It broadens minds. It’s fun. In fact, it’s the kind of summer vacation a student will be happy to write about come the school days of autumn. How did I spend my summer vacation? Expanding my mind, at Luminari!

Hilda Pang Fu is the President and Founder of Luminari, Inc.

Your Promise + Ours

As a Pittsburgh Promise scholar, you’ve secured up to $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

Promise 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.

22 ideapod // FALL 2015 2013

Award-Winning Summer Learning STEM summer program prepares teens for careers in science and medicine.

receive free lunches during the week. A limited number of stipends are also awarded to qualifying applicants based on financial need and the National Institute of Health (NIH) standards for those considered to be underrepresented in the biomedical sciences. Full details can be found at Testimonials from UPCI Academy Alumni:

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Academy is an eight-week, hands-on summer program where high school students, primarily rising juniors and seniors, engage in cutting-edge cancer research by working in laboratories directed by dedicated faculty at six sites across the University of Pittsburgh campus and one in Germany. Now entering its eight year, The UPCI Academy is an internationally recognized, award-winning STEM program that prepares college-bound teenagers for successful careers in science and medicine. Our major goals are to: 1) Deeply explore topics pertaining to cancer care and research, ranging from the hallmarks of cancer to biomedical informatics and systems biology. 2) Expose our scholars to career opportunities in Biomedicine with cameo presentations from multiple career physicians and scientists. 3) Enhance the development of our scholars’ research and communication skills or, what we call, “Science as a Performing Art.” Weekend activities including sporting events, museum visits, and live performances compliment the summer programming. Applications open January 4, 2016. Scholars are selected for The UPCI Academy based on the merit of their application, which includes a standard application form, a resume, an original essay, an official high school transcript, and two letters of recommendation. All students

“The UPCI Summer Academy was a wonderful experience that I found both academically enriching and very fun! My family and I are very proud of what I've been able to learn and accomplish, thanks to the great mentors I had the pleasure of working with. I would recommend this program to any diligent student!” Fayten El-Dehaibi, Taylor Allderdice High School Graduate, UPCI Academy 2010 “The UPCI Summer Academy has been the most rewarding program that I have participated in during my high school career. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this program. My favorite, however, has been the hands-on lab experience that I was able to gain. Because of this, I am now seriously considering a career in the lab. Without the UPCI Summer Academy, I would have never been exposed to all of the great opportunities that I had this summer.” Jaela Wesley, Schenley High School Graduate, UPCI Academy 2010

Lindsay Surmacz is the Program Manager at The UPCI Academy.

CCAC offers 23 transfer programs, 125 articulation agreements and more than 150 programs of study in: • Arts & Humanities • Business • Education, Social & Behavioral Sciences & Human Services • Health • STEM • Skilled Trades

Visit us on the web at or email


SUCCESS. 23 ideapod // FALL 2015

Executive Scholars The Pittsburgh Promise


The Executive Scholars Program builds a pipeline between high-performing students and our major corporate donors that will hopefully result in professional relationships, internships, and eventual employment opportunities. The program provides students with the chance to connect with the prestigious company with which they are matched and pursue internships and other professional development opportunities during their college years. High school seniors with a strong academic performance (3.5 GPA or higher), a commitment to community service, and leadership skills are encouraged to apply. The Executive Scholars program is one of the ways that The Promise can help students transition not only from high school to college, but also from college to a career. We are very proud of our 2015 Executive Scholar class. Congratulations!

UPMC Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Farhiya Sekondo: Farhiya is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice and currently attends Carlow University. As the first in her family to go to high school, she hopes to give back and inspire young people in her culture to follow their dreams. Farhiya’s major is undecided but she loves kids and wants to help them learn and have fun. David Levin: David is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice and studies Business Administration at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was awarded the Trustee Scholarship. During high school, David was the drum major of the marching band, a teaching assistant for AP Economics, an AP Scholar, and a member of the National Honor Society. Meg Kharel: A Pittsburgh Brashear graduate, Meg is pursuing a Computer Science degree at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. During high school, he fundraised for his soccer club and volunteered to help new international students. In the future, Meg sees himself as a successful computer engineer. Meg was also awarded Penn State’s Provost Award. Jamie Gratton: Jamie is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice and attends Robert Morris University, studying Business. In high school, she was a manager for the volleyball team and took dance classes. Jamie is a Ben Carson Scholar and received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence. Richai Johnson: Richai studies Economics at Penn State University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, she volunteered for NeighborWorks of Pittsburgh, played Varsity Basketball, and was on student council. Richai also volunteered with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and is a Ben Carson Scholar.

24 ideapod // FALL 2015

Highmark Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Raj Pohrel: A computer engineering major at Penn State University, Raj did not have a computer growing up in Nepal. As the first in his family to attend college he hopes to become a computer engineer. Raj volunteered at a program called Computer Reach, restoring computers for students overseas. He is a graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear. Samantha Oliver: Samantha is attending Penn State University to study Business. She has been playing soccer since she was seven years old, which led her to become a volunteer soccer coach and referee. Samantha is a graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick and a Lawrence and Elizabeth Held Scholarship recipient. Sarah Conte: Sarah attends the University of Pittsburgh to pursue Nursing and is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA. Sarah plays the clarinet, oboe, and piano, and has played at the Byham Theatre. In addition, Sarah volunteers her time at the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. Angelica Advent: Angelica attends CCAC and hopes to become an ultrasound technician. She is passionate about helping others and created a club at Pittsburgh Allderdice that makes jewelry for women diagnosed with cancer. Angelica also cares for her sister with special needs. Ra’naa Billingsley: Ra’naa is a Nursing major at Duquesne University and a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA. She hopes to become a nurse and eventually open her own spa. Ra’naa was a member of her school’s Black Student Union and Women’s Student Union. In addition to her Promise Award, Ra’naa received two academic scholarships from Duquesne University.





Currently, nine Pittsburgh organizations make up The Pittsburgh Promise Executive Scholarship Program:

UPMC • Highma rk • A merica n Eagle Outf itters • BN Y Mellon • Gia nt Eagle The McGuinn Fa mily Foundation Myla n • PNC Thermo Fisher Scientif ic American Eagle Outfitters Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Shayonna Herring: A Pittsburgh Perry graduate, Shayonna was a member of her high school cheerleading and dance team. She is passionate about helping others and volunteered over 130 hours at Allegheny General Hospital. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. Shayonna is pursuing Political Science at Penn State. Morgan McCoy: Morgan is a Public Relations and Advertising major at Point Park University, where she received the Vice Presidential Scholarship. Morgan’s marketing internship taught her that people are at the heart of business, stirring her desire to one day become an entrepreneur. Morgan is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA.

Educating young minds for more than 225 years. Campuses in Pittsburgh, Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville

For information on admissions:

412-624-7488 | | 25 ideapod // FALL 2013

Jameelah Platt: Jameelah is an Advertisement Design major at the University of the Arts with a passion for creating art. A graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA, she was a member of the Feminist Student Union and the Black Student Union. In addition to her Promise award, she is a recipient of the National Scholastic Silver Key Award and the Emma Munson Memorial Scholarship. Rieko Copeland: A graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA, Rieko is attending the University of the Arts to study Vocal Music Performance. She hopes to influence people in a positive way through song. Rieko was awarded the Omega Psi Phi scholarship and the Good Neighbor scholarship. Volunteering with Sister Speaks has helped her develop enthusiasm for giving back. William Mischler: William is studying Politics and Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He is most proud of starting his own business and participating in a youth conference at the UN in New York. During his time at Pittsburgh Allderdice, William organized a fundraiser which raised over $500 for juvenile diabetes research.

25 ideapod // FALL 2015

BNY Mellon Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise

Giant Eagle Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise

Ravyn Clark: Ravyn, a Pittsburgh Perry graduate, studies Actuarial Science at the University of Pittsburgh. While attending high school, Ravyn joined the National Honor Society and Junior Honor Society. In addition, she played multiple sports, participated in musical theatre, and was a cheerleader. Drue Denmon: Drue attends the University of Pittsburgh where she studies English Literature. She enjoys reading, writing, and music. Drue is especially proud of the book club that she created with her best friend while attending Pittsburgh CAPA. Drue also participated in book drives and was principal flautist at CAPA. Samuel Ketter: Samuel is a Computer Science major at Slippery Rock University and a graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick. He has volunteered at his local library for two years and started his own lawn service business. Samuel is passionate about all forms of art. He is a recipient of the Alicia Stackhouse Kopp Scholarship. Miriam Levenson: An Applied Mathematics major at Robert Morris University, Miriam graduated from Pittsburgh Obama. While attending high school, she was the yearbook staff editor, played volleyball, and was a Promise Ambassador. She also worked as a nanny and life guard in her spare time. Alexandra Oliver: A graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick, Alexandra is a Mechanical Engineering major at Penn State University. Alexandra has been playing soccer for ten years and has also coached soccer for the last three years. Alexandra is especially proud of becoming a member of the National Honor Society.

“The Pittsburgh Promise is an amazing opportunity that allowed me to choose a school that is right for me, without having to worry about loans. I chose Edinboro University because of the variety of majors that are offered here. Because of the Promise, I was able to choose the best path for me and for my future, without financial constraints.”


26 ideapod // FALL 2015

Divine Zyhier: Divine is a graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear and attends Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Divine has volunteered with WCAA. She loves to help people and put a smile on their faces. A Petroleum Engineering major, her community service has taught her to be humble and use her skills to improve the world. John Novakowski: John studies PrePharmacy at Duquesne University, where he received an academic scholarship. A graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA, he enjoys playing piano and animating. During high school, John volunteered at St. Clair Hospital as a concierge, and at the Brookline branch of the Carnegie Library. Aaron Jones: Aaron studies Multimedia at Point Park University. A graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA, his goal in life is to use his gifts to serve and become successful. Throughout high school, Aaron majored in theatre and worked as a Salvation Army Camp Counselor. Aaron graduated high school with perfect attendance. Jessica Ignasky: Jessica is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA and is attending Chatham University for Cultural Studies. She is a writer who aspires to publish her work. Jessica has received a Gold Award in Girl Scouting for creating a documentary that promotes body positivity. In addition, she participated in the Environmental Club and Student Union. Kacey Boland: Kacey graduated from Pittsburgh Carrick. She was captain of the soccer team and president of Carrick’s National Honor Society. Kacey currently studies Pre-Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, where she was awarded the National Merit Scholarship.

McGuinn Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise D’Angelo Spencer: D’Angelo is an HVAC major at Dean Institute of Technology. A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, he hopes to start his own business. In high school, D’Angelo played football, participated in track and field, and was a little league baseball coach. In his senior year, he led Brashear as the captain of the football team to a city championship. Marna Owens-Bailey: Marna graduated from Pittsburgh CAPA with a passion for helping others. She plans to become an engineer to create technologies that will allow others to live more comfortably. Marna is an NAACP and Pepsi Scholarship recipient, and currently attends Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, studying Mechanical Engineering.

Jesse Moldovan: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Jesse wants to engage in political dialogue that will help resolve the problems in the world. During high school, he participated in Junior Statesmen of America, Model UN, and Habitat for Humanity. Jesse is majoring in Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Thomas Rone: Thomas is a Conservation and Wildlife Management major at Delaware Valley University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Obama, Thomas is interested in animals and the reasons behind their behavior. After college, Thomas plans to help preserve endangered species. Thomas was also awarded the NEED Honors Scholarship and Kappa Scholarship.

Marianne Kitsio: An Engineering major at the University of Pittsburgh, Marianne loves to dance and learn about new cultures. While attending Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, she received high honor roll and earned the Most Improved Student Award. Throughout high school, Marianne tutored middle school students and volunteered at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

A TRADITION OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE SINCE 1849 Waynesburg University, a private Christian university in southwestern Pennsylvania, provides valuable, personal and hands-on educational experiences among a close-knit community for undergraduate and graduate students.

27 ideapod // FALL 2015





95 JOB %


PLACEMENT. Ready to learn more about a Catholic liberal arts education with elite placement numbers? Plan a campus visit at

28 ideapod // FALL 2015

Mylan Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Rojanai Alston: Rojanai is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice and attends Slippery Rock University. During high school, she participated in the National Honor Society, Leadership Club, Cheerleading Team, and Prom Committee. Majoring in Physical Therapy, Rojanai is a recipient of the Slippery Rock University Scholarship. Amani Bey: Amani is a Biological Sciences major at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg. While attending Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, her community service taught her to work hard for a brighter future for herself and others. Amani was awarded the Outstanding Academic Excellence Award and a Certificate of Recognition for Perfect Attendance.

Sylvia Freeman: A Pittsburgh Allderdice graduate, Sylvia is attending the University of Pittsburgh with an interest in both Biology and Art. During high school, she participated at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Swim Team. She hopes to challenge herself by becoming a doctor, running a marathon, and travelling to Egypt. Nathan Whitney: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Nathan made his mark by winning the regional physics bowl and leading Allderdice's lacrosse team. He was also a part of the National Honor Society, Model UN, and Student Hunger Action Coalition. He is now an Engineering major at the University of Pittsburgh.

Nicholas Darke: Nicholas is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA. In high school, he developed a passion for theatre while building sets and operating the sound for shows. Currently attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Nicholas is majoring in Communications Media.

29 ideapod // FALL 2015

PNC Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise April Yoder: A graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA, April is attending the University of Pittsburgh to study Communication Science. April’s passion for writing and literature inspired her to start a book club at her school. She is most proud of receiving the regional gold and silver keys in writing from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Ashley Mayers: Ashley, a Pittsburgh Brashear graduate, studies Psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ashley volunteered at ACH Pathways helping children in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. In addition, she worked part time and still managed to volunteer in her neighborhood clean-ups and community garden. Silvia Giampapa: Silvia graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice and is attending Carnegie Mellon University. Silvia is majoring in Biology and Chemistry. She hopes to work towards greener energy and inspire others to protect the planet. She speaks Italian and plays piano. Silvia was also one of her school’s rowing team captains. Jacob Davis: Jacob is a Pittsburgh Brashear graduate attending Saint Vincent College to study Computer Science. He was an active athlete throughout school, swimming, playing soccer and baseball, and coaching baseball for four years. He is a recipient of the House of Representative's Excellence in Education Award. Zachary Greenhouse: Zachary graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice, where he was captain of the lacrosse team. Zachary loves music and has been playing guitar for nine years. He served at the Jewish Community Service Organization and Student Hunger Action Coalition. Zachary is attending Franklin and Marshall College, and his major is currently undecided.

Pittsburgh is our Campus ... Explore the Possibilities.


• Ph.D. in Community Engagement • Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration • 17 Master’s Degrees (including multiple M.B.A. options) • 82 Undergraduate Programs • Online Degrees Also Available

201 Wood Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-391-4100 30 ideapod // FALL 2015

Thermo Fisher Scientific Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Chelsea Helterbran: A Business Management major at the University of Pittsburgh, Chelsea hopes to run her own business in the future. While attending Pittsburgh Brashear, she volunteered at her church. Chelsea is a recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Award. Henry Novara: Henry is a Politics and Philosophy major at the University of Pittsburgh. A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, he played for the Allderdice soccer and Frisbee teams, volunteered at the food bank, and worked at a tennis club. Henry is very passionate about soccer and served as the captain of his high school team. Logan Thompson: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Logan is now an Astrophysics major at Villanova University. He is passionate about his major, and aspires to become one of the leading minds in his field with access to top research facilities. While in high school, Logan participated in Science Olympia, Science Bowl, and was a camp counselor for Kinder Camp.

Kevin Williams: Kevin graduated from Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy. During high school he was a part of the Physician Scientist Training Program, volunteered with the National Honor Society, and fundraised for natural disasters in Asia. Kevin is a Biology major at the University of Pittsburgh. Mia Williams: A Mechanical Engineering Technology major at Point Park University, Mia is a graduate of Pittsburgh CAPA. She hopes to design technology for people undergoing rehabilitation therapy. Mia has volunteered with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Knoxville branch and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.


CARLOW.EDU | 412.578.6000 | PITTSBURGH, PA 15213

31 ideapod // FALL 2015



We asked four Presidents of Promiseeligible schools a question...


When selecting a school, how should a student explore their options to ensure that the school they choose will allow them to fulfill their dreams? Clockwise from the top left: Dr. James H. Mullen, Dr. Mary C. Finger, Dr. Tori Haring-Smith, Dr. Charles J. Dougherty



Selecting a school is all about finding the right fit. How do you find that fit? I suggest that students start by asking themselves some questions. What am I most passionate about? What academic area(s) do I find most interesting? Where do I want to make a difference in the world?

Students face so many options when it comes time to choose a college. Whether it be a large, public research university in an urban setting or a small, Catholic liberal arts institution like Seton Hill University, the choices seem endless. The decision can certainly be a daunting one, but if students look for schools that match their values, interests, talents and ambitions, they will be able to narrow those options considerably. Visiting a number of campuses is a must, and those visits should be personal and include much more than a tour.

Then it’s time to find the schools with programs, activities, and services that match those interests — schools with well-known reputations for high academic rigor, endless combinations of academic and social opportunities, and, of course, extraordinary outcomes. At Allegheny, we’re known for allowing our students to pursue their unusual combinations— meaning our curriculum supports the unique character of every student. If you look around campus, you’ll see an aspiring chemist who serves as a DJ on the college’s radio station and tutors children at a local elementary school, and a future journalist who is on the dance team and is a member of the International Club. They represent the many students exploring all of their talents, all of their passions, and all of their dreams­—while at the same time gaining an exceptional liberal arts experience that will prepare them to succeed as professional citizens in a diverse, interconnected world. 32 ideapod // FALL 2015

At Seton Hill, our admissions team offers prospective students opportunities to stay overnight in a residence hall with a current student and to sit in classes and speak with professors and students to give them a better perspective on what it is like to be a student on our campus. College is a time for students to grow professionally, personally and spiritually. We encourage students to ask questions about academic offerings, but also about those opportunities Seton Hill offers for internships, study away and service. By gathering as much information as possible, students will be able to make the best decision to advance their plan for the future.



A college search is sometimes like Internet dating—the person you see online does not always resemble the real one. You have to meet the person to know if they are right for you. So, too, with choosing a college. You have to experience the college for yourself.

For most students, the college search process begins online: the casual perusal of school websites and external reviews. After this initial sifting, considering majors, and eventually settling on a short list, the best way for students to feel confident in their college choice is to take the time to visit the campus and discover the resources and overall spirit of the school in person.

Here are a few tips for determining if a particular college is right for you:

• Trust your judgment­— college guides and rankings may not reflect what matters to you.

• Visit early and visit often.

• Don’t just take a tour and look at buildings—that’s a fine start, but visit a class, stay overnight, talk to current students, faculty and staff. • Sit in on a class to see how you feel about learning in a group of 500 or 50 or 15. • Ask who teaches freshmen—a professor with a Ph.D. or a graduate student who is an apprentice teacher. • Look for a school that is thriving—hiring new faculty, adding new programs—not one that is cutting back. • Ask about the four-year graduation rate, not the six-year one.

Here at Duquesne University, students often tell us that their decision to attend our school was crystalized as soon as they stepped onto campus and were welcomed by warm and knowledgeable faculty and staff. And, there is no comparison to the inside view of campus life that tours provide. Duquesne’s visitors are struck by our beautiful park-like setting, because they don’t expect to find such greenery on an urban campus. These attributes provide a better perspective on the whole college experience students will embark upon as soon as they matriculate here. Choosing the right college is not easy, but an initial visit to campus and interaction with caring students, faculty and administrators will make a meaningful difference as prospective students make such a transformational decision.

• Finally, don’t be scared by the sticker price—most colleges give substantial financial aid. I know the perfect match is out there waiting for you. Good luck!

Promises made.

Promises kept.

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. | Reach Higher. Go Far.

33 ideapod // FALL 2015

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 Penn State Erie, The Behrend College Erie, PA 814-898-6100, 866-374-3378

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus Uniontown, PA 724-430-4130 877-568-4130

Penn State New Kensington New Kensington, PA 724-334-LION (5466) 888-968-PAWS (7297)

Penn State Greater Allegheny McKeesport, PA 412-675-9010

Pittsburgh Community Recruitment Center Pittsburgh, PA 412-263-2900 E-mail:

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

34 ideapod // FALL 2015

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT: The North Shore A morning jogger finds her rhythm in the shadow of PNC Park.

35 ideapod // FALL 2015

1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Promise Voices Countless voices, one Promise.

Since we launched The Promise eight years ago, more than 6,000 students have graduated from high school with their Promise scholarship in hand, ready to pursue their dreams. Their lives and faces are different, but every student has his or her own Promise voice. We are excited to announce Promise Voices, a new campaign that features the mission and heartbeat of our work- Promise scholars.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.