Idea Pod Magazine Spring 2017

Page 1


Pittsburgh’s Technology Boom

The magazine of The Pittsburgh Promise

Avoid Sticker Shock When Choosing a School

Remake Learning Days


The magazine of The Pittsburgh Promise

Idea Pod is completely funded through advertisements placed by Promise-eligible post-secondary institutions.




Open Your Mind to the Pharmacy Field


First Word


Skills for 21st Century Jobs


Building Community


Meet Tomorrow's Workforce


Giving Glimpse


Pittsburgh's Technology Boom


Career Spotlight


Sticker Shock


Promise Voices


Remake Learning Days


Ask the President


Last Look


EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril, Heather Hackett Contributing Writers Armani Davis, Justin Driscoll, Minja Gosto, Heather Hackett, Hannah Saunder, Debra Smallwood, Dorie Taylor, Sha-Phawn Williams Art Direction/Design Mason Tuite Photography Assemble, Duquesne University, Lauren Bachorski, Josh Gates, Rob Gray

Franco Harris (Chair) Member of the NFL Hall of Fame Owner, Super Bakery Inc. Anne Lewis (Vice Chair) Board Chair Oxford Development Company Kiya Tomlin (Treasurer) Founder & Custom Designer Uptown Sweats by Kiya Tomlin Debra Kline Demchak (Secretary) Community Leader

Advertising Marsha Kolbe

Maxwell King (Executive Committee) President & CEO The Pittsburgh Foundation



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.

Mark Laskow (Executive Committee) Managing Director Greycourt & Co., Inc. Chester R. Babst III Managing Shareholder Babst Calland William Benter Founder & Chairman Acusis Anthony Hamlet, Ed.D. Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools Kirk Johnson Senior Vice President Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Pamela Little-Poole Community Leader

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William Peduto Mayor City of Pittsburgh Jackie Perlow Esquire Federal Law Clerk Blake Ruttenberg Executive Vice President American Textile Company Candi Castleberry Singleton Founder & CEO Dignity & Respect Inc. Edith Shapira, M.D. Psychiatrist Private Practice James Spencer President & CEO EverPower Ian Stewart CEO of Treasury Services, BNY Mellon Chairman, BNY Mellon Pennsylvania James E. Taylor, Ph.D. Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer UPMC Demetri N. Zervoudis Senior Vice President Covestro Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise


BE A CONSTANT LEARNER Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise

Technology has changed how today’s students learn compared to when I was in school. Although my education occurred during the paper and pencil era, I have had to update my own skills to the 21st century. Just because I didn’t learn how to create PowerPoint presentations, use an Excel spreadsheet, or share Google docs in school, doesn’t mean I’m off the hook for knowing how to do these things. While I have managed to stay off Facebook (too many old people), I learned to tweet about politics, faith, art, education, and other random things (@sghubril).

did. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to know how to adapt—and to never stop learning!

I think you will find the same is true in your own life as well. The end of high school cannot be the end of learning, regardless of what path you plan to take once you get your diploma. Your employer may expect you to learn new software, or technology may be developed that revolutionizes the work environment as significantly as computers and cellphones once

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks after all.


In the City of Pittsburgh

90 Neighborhoods to choose from!

We all must be constant learners. This world is just too fabulous and fast-changing for us to be set in our ways and in our thinking. This issue of Idea Pod shares a few resources to keep you on the front edge of continuous learning. In addition, talk with your friends, families, and coworkers or mentors about how they approach learning new things. They may have valuable insight to share with you. Finally, it comes in handy to have a sense of humor, especially to make fun of yourself. Take it from me: You may not always get something on the first try, and you may need to revisit things a few times before it sticks—but if I can do it, so can you!

ATTEND Pittsburgh Public Schools


A Promise Scholarship


90% +

2.50 GPA

(cumulative and unweighted)

= Your Promise Scholarship 3 3ideapod ////FALL ideapod 3 ideapod SPRING //2016 SPRING 20172017


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Assemble connects local makers, technologists, and artists through interactive gallery exhibits, workshops, camps, and events around Pittsburgh. Founded by Nina Marie Barbuto in 2011, Assemble is a nonprofit started to create an educational space for creative minds to learn and connect. The organization provides a platform for makers of all ages to engage in experiential learning and build confidence through making, and is committed to improving and sustaining opportunities to create and learn about art and technology in the community. Assemble’s programs provide opportunities to learn more about science, technology, engineering, art, and math while building confidence in one’s ability to create. Most programs are free or pay-what-you-want because we aim to make learning and creating accessible to everyone. High school students can get involved as assistant educators, interns, and volunteers. Amir, a student at Pittsburgh Milliones (UPrep) and Assemble intern, appreciates the opportunities to sharpen his art skills. He created a hand-painted illustration on wood for the Hyper Local show, a two-month exhibit featuring the work of local artists and makers of all ages. By working with Assemble, Amir has learned how to step out of his comfort zone and work with students in first through eighth grade. Over time, he has gained more confidence in his ability to educate and help younger students. He appreciates the welcoming atmosphere and values the one-to-one conversations with the staff. He has found that these conversations help him process the challenges of high school and figure out his next steps in life. Amir offers advice to other high school students to improve themselves before attempting to change other people. He encourages students to get involved in programs that better the community, and to surround themselves with friends who influence them positively. He advises, “stay focused while in school, look to the future, and work toward a goal.” Veronica, a student at Pittsburgh Obama, has participated in programs at Assemble since she was in middle school. She now serves as a high school volunteer. Veronica has gained many creative skills since getting involved about four years ago. She appreciates the opportunities to learn and teach at Assemble. She regards coding as one of the most valuable skills she has gained. “Coding is so important,” Veronica notes, “you can do many fun things with coding such as makey-makey, hummingbird kits, and even making your own website.” Her coding knowledge continues to help her at school and at home. Veronica’s advice for fellow students who want to make a difference is to “Be kind, be understanding, and get involved. Get involved with volunteering groups, book clubs, soup kitchens, whatever you want. There are so many opportunities out there that you can do even with your friends,” she notes. Veronica appreciates how everyone is treated equally at Assemble, and she looks forward to continue working with Assemble in the future.

GET INVOLVED High school students can help with program outreach and support teachers. During the summer, high school students help with camps, workshops, and community events. Learn more about the opportunities that Assemble offers by visiting


GET A HEAD START ON COLLEGE By taking classes through CCAC’s Dual Enrollment program while still in high school, you can earn college credits toward a degree at CCAC, or you can transfer these credits toward a degree at another college or university upon graduation from high school. To learn more, contact or call 412.237.3100.

Use your Promise scholarship at CCAC.

Hannah Saunder is Assemble’s Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator.





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I’ve been a soldier for 27 years serving our country, and I continue to serve in the local community. I’ve always been committed to being the best I can be and remaining what we call a “soldier for life.” Now it’s just a different battle, and I’m wearing a different uniform that blends well with the other citizen warriors in the fight. I have volunteered or worked with several nonprofit organizations while at the same time raising a family, plus encouraging family and friends to get involved in their local communities. Walk for One Promise in 2016 was my first fundraising walk. I felt compelled to participate and support The Promise because I work with many students in Pittsburgh Public Schools who are in need of the scholarship. I am a firm believer it takes a village to raise a child, and without additional resources many students would not have an opportunity to move on to a post-secondary education of their choice. I’ve met most of the staff of The Pittsburgh Promise and they are simply amazing! On a day-to-day basis they try to motivate and inspire our children to be the best that they can be. I’ve found the employees to be hardworking, dedicated, and motivated in their work to ensure that all PPS students are given the opportunity to choose the college or technical/trade school of their choice.

way to Carlow University later this year. This is one of many stories of students who received support and guidance to turn their lives around and change their destiny. I would suggest to Pittsburgh individuals who want to give back to get out there and participate in Walk for One Promise! Support your schools with a donation or take the additional step of registering to walk. It is a great way to meet the folks of The Pittsburgh Promise and supporters of Pittsburgh who are making a difference in students’ lives. Get out where the “rubber meets the road!” Yes, it could be cold or rain, or even snow, but it will open doors and provide an avenue for you to help or encourage someone else.

Debra Smallwood is involved with several area nonprofits, including the United Way. PPS students, especially those attending Brashear High School, may have encountered Debra through her efforts on behalf of the Neighborhood Learning Alliance for the past three years.

I have been fortunate to witness many Promise success stories over the past few years. A particular student who lost her mother, was homeless, and became in jeopardy of losing The Promise Scholarship, had to overcome many obstacles that were deterring her from even considering college. But after working with the student, alongside The Promise, she will now receive the scholarship and is on her

INSPIRED BY DEBRA? Get involved by making a gift or signing up for Walk for One Promise 2017.


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



Exploring a Career in

B I O LO GY As an undergraduate student at Allegheny College, I had no clue how many opportunities I would have with a degree in biology. I knew that I wanted to help people, and I wanted my work to be meaningful. I worked hard to earn good grades so that I could have many job opportunities when I completed my coursework. Upon graduation, I wanted to have real-work experience in the field of biology so I applied to work as a laboratory technician at the University of Pittsburgh Starzl Transplantation Institute. There was a steep learning curve but after a few weeks of hard work, I mastered the laboratory techniques that I had learned during all of those years of schooling: microinjections, PCR amplification, cell culture work, and cloning, to name just a few. After some time on the job, I was able to become a mentor and help young high school students from Pittsburgh SciTech Academy and undergraduates from the University of Pittsburgh earn more laboratory experience. By providing them the opportunity for hands-on science, I hoped their learning curve could be easier once they landed jobs in the field. During my time in the laboratory, I wanted to further my own education by pursuing a

Promises made.

Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. I worked in the laboratory during the day and took classes in the evenings. This was a great time in my life because I was constantly learning and surrounded by some of the smartest individuals that I have ever known. I wanted to soak it all in. Once I obtained my master’s degree, I still had an unwavering desire to help people and for my work to be meaningful. I applied to Thermo Fisher Scientific and accepted a job as an account manager in the biotechnology market segment. At Thermo Fisher I am able to combine the skills that I learned in the laboratory alongside my Master’s in Public Health to help companies grow and better our planet, which fulfills my career goals perfectly. Thermo Fisher Scientific employs more than 50,000 people in 50 countries. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. Thermo Fisher develops, manufactures, and sells products for life science, healthcare, manufacturing, industrial, safety, science education, and environmental customers, just to name a few. Through premier brands like Thermo Scientific,

Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, and Unity Lab Services, we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience, and comprehensive support.



Minja Gosto is an account manager in Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Biotech/Pharma Segment.

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.

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Pharmacy is a growing field whose pracitioners are a vital part of patient care. Demand for pharmacists is on the rise and annual job growth in Pennsylvania is currently around 8.7%, with about 400 job openings each year. The median salary in the field is presently over $120,000. Read on to learn what it takes to become a pharmacist.

Most programs require applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admission Test, but Dean Kroboth reassures potential candidates that, “it’s not a make or break test. We have a holistic admissions review, as a lot of schools do. There’s a college for everyone, and a program for everyone who wants to go.”

Nearly half of program graduates work in pharmacies. Pharmacists provide counseling to help patients understand the instructions and requirements of their prescriptions. They also provide feedback to physicians when they discover issues, such as incompatible medications the patient is taking, or other conflicting factors like diet or lifestyle. There may also be opportunities for direct patient care, ranging from asthma treatments, to blood pressure monitoring, to cholesterol screenings, and more.

Associate Dean Randall Smith, Ph.D., adds that pharmacy programs are competitive, but they aren’t restricted to straight-A students: “There are something like 130+ schools nationwide and a declining number of applicants. If you are interested in the sciences and you’re interested in the opportunities and the career, applying is something to think seriously about.” And if you aren’t accepted into the first program that you apply to, Dean Kroboth offers further advice, “You have to be able to accept 'no' without taking it personally. Say, ‘Well, it wasn’t the right space for me. I’ll fit in someplace else.’”

The jobs pharmacists fill are more diverse than just dispensing medication. According to University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Dean Patricia Kroboth, Ph.D., “You may not think of pursuing it if the only thing you think a pharmacist does is stand behind the counter. Open your mind to how broad the field is.” Below are a few of the many career concentrations that pharmacy program students can consider:

If you’re considering the field of pharmacy, read more from a Promise Alumna who completed studies in the field on page 9. There are also a variety of online resources you can explore, including the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and American Pharmacists Association websites.

Heather Hackett is the Communications Coordinator for The Pittsburgh Promise.

Pharmacoepidemiology With a focus on research, this field explores how drugs effect human health.

Pharmacoeconomics Studies economic aspects of the pharmaceutics industry.

Gerontology Combines knowledge of pharmacology and geriatric care to better understand the effects of aging.

Healthcare Policy Using knowledge of pharmaceutics, economics, and government policies, program graduates can enter the business or public policy side of the industry. No matter what area of the field a pharmacist settles on, Dean Kroboth surmises that “It’s about the people–not the pills.”

Hannah Tajuddin ’17

Triple Major: Business Management, Accounting, Forensic Accounting

Below are several of the skills a pharmacist needs:

Detail-Oriented Errors can impact patient health, so accuracy is of the utmost importance.

A Keen Memory Pharmacy is a field that requires memorization and the ability to recall knowledge over long spans of time. Think: drug interactions, what generic versions of brand name drugs are called, and more.

Communication Skills Fielding questions from patients and discussing treatment plans requires strong communication skills.

Technological Aptitudes Besides using computer programs to store medical records and research medications, pharmacists also use a variety of technological tools for inventory management and more.

Pharmacy programs vary from one school to another. Some require a bachelor's degree in a related discipline before applying to pharmacy school. Others permit entry to pharmacy programs following two years of undergraduate coursework. Regardless of the format, some of the primary courses you can expect to study will include chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry.

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service Carlow has taught me so much about service. When someone is struggling I think, ‘If I were in that situation, how would I want people to react?’ I would want someone to help me. I don’t see much sympathy in the world. But I know I can be the one to make a difference. I will be that change.

What drives you? |


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Promise Voices

2016 Fall | DURx Patient

Focused on preventative healthcare and community health, Sha-Phawn is committed to providing care for underserved and diverse populations. My uncle, who was diagnosed with diabetes, once struggled with his condition because he didn’t have the knowledge or aid to cope with his medical situation. My uncle is a true testament of how a pharmacist can have a huge impact on a patient’s health and wellness. Since he didn’t have insurance, he went to see a pharmacist at the Center for Pharmacy Care. He not only gained knowledge about his diabetes, but no longer has to take insulin, lost weight, and has a better outlook on life. Seeing how empathetic and patient the students and pharmacists were with my uncle, and the improvement they made on his life made me realize that I wanted to practice pharmacy. The Promise Scholarship funds were very helpful in paying for my undergraduate studies. The Pittsburgh Promise staff have also been a great support system for me, even after I graduated from The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. They have given me a platform to encourage others and provided great moral support when my father passed away. All of which I am very grateful for.

The Duquesne University Pharmacy is the first-in-the-nation, facultydesigned, university-operated community pharmacy. Being the first student hired at the pharmacy, I’ve had the pleasure of being exposed to the many career opportunities for pharmacists. I am now in the process of applying for pharmacy residency programs. My biggest challenge during pharmacy school was losing my father during my second year of school. That was a very hard time for me, but I realized an important life lesson: every experience contributes to who you are. This experience ignited my passion to inform people that they can take control of their health, and it also shaped me into becoming a health professional who firmly believes in the importance of preventative healthcare.

2016 Fall | Student Portraits - DuquesnePharmacy

Page 1 of 1 “My career goal is to practice in a community setting as a clinical pharmacist and also serve as an educator for pharmacy students and other healthcare professionals.” 12/28/16, 1:36 PM

 I am now in my last year of pharmacy school at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy. I chose this school because the pharmacist  that helped my uncle is a professor at the school. I also chose this 2016 Fall | Student Portraits school because they have a pharmacy in the Hill District that provides pharmaceutical care to underserved and diverse populations, which is a commitment of mine. PHOTO SHARING

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Sha-Phawn Read more Voices at:

Schenley High School (2008)

BS Biology with emphasis in Chemistry at The Lincoln University of Pennsylvania (2011)

Page 1 of 2

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy (Anticipated May 2017)

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From farming to nursing to customer service, the jobs of tomorrow almost all rely on workers with some technical know-how. Whether it’s using a database to manage contacts, enlisting mapping programs to learn more about a company’s customers, tracking and analyzing data on a spreadsheet, or troubleshooting the code behind an email or website, possessing technological savvy and understanding the skills and programs associated with your career will make you a well-rounded, attractive employee. You don’t have to master every technology available, but below are some basics you can expect most employers to be looking for: Knowing how to save files in different formats, best practices for naming files, using shortcuts, and making and organizing folders are a few skills that the majority of workers using computers will need.

Word processing, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint are the programs you will most likely encounter in any job. If you don’t have access to these programs, try Google’s free apps to gain translatable skills.

There are other skills that may be less critical to develop, but remain common to encounter. For instance, even if you’re not a graphic designer there’s a chance you may have to use Adobe (or comparable) programs. They may seem overwhelming at first, but after you learn one app, it will inform your understanding of the others. InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator would be beneficial to tinker with. Many free programs with comparable capabilities are out there too.

Very few jobs avoid exchanging emails these days. Learn the best practices for communicating via email, mistakes to avoid, and explore tools like proofreading, hyperlinking, and more. The internet has useful information for many questions employees face in their work lives. Before determining you don’t have an answer to a question or know how to do something, look for resources to help. An online search or consulting a user manual before calling for back-up will instill confidence and decrease your reliance on coworkers. Many companies use proprietary software created specifically for them. The ability to learn when provided with training is vital to many industries, such as manufacturing companies using computerized systems and hospitality jobs operating industry-specific customer service databases. Try not to be intimidated; take notes and get used to clicking around and exploring new programs when you encounter them.

As you consider your future career, make sure to assess the technology needs and preferences in the field. You can do this by reviewing the requirements listed on job postings for the industry. Talking to people working in the field is highly recommended. LinkedIn and other job sites also offer lists of top skills in many fields.

Heather Hackett is the Communications Coordinator at The Pittsburgh Promise.

Technology has much to offer both students and employees willing to learn. There is no shortage of resources available that may assist you in your education and future career. Below is a small sampling of apps to consider.

Tracks tasks and deadlines. You can share projects with classmates and friends, and Asana syncs with Google Calendars.

With many color-coding options, and the ability to set reminders, Google Calendar can help you keep track of activities and appointments.

Take whole courses, or choose single modules to learn software, creative, and business skills. Some videos are free for all users, and many schools and public libraries offer free accounts that permit full access.

Evaluates written content and flags long or complex sentences, common errors, and other areas where edits may be helpful.

An online learning tool that offers pre-made or individualized flash cards, as well as games and other learning tools.

With the goal of making education accessible for all, Khan Academy offers short lectures and readings on just about every subject. Take whole courses or choose single modules.

Resources and instructional materials for writers of every skill level, including helpful guidelines for citing references. 11 FALL 2016 11 ideapod // SPRING 2017

In this issue of Idea Pod several adults shared their perspectives on the relationship between tomorrow’s workforce and technology. But what are young people actually doing to learn these skills and prepare for the jobs of the future? In the next few pages you will meet several Promise Ambassadors. These teens are Pittsburgh Public Schools students just like you—you may have even encountered one of them tabling at lunchtime or sharing information about The Pittsburgh Promise at events. Read on to learn about resources that helped them, where they’ve faced challenges, and what they think is needed to succeed in post-secondary school and eventually find a job.

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“Allegheny is doing the work that more schools should be doing: challenging students and holding them accountable to their potential.” Hilary Oswald, Editor, Colleges That Change Lives


Register now to visit campus —

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At the Pittsburgh Technology Council, I get to work with some of the coolest companies in the Pittsburgh region. We not only help them find the right people to work at their companies, but also help them to ensure that their employees love their jobs. Many new local companies are using technology to solve real world problems. Right now there is a company creating baby gear with a high tech spin on it. Another company is developing an app that will allow patients to talk to a doctor on their cell phone via video chat. Using this app, you can even schedule the physician to come to your house and examine you in-person! Here is the best part: you don’t have to know how to code to work at one of these companies—they hire people with all types of backgrounds! But you will need to follow these tips if you want a shot at working with these companies.

First, you need to have an interest in solving really hard problems. Pittsburgh’s technology companies are solving some of the world’s most difficult issues so that means their work is changing every day. Those problems could be in the healthcare space, education, banking, driverless cars, search engine optimization, and many other areas. Everyone working at these companies must have the ability to solve complex problems and to come up with solutions that aren’t right in front of their faces. Secondly, you need to show up to work every day and be prepared to work on a team of other really smart people to solve problems. At many of the best companies in Pittsburgh, teamwork is essential to accomplishing their mission and achieving their goals. If you’re not a team player, you better rethink how you approach work.

I found my Place at EU “Before I received the Pittsburgh Promise, college did not seem financially possible. When I was given the opportunity, I made the most out of each day by staying involved and active on campus. I chose Edinboro because of the University’s reputation for providing a great education, and the campus is beautiful. There is a place for everyone!”

The last tip I want to give you is to adopt an attitude of continuous learning. After you finish high school you can’t stop learning; in fact, your learning has just begun. The best companies in Pittsburgh value lifelong learning. Make sure you are reading books about topics you are interested in from a work perspective, listen to podcasts that discuss those topics, and watch YouTube videos on these topics as well. Learn, learn, learn, and don’t stop!

Justin Driscoll is the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s Senior Director of People & Culture Initiatives.



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No one in my family had ever attended college, so when it was time to make a decision on what school to attend I was unsure of where to begin. I knew I wanted to study marketing and that I did not want to go far from home. I focused my search on schools that were within two hours of downtown Pittsburgh. Because I was an athlete in high school, I prioritized the ability to continue to play football in college. My search began really wide as I searched every Division I, II, and III active roster in Western Pennsylvania. Secondly, I searched each school’s major offerings and business department rankings, so I could choose the school with the best possible marketing major. After this process, my list of schools quickly dwindled from twelve to three. I applied eagerly and patiently awaited admissions decisions. After about a month, I received an acceptance letter from each school along with the potential cost of attendance. I’ve always had a good concept of money and the common sense to know that it was better to pay less for something than more.

will be different for everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for more aid. By researching your personal total cost of attendance, you will make the best financial choice for yourself and may even be able to afford your dream school!

Armani Davis is a We Promise mentor and a Retention Specialist and Counselor in the Center for Student Success at Robert Morris University.

School A was $7,060, School B was $33,778, and School C was $33,426. I did not like the idea of borrowing money so after a glance and some easy math, I decided on School A. I didn’t give it a second thought. On paper, it was $26,000 cheaper than both of my other selections and while School B was my first choice, I wasn’t in love with it enough to pay the extra $26,000. I didn’t have anyone at home to help me better understand financial aid packages so I went with my gut. In the fall of 2010 I began my freshman year at School A. After subtracting financial aid from my costs and adding room and board, I ended up owing approximately $4,000 per semester. After four years, this would only cost me $32,000. Less than one year of tuition alone at the other two schools, right? Wrong. After one semester, personal reasons resulted in a transfer to School B, my original first choice school, to be closer to home. I went on to spend the next three and a half years at School B and graduated with a total of $10,000 in student loans, $4,000 of which came from my time at School A. How is that possible? What I failed to realize was that the cost of attendance has several factors that determine what you will be required to pay. Each school determines their financial aid packages differently. While I did receive an equal Pell and PHEAA grant from all schools, institutional aid is what made the difference. School A had the lowest cost of attendance but did not offer me any institutionalbased scholarships or grants. At School B, I was able to qualify for an academic grant based upon my high school GPA, a minority achievement scholarship, and an endowed scholarship from a graduate whose story the admissions team believed closely related to my own. The individualized awards that School B offered made them ultimately more affordable. The sticker price of $33,778 quickly fell to less than $1,500 a semester! The moral of the story is don’t let the sticker price of a school scare you and don’t make your college choice based on sticker price alone. It’s essential that you spend time researching your total cost of attendance; it 18 ideapod // FALL 2016 18 ideapod // SPRING 2017

The $44 million Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion will open the James F. Will Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Hall in 2017.


GET ACQUAINTED DAYS Open Houses for College-Bound Students and Their Families Sunday, April 23 Saturday, June 17 Saturday, July 15 Saturday, Aug. 19

Whatever your dreams, Saint Vincent College is ready to prepare you for a successful future. • Top-ranked academic quality in more than 50 major areas of study, plus pre-law and pre-med • Merit Scholarships of up to $20,500 in renewable awards • 100 percent of freshmen receive financial aid • Catholic, Benedictine values orientation in and out of the classroom


An Apple Distinguished School for Two Distinguished Pittsburgh Promise Scholars

With the Pittsburgh Promise I was able to attend Seton Hill, which has prepared me to work and stay in the field of music therapy. This education has opened so many doors and prepared me to work with any population.


I am a graduate of Seton Hill’s Nutrition & Dietetics Program. This education prepared me to pursue my interest in nutrition support, and to take the certification exam to be board certified as a nutrition support clinician (CNSC).


From Seton Hill you can see your future. What will you see? Come on up to the Hill and find out. Schedule a visit at

Your Promise + Ours As a Pittsburgh Promise scholar, Chatham University wants to further support the promise in you with the opportunity to apply for one of our PITTSBURGH PROMISE HOUSING SCHOLARSHIPS, covering the housing costs of Pittsburgh Promise scholars during their time at Chatham. Financial support, in-demand degrees, and our blend of professional preparation and liberalarts skill building are just a few examples of how Chatham University helps Pittsburgh Promise scholars succeed.

That’s our promise. Contact us today to find out more at or 412-365-1825. Learn more about Chatham at

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LEARNING DAYS 2017 This spring’s events will feature hands-on, technology-infused learning experiences for 21st century students. Have you ever wondered how to program a robot? Do you want to learn how to make paper out of the very invasive Japanese knotweed, or design and build raised bed garden frames, balance beams, play structures, sandboxes, and more? Learn about all this and more at Remake Learning Days as it returns to celebrate hands-on, engaging, future-ready learning for its second year. The 12-day event takes place May 15–26 at venues all across the Pittsburgh region and West Virginia. Most of the events are free and all are open to the public. The events will feature “theme days” to help explore: arts, maker, outdoor learning, science, technology, and youth voice.

Hosted by the Remake Learning Network, Remake Learning Days was born out of an idea to better prepare young students for the 21st century. New tools and resources present an opportunity to guide their use in ways that will enhance learning, communication, collaboration, skill-building, and creativity— skills recognized as critical for success in the 21st century. In addition to digital activities, the Remake Learning Network also emphasizes “Maker Learning”. Based on the power of hands-on learning, the growing Maker Movement combines physical and digital skills from science and engineering, technology and media, crafting, and the arts to learn how to work together to reshape the world.

Made up of more than 250 organizations and thousands of individuals, the Remake Learning Network hosted more than 250 communitybased events at museums, libraries, schools, and recreation centers last year. More than 30,000 people attended to take part in “remake learning” themselves.

Dorie Taylor is the Remake Learning Days Producer.


APPLY / VISIT at 20 ideapod // FALL 2016 20 ideapod // SPRING 2017


President We asked a President of a Promise-eligible school a question... James H. Mullen, Jr.


What do you see as an exceptionally valuable soft skill to develop while in college?

JAMES H. MULLEN, JR. ALLEGHENY COLLEGE One of the most valuable and necessary skills a student can develop in college is the ability to communicate effectively, to formulate their thoughts and opinions and articulate them clearly to others verbally and through the written word. In communicating with one another, we exchange insights and gain knowledge. We express and defend our perspectives and consider new ones. We confront and solve problems—together. Words are powerful, and it is vital that the leaders of tomorrow learn how to use them not only effectively but with care, particularly because there are now so many platforms from which to speak. Social media has changed the landscape, opening up new avenues to interact and engage in ways that can both enlighten and polarize. Productive communication cannot happen without active listening. We must strive in all of our communication to respect the fundamental dignity of every person and to engage humbly and civilly with ideas that make us uncomfortable or with which we might disagree. Only through communicating with one another do we grow and learn and become better than we were yesterday. Only through communicating with one another do we become truly engaged citizens who improve our communities and the world.

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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 Admissions— Pittsburgh Outreach 412-263-2900 Penn State Admissions— Philadelphia Outreach 215-246-3500 Penn State Abington 215-881-7600 Penn State Altoona 814-949-5466 Penn State Beaver 724-773-3800 Penn State Berks 610-396-6060

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Penn State Brandywine 610-892-1225

Penn State Hazleton 570-450-3142

Penn State University Park 814-865-5471

Penn State DuBois 814-375-4720

Penn State Lehigh Valley 610-285-5035

Penn State Wilkes-Barre 570-675-9238

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College 814-898-6100

Penn State Mont Alto 717-749-6130

Penn State World Campus 814-865- 5403

Penn State New Kensington 724-334-5466

Penn State Worthington Scranton 570-963-2500

Penn State Schuylkill 570-385-6252

Penn State York 717-771-4040

Penn State Shenango 724-983-2803

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. Produced by the Penn State Department of University Marketing. U.Ed. ADV 16-27

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus 724-430-4130 Penn State Greater Allegheny 412-675-9010 Penn State Harrisburg 717-948-6250

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT: HILL DISTRICT Pittsburgh's historic Hill District is where The Pittsburgh Promise's office is located. It's also one of the many neighborhoods featured on the Walk for One Promise half-marathon route.

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1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Promise Voices Countless voices, one Promise.

Since we launched The Promise, more than 7,200 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. Promise Voices features the mission and heartbeat of our work­â€”Promise Scholars.