IdeaPod Fall 2014

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FALL 2014

Pittsburgh’s got Promise How YOU fit into Pittsburgh's future


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FALL 2014




Pittsburgh’s Got Promise


First Word


Avoiding Summer Slide




Resilience: The Fourth R


Building Community


The Butler: One year Later


Giving Glimpse


Career & Technical Education


Career Spotlight


2014 Executive Scholars


Promise Faces


Ask The President


Last Look

31 Kidsburgh!

EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril Contributing Writers Kai Roberts, Vanessa Thompson, Giant Eagle, Dan Romaniello, Laura S. Fisher, Wade Lipscomb, Sha-Phawn Williams, Zachary Ziegler, Sarah E. Walters, Lauren Holder Raab, Mercedes J. Howze, Stefani Pashman, Lyn Krynski Art Direction/Design Phil Mollenkof Photography Joshua Franzos, Phil Mollenkof, Jeff Wasserman Illustration David Pohl 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. Ideapod is funded through advertisements placed by Promiseeligible, post-secondary institutions.

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

Pamela Little-Poole Youth Organizer A+ Schools

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

David Malone President and CEO Gateway Financial Group

Candi Castleberry-Singleton (Treasurer) Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, UPMC

William Peduto Mayor City of Pittsburgh

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

Cindy Shapira Senior Policy Advisor Allegheny County Executive

Debra Kline Demchak Community Leader

David Shapira Executive Chairman Giant Eagle, Inc.

Kirk Johnson SVP, Wealth Management Merrill Lynch

Edith Shapira, MD Psychiatrist Private Practice

Maxwell King President and CEO The Pittsburgh Foundation

Kiya Tomlin Parent Volunteer Pittsburgh Public Schools

Linda Lane, EdD Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools

Demetri Zervoudis Senior Vice President Bayer Material Science

Anne Lewis Chair Oxford Development Company

Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise



PROMISE OF PITTSBURGH Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise In the first interview that I gave when I was announced as the director of The Pittsburgh Promise, I said that it is our children who are Pittsburgh’s promise. If Pittsburgh has any chance at a promising future, I said, it is because it lives in all of our kids. It is our job, the adults in their lives, to nurture that promise and see that it comes to the fullness of life. That was June 2008. In this issue of Idea Pod, you will meet college students and recent graduates whose life trajectories were transformed because their city believed in them enough to make a promise to them. There are some who faced enormous giants, were tempted to give up, but because of the encouragement of others, leaned into their promise, endured, persevered, and determined to finish their race. Some embraced the motto “it’s not about me,” and, having stood on the shoulders of others, are now putting their shoulders to the wheel for the sake of others. Some are poets and some are pragmatists. Some are


In the City of Pittsburgh

90 Neighborhoods to choose from!

motivated by the market forces of free enterprise, others by the voice of the heart and the yearning of the soul, and others still by the passion to bring help and healing to the world. And all of them are Pittsburgh’s promise. You’ll meet Kai, a marketing major at CMU and a hip hop artist, who talks openly about his anxiety disorder and the importance of tending to one’s mental health. Vanessa, like many, had to overcome numerous societal challenges, and is now using her Chatham education to work for societal change. Dan was born into a family of public servants, and, upon the premature loss of his dad, decided to embrace service through fighting fires and providing emergency medical service. Wade was a boxer who thought that military service was the only option available to him, until he learned that his community recognized the promise in him and was willing to invest in his future. Sha-Phawn, having felt the pain of a family member who lacked access to basic healthcare is now a community-based pharmacist doing all she can to bridge that gap for as many as she can. Zachary, a rare mix of artist and mathematician, is using his gifts to create models for a budding metals company in a city known for making steel. There are many other faces, names, and stories who will be introduced to you in this issue, and, if you look with the eyes of promise, you’ll see that we have plenty of reasons to hope. Pittsburgh does indeed have a lot of promise.

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Source: Allegheny Conference on Community Development 4 ideapod // FALL 2014


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or as long as I can remember, I’ve been inspired by music. However, I would have never imagined that I could inspire others with it. While music has always been my confidant, I never needed it more than after my sophomore year of college when I started dealing with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that is characterized by a constant, overwhelming feeling of worry and fear. Anxiety is a normal human emotion; however an anxiety disorder is a serious illness that has the potential to cause much distress in everyday life. Dealing with my disorder, my family and I decided that taking a semester off from school would be in my best interest. When I was on my leave of absence, I utilized traditional means of treatment such as therapy, exercise, and rest. However, at the same time listening to, and making music played a big part in my recovery as well. Through recording my thoughts and frustrations in the form of poetry, I was inspired to create an album entitled “Carnegie Café.” I hoped that the album would encourage my peers who might be going through similar situations and enlighten society on college experiences. I’m not a health care professional; however, I believed that others could learn from what I went through.

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Out of the most challenging time of my life, I found great opportunity. Fueled by my disorder, I began using my music as a tool to promote mental health awareness on my campus. Inspiring others through their own hardships became my motivation as I found purpose in my passion for music and rejuvenated my spirit. In the fall of 2013, I released “Carnegie Café” to my campus community and began seeing the importance of such a project. It was received very well- so much so that the project grew into a mental health awareness initiative that proved to be very beneficial to my campus community. In addition to the album, I started facilitating discussions within Carnegie Mellon freshman dorms about mental health and wellness, sharing my experiences and educating others about how I overcame my mental health disorder. Life has a strange way of giving us purpose. Whether through tribulation or opportunity, there is always something to learn from it. My story would have been radically different if I would have kept my unfortunate experience to myself. Through giving back to my community I wasn’t just able to raise mental health awareness, but I was able to heal myself and inspire others who were feeling down. In a world where money and material things are glorified, there is nothing more fulfilling than giving back.

Kai Roberts is a Promise Scholar and Marketing major at Carnegie Mellon University.

GET INVOLVED: Learn more about Kai, his music and mental awareness issues:




liberal arts college in the nation Named by Washington Monthly based on the strength of our contribution to the public good in: research, service & social mobility

“Allegheny College 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

unusual combinations. extraordinary outcomes.

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Vanessa and The Pittsburgh Promise summer interns, Ben, Becca, Aryell & Hannah.



Vanessa Thompson is a Promise Alumna who graduated from Chatham University with a degree in Psychology. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Chatham and working at Girls Scouts of Western PA.


As a high school student, I was confident in my abilities to achieve. I knew that if I had the opportunity to go to college and I worked hard enough, that I would be able to thrive and reach my goals. However, I was also held back by the costs of higher education. I would not be able to afford the costs of going to the college of my dreams, Chatham University. Thanks to The Pittsburgh Promise, I was not only able to afford my dream school, but I was able to live on campus and live as a college student. The Pittsburgh Promise gave me an opportunity to truly experience college and seeing how it has changed my life only made me want to participate in changing the lives of others. As a Promise alumna, and one who is extremely grateful for all the scholarship has done for me, I could not imagine not playing my part in giving back to such an amazing scholarship

opportunity for those who live within the city limits of Pittsburgh, and go to a Pittsburgh Public School. Though I am not able to give as much as some other donors, I know I can make a difference by giving five dollars a month. I feel like now I am a part of giving students who may be concerned about paying for the school of their choice an opportunity to live their dream. Now I get to tell them to dream big and work hard because The Promise will help. I am truly passionate about what a scholarship can do for someone so, to really put my effort where my heart is, I decided to do something challenging. This October 18th, I am participating in a 13 mile Walk for One Promise to raise money and awareness for The Promise.

My goal is to raise $500. Even though I think the walk will be tough, I am extremely excited that I am able to captain a Promise Alumni team who will walk and raise donations with me! Oxford Development has also raised a $10,000 challenge for the event, meaning that if all of the walkers raise $10,000, they will match it. Being part of The Promise raising $10,000 will make my year. My hope is that my passion for The Pittsburgh Promise and students gaining additional education rubs off on the Pittsburgh community. Moreover, I hope that no one feels the pressure to give more than what they can afford, but understands that every dollar counts and goes to a cause that is making a huge difference in the lives of students in the Pittsburgh region, which will make a difference to Pittsburgh as a whole.

GIVING TO THE PROMISE: Support Vanessa’s Walk and help us unlock the $10,000 challenge! Or give the following ways:


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

UNITED WAY Use our agency code number 9576075 when donating.


A CAREER IN THE GROCERY INDUSTRY The grocery industry is multifaceted with lots of opportunities for you to find your niche.


or every bunch of bananas scanned in the checkout lane at Giant Eagle there are more than 35,000 Team Members who have helped seal the deal. Buyers, merchandisers, marketers, architects, human resource professionals, transportation drivers and cashiers are just a small representation of what the Food Marketing Institute says is a 3.4 million-person labor force powering the nation’s grocery industry – a $620.2 billion business. As one of the largest, privately-owned and family-operated companies in the U.S, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle ranks number 27 on Forbes magazine’s list of the top U.S. private companies with sales of approximately $9.3 billion. From its humble beginnings in 1931, today the company serves more than 4.6 million customers each year at one of its five banner operations: Giant Eagle, Market District, GetGo, Market District Express and Good Cents Grocery. Variety and an opportunity to grow professionally with an ever-changing business originally drew Ashley Downy to the industry. She began her career with Giant Eagle as an intern. Today, she is the Assistant Marketing Manager for Pharmacy and HBW Marketing. “What was really intriguing to me was the idea that there are so many sides to the business,” Ashley says. You have the classic marketing side, brand management, you have the financial pieces. There are so many different layers of the company, and it’s constantly evolving. That’s something that really sets it apart from other industries and other companies.” Another differentiator is the ability to try on new responsibilities and within differing areas -- no matter where you begin. Many Team Members

start in one area of the business and move to other teams as interests and projects emerge. John Lucot, who today serves as Giant Eagle’s President, began when he was 16 as a part time Team Member working at his local store. “Retail just gets in your blood,” John frequently says.

Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle is one of the 40 largest privately-held and family-operated companies in the USA.

According to Ashley, that could be because grocery retail satisfies a hunger few other opportunities can. “Regardless of where they are in the company, everyone has a unique role to play, but what makes it exciting is that we all have the same objective,” she says. That goal? Giant Eagle leadership feels passionately about serving customers at their point of need when that need is expressed. For the traditional weekly shopping trip, Giant Eagle remains the go-to supermarket. Market District serves the population that views food as an art form. Both Market District Express and GetGo help fuel bodies and cars during routine fill-up and fill-in trips, and Good Cents Grocery offers high-quality products for price-conscious shoppers. Although she now sees the opportunities that are plentiful in the business, Ashley acknowledges some original trepidation. “It’s not something you really learn a lot about in school,” she says. “There’s no Grocery 101 or any [industry-specific] classes that you’re going to take. But here’s the thing: Everyone eats food, so you literally have the opportunity to touch everybody’s lives in some way or another. It’s creative work. It’s interesting work, and it’s really important work.”

LEARN MORE Want to dig deeper? Check out these sites:

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Heroic A


Promise Alumnus Dan Romaniello deals with life and death situations as an EMT. He tells us what it was like for him to choose a field of study and a career path.

DAN'S PATH Dan's degrees & certificates: Emergency Medical Tech and Basic Fire Fighter led him to his career and service positions: • EMT-B at Scott Tonwship EMS • EMT-B/Rescue Technician at Ross/ West Emergency Medical Services Authority • Scott Township Fire District • Station 257 (Glendale Hose Co. No. 1) • United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Q: Dan, you have a pretty fascinating job.

Did your interests growing up lead you to your current career?

A: Growing up as a little kid I was always into fire trucks and firefighting so it was a dream growing up to work in this field. Becoming a firefighter has become a huge part of my life and opened the door to the EMS field that I have chosen as a career path.

Q: The decision of what to study after high

school can be intimidating. Was that a hard decision for you? What inspired you to pick your study and career path and how did you know you were right?

A: I was originally going to college for a 4-year liberal arts degree but I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in. It was during my first year of college that I thought about being an EMT. I decided then to switch to a shorter program because becoming an EMT seemed like something I would actually like.

I started my EMS career in 2010 just a year and a half after I lost my dad to cancer. I choose the field because of how rewarding it is. I had the mindset that if I could just give one

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person an extra 15 minutes to live so a loved one could say goodbye, then my career would be worth it. I still remember the pain that my father, my family, and I went through and I wanted to keep others from suffering. I knew I made the right choice when in 2013 I was dispatched for a person who was not breathing and in cardiac arrest. Within 20 minutes of arriving on scene, the patient was awake and talking to us. She was released from the hospital a few days later with no further problems. Everything that led up to that point felt right.

Q: That’s a pretty incredible good day at

work! Every job has its everyday ups and downs. What do you love most about your job and what are some of your challenges?

A: I love that my job is ever changing. We

bring order and aid to people in their worst moments. That can mean treating sick or injured people, fighting fires, or cutting cars apart with the Jaws of Life. An everyday challenge in my work is learning all of the correct medications to give, as well as the other protocols set by the state. Of course, the biggest challenge is letting go of the tragic moments, but I believe it teaches me to appreciate the little things in life.

Q: You’ve been involved as a Promise Alum-

nus; you will even be our EMT for our upcoming Walk for One Promise event. Why are you passionate about The Pittsburgh Promise?

A: I came from a working middle class fam-

ily, and I thought I would have to depend on student loans. Instead, I was able to study liberal arts at CCAC with The Promise scholarship until I found the Emergency Medicine program at University of Pittsburgh and I don’t have loans to pay back. I appreciate that The Promise was an advocate of not only fouryear bachelor programs but of other post high school options.

Q: What is your advice for students who are trying to choose a study/career path?

A: Find something you love to do. If you like

what you're studying, it makes school so much easier and enjoyable.

Q: What about you, what can we expect in your future?

A: I’d love to further my education and be-

come a paramedic for the City of Pittsburgh or a career firefighter and move back into the city. This job has endless possibilities so only time will tell.


94 JOB %



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If you dig a little deeper into the job listings, you’ll quickly see that while there are many jobs requiring a four-year college degree, there are also a lot of high-paying jobs that don’t.


President Obama chose Pittsburgh as the location for the 2009 G-20 Summit, a gathering of political leaders from the world’s largest economies, he pointed to the region’s economic and environmental transformation as the reason. It was a high point in Pittsburgh’s decades-long effort to shed its reputation as the “Smoky City.” Since then, the positive buzz about Pittsburgh has continued to grow, and more than once we’ve been named the “Most Livable City” in the country. Why does this matter? If you were to ask your grandparents to name the predominant industry in Pittsburgh when they were young, they’d say steel. They might recall the harsh consequences that Pittsburgh and its people faced when an industry that provided employment for hundreds of thousands collapsed seemingly overnight. Many people had to leave Pittsburgh to find work. Pittsburgh today is a very different place. It now has diverse industries as a foundation. No one industry, like steel in years past, accounts for more than 20 percent of the economy. Pittsburgh is still an important and successful steel producer, but we do a whole lot more than that. Pittsburgh has recently experienced the same economic downturn, or recession, as the rest of the nation. However, we have been far better able to weather it because we are not reliant on one group of companies for jobs. This is important to understand because it means that there are a lot of different job opportunities available for current high school and college students contemplating their future careers. Adults love to ask students what career they might want to pursue, and it is an important question to think seriously about, long before you actually need to go out and find a job. But it can be a hard question to answer. What kind of jobs are there? What do my own natural talents and interests prepare me to do? What kind of subjects do I need to study? The Allegheny Conference created a website,, to help call attention to the wide variety of jobs available and to make it easier to explore and learn about the region’s key industry sectors such as advanced

manufacturing, energy, financial and business services, healthcare and life sciences, and information and communications technology. On ImaginePittsburgh, there are individual profiles of people in a wide array of companies and industries, and these offer personal insights on real-life career exploration. The website brings together, in one easily accessed portal, all of the online job openings across 10 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Right now there are more than 25,000 jobs listed. If you dig a little deeper into the job listings, you’ll quickly see that while there are many jobs requiring a four-year college degree, there are also a lot of high-paying jobs that don’t. These positions are projected to grow far faster than any other kinds of jobs and they all require more than a high school diploma. Sometimes the requirement is in the form of a certificate or multiple certificates (called “stackable” credentials); for others it is a two-year degree. One thing that’s clear is that just getting a degree without a plan for what it can prepare you to gainfully do is not likely to be a fruitful path. It’s also worth considering that your choices coming out of high school don’t need to be seen as binary: college or something else. You can choose both. There are lots of pathways to a college degree that do not mean immediate enrollment in a four-year program. Here’s an example: you may have heard recently about Pittsburgh’s energy economy. Our region is home to some 750+ companies, with a combined $19 billion contribution to the economy. Energy, as a sector, is a group of industries that needs all levels of talent from certificates and associate degrees to bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral degrees. The sector covers a wide array of energy sources: coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, wind and solar, green buildings, smart distribution and transmission systems, and new energy solutions coming from breakthrough companies. A two-year engineering degree can potentially land you a job in any of these industries, and chances are good that an employer might be willing to not only pay you a salary, but also contribute to the cost of having you attain a bachelor’s degree. We are part of a rapidly changing global economy, and one of the few things we can actually predict with accuracy is that it will continue to change. It is smart to consider how you can prepare yourself for career success in this kind of environment. To get started, visit and spend some time exploring its resources. Have fun imagining what your future could look like here. Pittsburgh’s got promise, and we want you to stay here and be a part of its exciting future.

Laura S. Fisher is the Senior Vice President of Special Projects at Allegheny Conference on Community Development

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Allderdice, Promise Scholar

COLLEGE/DEGREE: Penn State University: BS Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering CURRENT JOB:

Tell us about your choice to pursue higher education with The Promise. Initially, I planned to join the Army with the intent to one day become an engineer. My family did not have the means to send me to school, but The Promise allowed me to attend college and focus on my education as opposed to worrying about how I was going to pay for it. How did you choose a field of study? I always knew that I wanted to be an engineer. I attended Allderdice specifically for the preengineering magnet program. I finally chose petroleum engineering after my first year at Penn State Greater Allegheny. I was exposed to the industry by a fellow Promise scholar

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and was able to begin interning with Range Resources. After the internship I knew I made the right decision. Now you are successful and working fulltime. Tell us about your job. Currently I am a rotational engineer with Range, I started out in Reservoir Engineering. Right now I am in the office five days a week from 7-4. I spend most of my time doing economic and operational analyses. I enjoy that each operational analysis is different. I always have to learn new things and push myself to improve as an engineer. In a few years I will be in a different department learning all new things. It really keeps things from getting old.

Petroleum Engineer at Range Resources

What is your advice for high school students who are starting to think about choosing a study/career path? I would suggest looking at employment predictions to see what might be in demand at the time of graduation. Doing something that you will love is important, but keep an open mind. There are many fields that are similar. I believe that getting a degree in a field with demand makes the transition from college into the work force much smoother. I am not sure what the future of working in Pittsburgh holds. I do know that the city’s economy has become much more diverse than it once was. I can only imagine that the city will continue to improve and add opportunity for all.

9/22/14 5:12 PM


Schenley, Promise Scholar

COLLEGE/DEGREE: Lincoln University of PA: BS in Biology with an emphasis in Chemistry CURRENT JOB:

Pharmacy intern at the Center for Pharmacy Services & graduate school

Tell us about your choice to pursue higher education with The Promise. In high school I was not focused on going to college, I did not have any savings and I didn’t think I had the grades to attend college. Once I realized The Promise wanted to invest in me, I decided to invest in myself and strive as a college student. How did you choose a field of study? I always liked science and math so choosing to become a Biology major was easy. I didn’t realize I wanted to become a Pharmacist until my junior year of college. My uncle has diabetes and once struggled with his condition because he didn’t have the knowledge or aid to cope with his medical situation. Since he didn’t

have insurance, he went to see a pharmacist at the Center for Pharmacy Services. He is a true testament of how much a pharmacist can impact a patient’s whole lifestyle. He didn’t only gain more knowledge about his diabetes, but he no longer has to take insulin, has lost weight and has a better outlook on life. Seeing how empathetic and patient the students and pharmacist were with my uncle and the impact they made on his life made me realize that I wanted to become a Pharmacist. Now you are pursuing that dream! Tell us about your internship. My internship is eye opening, exciting, life changing and never the same each day. I

love that I am able to interact with patients and apply the knowledge I’m learning in the classroom in the Pharmacy. My dream for my future would be me working in a similar pharmacy or clinical setting as I do now in a low income and/or underserved community. What is your advice for high school students who are starting to think about choosing a study/career path? My biggest advice would be to choose what you love and don’t strive to be perfect. No one is! Pittsburgh Promise scholars are the future. All we need is a chance to show what we can do.

Your Promise + Ours

As a Pittsburgh Promise scholar, you’ve secured $40,000 toward your college education. At Chatham University, we want to further support the promise in you with the opportunity to apply for one of our new Pittsburgh


Housing Scholarships, covering the housing costs of Pittsburgh Promise scholars during their time at Chatham. Financial support, in-demand degrees, women’s leadership, and our career-focused approach to education are just a few examples of how Chatham helps Pittsburgh Promise scholars hone creative and critical thinking skills to break the mold, shatter the ceiling, and bring big thinking to life.

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Carrick, Promise Scholar

COLLEGE/DEGREE: Pittsburgh Technical Institute: Associates Degree in Mechanical Drafting & Computer Sciences CURRENT JOB:

Tell us about your choice to pursue higher education with The Promise: The Pittsburgh Promise took a huge amount of financial stress off of deciding to go to school. It also helped me narrow down my choices when choosing which school I wanted to attend. Overall it made the decision of continuing education a lot easier. How did you choose a field of study? My original choice was engineering. I chose to become a Mechanical CAD draftsman and designer, because it would get me a great career and step towards eventually continuing on to become an engineer. All my life I’ve had great artistic and visualization skills, as well as good

mathematical knowledge. I found that you need equally strong parts of all three in order to be a decent draftsman. Now you are successful and working fulltime. Tell us about your job. There seems to be no typical days in the drafting field. Each day new challenges arise, and it’s up to you and your fellow draftsmen and engineers to solve the problems. I have to generate 3D models of parts and assemblies designed by both engineers and draftsmen alike, as well as create 2D detail drawings that will be sent out to industry for fabrication and construction. What I love most about my job is that there is always a problem to be solved

Mechanical Designer/Draftsmen at Tenova Metals

which, in turn, keeps my mind sharp and gives me a feeling of accomplishment each time a solution is found. I also love the possibilities that come with my career, such as when I had the opportunity to travel to Genoa, Italy for three weeks of work. What is your advice for high school students who are starting to think about choosing a study/career path? Find something you're good at and wouldn't mind doing, then find a career path where you can apply those skills. Once you are working in a career you have interest in, it’s an immediate feeling of accomplishment. All those years of schooling finally pay off.

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had a high school history teacher who would often remind our class that some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned outside of the classroom. Summer is the time of year that maybe demonstrates this best of all. Playing outside, moments with friends, and time to really look around us are experiences that stretch us beyond ourselves to grow, learn, and change. But what happens to “school stuff” during the summer? Is summer slide--the loss of crucial content and skills that students experience during summer vacation--unavoidable? As it turns out, the summer months provide valuable opportunities to reinforce classroom learning and avoid the summer slide. Research shows that “all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer” and that “students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer” (White, 1906; Entwisle & Alexander 1992;Cooper, 1996; Downey et al. 2004). Free summer programs in Pittsburgh exist to offer engaging, exciting, and fun educational activities to help you extend—rather than lose—the learning you’ve worked so hard to acquire. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to meet First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrate the national kickoff for Summer Learning Day at an event hosted at the U.S. Department of Education. As part of the day’s events, Mrs. Obama spoke on the importance of taking advantage of summer learning enrichment opportunities. She agreed that summer programs, internships, and classes not only help sharpen your mind but also allow you to practice the everyday skills that will help you succeed in college and beyond. As a kid, I can remember longing for the freedom that summer vacation brought, but more importantly, I remember the lessons I learned outside of the classroom while reading good books from the library, visiting museums, and meeting new friends at summer programs and camps. Those opportunities connected me to inspirational mentors, helped me learn about who I was and wanted to become, and gave me a supportive environment that enabled me to pursue my dream of going to college. Proud of the education that I received as a graduate of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, I now recognize that my teachers were right in telling me that learning extends far beyond the classroom. In fact, my summer learning opportunities helped me to better appreciate my time inside the classroom because I was able to see how my schooling was shaping me to be a lifelong learner. So, what should you do if you’re interested in finding a really great summer enrichment program? Talk to your teachers, visit the teen department of your local library, or search the web for free summer programs in Pittsburgh!

Dedicating yourself to a summer of enrichment will have you starting off the school year confident and prepared to tackle yet another exciting academic journey! Sarah E. Walters is the Executive Director of Summerbridge Pittsburgh. Find out more at

Pittsburgh is Our Campus ... Explore the Possibilities.



• 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 17 ideapod // FALL 2014

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Illustration by David Pohl


ou probably know the 3 Rs of education—reading, writing, and arithmetic—but there’s a fourth R: Resilience. And this R will help you succeed not only in school but also in life. So, what’s “resilience,” and how does it work? Here’s what you need to know to become more resilient today. What is resilience? Resilience is the ability to adjust to circumstances and keep going in the face of adversity, whether it’s a minor hassle, like running late for class, or a major life event, like losing a family member. It helps you take on challenges and embrace new experiences. Low resilience can lead to anxiety, depression, and drug or alcohol abuse. What makes someone resilient? Many factors are linked to resilience, including healthy relationships, good self-care, and a positive attitude. Resilient people use this quality to respond to problems more effectively and balance life’s demands. They’re confident they can handle any situation, better able to cope with stress, and more likely to achieve their goals. Do resilient people experience less adversity? No. Resilient people experience difficult situations and unpleasant emotions, but they’re able to bounce back. Can anyone be resilient? Yes. Resilience is an important skill for everyone to learn and develop. We can all become more resilient, regardless of our upbringing or current circumstances. How can I become more resilient? As with any skill, strengthening your resilience takes time and effort, but with practice, you can deal with adversity more effectively. Build your resilience with these five tips: •Manage stress. Think about what causes you stress and the negative ways stress affects you (e.g., you get headaches, you’re easily irritated). Once you understand how you experience stress, you can develop coping strategies to prevent stress and replace unhealthy reactions. Real-life practice: When you start to feel stressed, take a 30-minute break to do something you enjoy, such as taking a walk or talking to a friend. You’ll go back to what you were doing with increased energy and focus.

•Examine your thoughts. Negative or incorrect thoughts about yourself, others, or the future can lead to unhelpful emotions and behaviors. But if you’re aware of these thoughts, you can change them. Real-life practice: Before you jump to conclusions, make sure you have all the facts. You may discover new information or another way to think about the situation. •Build a support network. Positive social connections provide assistance, guidance, and comfort during difficult times. Strengthen your relationships with family, friends, and others you trust to form a support network. Real-life practice: Make plans to get together with friends. Although online social networking and gaming are fun ways to connect, they’re not substitutes for in-person support. •Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your physical, mental, and emotional health, including your attitude toward yourself. Whether it’s managing your time better or simply being kind to yourself, find ways to improve your self-care in each area of health. Real-life practice: This may surprise you, but taking care of others can improve your own health. You can learn how they deal with stress and adversity, and you may see that in comparison you don’t have it as bad as you thought. •Pursue your goals. Setting and achieving goals teaches you perseverance—to keep trying until you succeed. Choose goals that are meaningful to you; when your goals are in line with your strengths and values, you’re more likely to accomplish them. Real-life practice: Write down your goals and share them with family and friends. Committing to your goals in this way increases your chance of success.

Lauren Holder Raab is a senior content editor at 3C Institute and codeveloper of SCoRE(r), the Student Curriculum on Resilience Education(r). To learn more about stress management and building your resilience for college success, visit:

19 ideapod // FALL 2014

The Butler: one year later A BOX OFFICE HIT & LEARNING EXPERIENCE It’s been one year since The Weinstein Company released Lee Daniels’ The Butler (August 16, 2013), grossing over $176 million in the box office worldwide. It’s also been one year since PNC Bank and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hosted a sold-out fundraiser for The Pittsburgh Promise which included a special, advanced screening of the movie in Pittsburgh. The event, which was held August 13, 2013, featured associate producer, Wil Haygood, the man who introduced the world to the Original Butler Eugene Allen in a 2008 Washington Post article “A Butler Well Served by This Election.” “The fundraising event in Pittsburgh was a wondrous and thrilling event for me,” says Haygood. “There's nothing like a work of art, like an inspiring movie such as THE BUTLER, to raise money for a good cause. Those who have wanted to do that very thing engage in an act of philanthropy for something important and righteous. I am humbled that so many people watched - and gave.” The event raised nearly $100,000 to benefit The Pittsburgh Promise. In addition to generating donations, The Butler creates a learning opportunity for all ages. The movie covered the Civil Rights Movement and eight presidential eras that changed the makeup of the United States of America, such as the racial integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, the 1960 Woolworth lunch counter sit in, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

“In talking to students, I can tell the movie has served as a powerful history lesson for them,” recalls Haygood. “The movie has caused families to sit down and talk about the civil rights movement. I don't think this expanse of dialogue around a movie, or movie event, has taken place since the airing of the TV miniseries ROOTS in the 1970s.” Pittsburgh Public Schools offers high school students African-American History and AfricanAmerican Literature courses. Sharon Brentley teaches the social studies elective and had a full roster on the first day of school with students who chose to take the non-required course. “I believe African-American history should be infused with all levels of social studies because African-American history is American history,” said the 33 year teaching veteran. In connection with the social change that occurred in The Butler, District freshmen are required to complete a service-learning project that will benefit their community as part of the civics course- Civics: Be the Change. This 9th grade class focuses on young people beginning a journey of civic awareness, empowerment, and engagement. The city acts as a lens through which District students are able to examine important civic values. Despite not being recognized at this year’s Academy Awards, The Butler, both the movie and the book, has created a universal learning experience for everyone. “I find that after a year since its release, people still want to talk about it. Baby boomers, the very young, the elderly. It seems to have resonated for all age groups, and for all racial backgrounds. That is gratifying,” declares Haygood. Merecedes J. Howze (pictured with Wil Haygood) is Project Assistant at Public Information Office, Pittsburgh Public Schools & Movie Scene Queen.



800.225.7393 | 20 ideapod // FALL 2014


You’re Invited!

Pittsburgh Public Schools

TEACHERS MATTER: A Celebration of Teachers & the Teaching Profession

Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 7:30pm Carnegie Science Center Cocktail Attire


Adults Only

This event is open to the public and registration is required. For more information, visit

Make a decision that will change your life for the better,

Preceding the celebration there will be an invitation-only reception to recognize teachers who performed at the Distinguished level in 2013–14.

Choose a university where your faculty will inspire you

every day.

to take bold steps in learning, where your classmates are as ambitious and active as you, and where you can innovate, lead, prepare for your career and form friendships for life. Choose Bucknell University. We offer more than 50 majors and 65 minors in:

Empower. Lead. Celebrate.

fine & performing arts

• sciences

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social sciences


Sign up for our contact list. Better yet, see our beautiful campus for yourself.

Office of Admissions Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA 17837 570-577-3000

21 ideapod // FALL 2014

Career and Technical Education Aligning Education with Employer Demand


his is an exciting time for education in Pittsburgh, and Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB) is proud to be a part of the new trade education program offered by The Pittsburgh Promise and Pittsburgh Public Schools. This program offers a tremendous opportunity for young people to obtain the skills and know-how necessary to fill a multitude of jobs available in the region that will ensure our continued economic vitality. High school students should pursue training in ways that prepare them for work. Strengthening career exploration activities for young people, aligning education with employer demand, and changing the image of career and technology education have been strategic goals for 3RWIB for several years. By connecting employers and training providers, while educating youth about the opportunities available in the region, we will build the pipeline of qualified workers prepared to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.

In the Pittsburgh region, numerous jobs in high-demand occupations will require more than a high school diploma, but less than a college degree. Moreover, as the region’s workforce grows older, many opportunities will emerge for skilled workers. Take, for example, the region’s manufacturing sector. Of the 75,000 manufacturing jobs in the Pittsburgh region, about 50,000 of those jobs are held by workers over the age of 45; 22,000 are older than 55. These workers will retire in the coming decades, taking with them a lifetime of skill and knowledge. At the same time, only about 5,000 people graduate from various manufacturing academic programs in the region — falling short of what’s needed to fulfill employer demand. Plentiful, wellpaying opportunities that do not require a four-year degree also exist in health care, energy and information technology. Overlooked and vital to stress is that there is no lack of opportunity for young

people to enter these key sectors; they might be unaware of the breadth of career opportunities available. While only about 5 percent of Allegheny County’s youth are enrolled in career and technical education, 3RWIB sees this education as a key component to fulfilling the needs of the region’s employers now and in the future. Infusing the public system with innovation, system building and promoting out-of-the-box collaboration will prepare a qualified pipeline of workers in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Public Schools and The Pittsburgh Promise’s commitment to helping our youth chart a course to meaningful careers is a winning combination for our children, our employers, and our region.

Stefani Pashman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board.

The Pittsburgh Promise


FUTURE Career and Technical Education Program

$39 million Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion


GET ACQUAINTED DAY Open House for College-Bound Students and Their Families Saturday, Sept. 20 Saturday, Oct. 18 Saturday, Nov. 8

Earn post-secondary credits in high school & graduate ready for high demand jobs. LEARN MORE AT: 22 ideapod // FALL 2014

Whatever your dreams, Saint Vincent College is ready to prepare you for a successful future. • Top-ranked academic quality in nearly 50 major areas of study, plus pre-law and pre-med • Merit Scholarships of up to $20,000 in renewable awards • 100 percent of freshmen receive financial aid • Catholic, Benedictine values orientation in and out of the classroom

Latrobe, Pa | Q UAL IT Y ED U C ATIO N IN TH E B EN ED I C T I N E T R A DI T I O N 2064

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


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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 (3.5GPA 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 2014 Executive Scholar class. Congratulations! UPMC Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Thomas Brewton: Thomas is a Business major at Penn State University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Obama, he is highly inspired by his father’s work in non-profits to give back. Thomas volunteered with the Salvation Army, did neighborhood clean ups and even took a missionary trip to Haiti. He is especially proud of his Princeton Book Award. Lindsay McParlane: Lindsay graduated from the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School with a passion for the written word. During high school she volunteered with The Food Bank and Carnegie Library. Lindsay is a Communication and Creative Writing major at Allegheny College.

Highmark Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Alexis Mighty: Alexis is a Pre-Medicine major at University Of Pittsburgh Greensburg. She enjoys helping animals and hopes to one day own a Veterinary Clinic. A graduate of Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, she served as a Pittsburgh Promise Ambassador working to promote college readiness in her school. Aysar Gharaibeh: Aysar accomplished a personal triumph when he was accepted to his first choice among colleges, Carnegie Mellon University. Aysar studies Business and hopes to one day receive his MBA. He is passionate about traveling and meeting new people. Aysar is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice.

Daniel Trompeter: A Business major at Temple University, Daniel is interested in entrepreneurial pursuits. Daniel achieved high honor roll and volunteered his time as a basketball coach at the Jewish Community Center during his years at Pittsburgh Allderdice.

Brianna Blotzer: Brianna studies Radiology at La Roche College. She hopes to one day earn her MD and become a radiologist. Brianna takes pride in her perfect attendance record during her high school career at Pittsburgh Brashear. She also plays the violin and has been in orchestra since the sixth grade.

Breona Turner: A graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, Breona was a member of National Honor Society and enjoyed helping others. Inspired by her sister’s career as a nurse, Breona attends the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing to become a nurse herself.

Courtney Killmeyer: A Pittsburgh Brashear graduate, Courtney is pursuing a degree in Nursing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Courtney has been dancing for fourteen years and teaching dance for three years. Apart from her Promise Award, Courtney was proud to receive the Sutton Scholarship and the EWEAA Scholarship.

Jordan Tyler: An Engineering major at Penn State University, Jordan is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy. Jordan is very proud of his volunteer experience with the Special Olympics. He received a Pepsi Scholarship and the KSEF Scholarship in addition to his Promise award.

Joshua Patton: Joshua is a graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear and attends Allegheny College. He is interested in Political Science and Spanish and hopes to eventually attend law school. Joshua enjoys literature and traveling. One of his favorite memories is traveling to Peru as a World Affairs Scholar with the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

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U n i v e r s i t y

o f

P i t t s b u r g h


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 Megan Butter: A Communications major at Penn State University, Megan hopes to work in public relations someday. A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, she was the senior captain of her school’s soccer team and continues to be passionate about athletics. Kielle Deanda: Kielle attends California University of Pennsylvania with an interest to study Journalism and Business. A graduate of Pittsburgh Westinghouse, she is passionate about giving back. At Westinghouse, Kielle was the senior activity advisor and participated in a service trip to Costa Rica.


in education

pioneer in research


in regional development

Campuses in Pittsburgh, Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville

For information on admissions:

412-624-7488 | |

Zoe Grubbs: Zoe is a Fashion Merchandising major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School. Zoe is especially proud of her participation in Children’s International Summer Villages, a program that promotes world peace through international travel. Nicole Lennartz: A graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, Nicole is a Communications major with a minor in Violin Performance at Duquesne University. In addition to her Promise award, Nicole was awarded the 2014 Anthony E. Benvin Music Scholarship. Nicole hopes in the future to work in public relations. Max Zack Yoffee: Max Zack, a Pittsburgh Allderdice graduate, now studies Finance at Penn State University. He is passionate about business and started and sold his own laundry company while in high school. He also enjoys giving back through Friendship Circle, an organization that matches volunteers with special needs teens.

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Giant Eagle Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise

BNY Mellon Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Chesarai Williams: A graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick, Chesarai attends Slippery Rock University to study business. Participating at Pittsburgh Cares and the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh taught her the importance of giving back to her community. Chesarai received the Board of Governors Scholarship from Slippery Rock.

Jayla Akers: Jayla is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School where she was the class President. Jayla loves to give back and volunteered with Homewood Community Sports. Jayla is a Communications and PR major at Penn State University and hopes to own her own business one day.

John Micklo: John is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice and an eight time recipient of the Carson Scholarship. John is majoring in Computer Information Systems at Robert Morris University. He finds his passion in helping those in need and volunteers his time by making dinners for local homeless shelters.

Brandon Hutton: Brandon studies Business at Duquesne University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Obama, Brandon enjoys deck hockey and volunteers for the Susan B. Komen foundation. He is especially proud of his Carson Scholarship and his work with National Honor Society.

Lara Potenziani: A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, Lara attends Penn State Behrend. Lara loves math and is studying Accounting. As a member of the Future Educators Association, Lara believes that obtaining an education is the foundation for fulfilling your dreams. Matthew Walker: Matthew attends the University of Pittsburgh and is studying Engineering. Matthew graduated from Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy and was a Pittsburgh Promise Ambassador. He is especially proud to have completed an internship with The Heinz Endowments. Outside of his academics, Matthew has a love for music and plays the guitar. Rosie Williams: Rosie graduated from Pittsburgh Perry with a 3.95 GPA. She is passionate about helping others and was Vice President of her senior class, as well as Vice President of the National Honor Society at Perry. Rosie attends Robert Morris University where she studies Business.

Abdullahi Mada: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Abdullahi attends the University of Pittsburgh for Electrical Engineering. In high school he played many sports, volunteered at the Carnegie Library and did neighborhood cleanups in Garfield. Ian Milbee: Ian studies Accounting at Robert Morris University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick, Ian was a Promise Ambassador. Ian is interested in international travel and relations and dreams to one day work with the FBI or CIA. Timothy Williams: A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, Timothy studies Biochemistry at Washington and Jefferson College.He is proud that he was able to manage working full time while in high school and that he placed in his high school tennis tournament.

An education from La Roche College prepares you for lifelong learning and career success in a changing, global economy. • High-demand majors in business, education, engineering and health science • Creative disciplines in graphic design, interior design, dance, film and media • Study abroad opportunities included in the cost of tuition • A newly renovated athletic complex with first-class amenities • Within walking distance from a neighboring business, entertainment and retail center

Apply now at 412-536-1272 | 800-838-4572

26 ideapod // FALL 2014 2013

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McGuinn Family Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise

Mylan Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise

Kendre Crawford-Blue: A graduate of Pittsburgh University Prep, she was her class Valedictorian. Kendre is studying Nursing at Penn State University. Passionate about giving back to teens, she hopes one day to start a non-profit that will benefit disadvantaged teen girls. Chelsea Geruschat: Chelsea is a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at Penn State University. She graduated Valedictorian from Pittsburgh Carrick. In high school she traveled to Argentina on a Global Travel Scholarship. In the future she hopes to work with Doctors Without Borders.

Brittany Creely: Brittany is an English major at Duquesne University that lives for writing. She believes that the power of the written word surpasses all others and hopes to make a difference in the world with her writing. Brittany is a three time Scholastic Gold Key winner and a graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick. Dana Strabryla: Dana graduated from Pittsburgh Carrick with a 4.0 GPA and Valedictorian of her class, and hopes to become a nurse in the future. Dana was on the Tennis Team and won the silver medal during her high school championships. She attends Carlow University and is majoring in Nursing.

Jordan Lawson: Jordan graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice as Student Council Vice President and Captain of the rowing team. A Political Science and Business major at Penn State University, Jordan is proud that he has received full college scholarship through a Bunton-Waller Fellowship and a Kappa Scholarship in addition to his Promise award

John Chmura: A Nuclear Engineering major at Penn State University, John is passionate about nuclear science. He hopes to one day become a Nuclear Safety Inspector. A graduate of Pittsburgh Perry, John was a soccer player and a participated in Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

Zachary Neal: A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, Zachary is a seven time Carson Scholar. Zachary was inspired by an internship at Shadyside hospital to study Nursing at Duquesne University. Zachary is especially proud of being an Eagle Scout as well as completing his first half-marathon.

Kausar Shaikh: Kausar is a Biology Pre-Medicine major at the University of Pittsburgh and hopes to become a doctor in the future. A graduate of Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, Kausar was a member of Crew Team, Environmental Club, and a Pittsburgh Promise Ambassador. Kausar is also a four time Carson Scholar.

Sam O’Shell: Sam attends the Community College of Allegheny College studying HVAC with a plan to also study Environmental Engineering. A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Sam believes in hard work and was employed during all of his high school years. He is especially proud of his work with the National Honor Society.

Wesley Lebarty: Wesley is a Computer Science major at the Community College of Allegheny College. A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, Wesley enjoys ultimate Frisbee, programming, and graphic design. He is especially proud of obtaining high honors in his senior year.

“Like many high school students, I was unsure of how I’d pay for college. Being offered The Pittsburgh Promise meant more to me than I realized, as it now accounts for over 40% of my financial aid. Every day I appreciate the opportunity The Pittsburgh Promise has given me to attend a university I love to pursue my dreams, and has motivated me to give back to Pittsburgh after graduation.”

Choose Excellence. Choose Edinboro.




Since 2008, the pittsburgh promise has provided scholarships to hundreds of Edinboro University students.

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EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE @slipperyrockuniversity ■ Academic excellence ■ 150+ undergraduate programs ■ 30+ graduate programs • Science • Health • Business • Communication • Education • Social sciences • Technology • Humanities • Performing arts ■ Expert faculty ■ Quality learning-living environment ■ Career preparation ■ Best value If you want all the opportunities of a state university – and every advantage of a small, connected campus – it’s time you learned more about Slippery Rock University. Call: 800.929.4778 Email: Explore: Tweet: @slipperyrocku

Office of Admissions North Hall Welcome Center 1 Morrow Way Slippery Rock, PA 16057

#8311 8-2014

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A member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

29 ideapod // FALL 2014 9/2/14

8:21 AM

PNC Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Alan Hord: Alan, a Political Science major at Penn State University, plans to go to law school. A graduate of the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Alan was the treasurer for the National Honor Society and a participant in the Investing Now program at the University of Pittsburgh. Anita Trimbur: Anita is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School and attends the University of Pittsburgh. Anita is passionate about photography and writing. She won the Regional Gold Key Scholastic Award for poetry, fiction, and screenwriting. Anita also volunteers at her church and the National Humane Society. Elizabeth Bagley: Elizabeth attends West Chester University and studies Business Management. She is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School and volunteers her time at the Andy Warhol Museum and a community garden. Elizabeth’s work in community service has taught her the importance of helping others. Marcus Dean: Marcus is a graduate of Pittsburgh Perry and attends Westminster College. As an active athlete, Marcus was captain of the Perry Basketball Team. He is also on the basketball team at Westminster College where he studies Communications. In addition to his Promise Award, Marcus is an awarded NEED Scholar. Tajendra Subedi: Tejendra studies Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Titusville. T.J. has always had an interest and aptitude to work with computers. A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, he is especially proud of graduating with honors. T.J. was a member of the Nepali Club and Tennis Team.

Classes enrolling now. 30 ideapod // FALL 2014 2013

Thermofisher Scientific Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Kondaker Ahmed: A graduate of Pittsburgh Obama, Kondaker volunteered over 100 hours during high school. He cites his volunteer experience with the Animal Shelter and Allegheny General Hospital as two of his favorites. Kondaker attends University of Pittsburgh studying Biology and Chemical Engineering. Danyelle Frischman: Danyelle attends Penn State University with an interest in studying Communications. A graduate of Allderdice, Danielle graduated with honors. She is especially proud of her work with Friendship Circle, an organization that matches volunteers with special needs teens. Kaitlyn Mahouski: A Computer Science major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kaitlyn is passionate about cyber security. A graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick, she was a soccer player and referee. In addition to Kaitlyn’s Promise award, she received the Sutton Scholarship at IUP. MaryKate Freeman: MaryKate graduated from Pittsburgh Carrick as Treasurer of Student Council and Valedictorian. Studying Environmental Science at Robert Morris University, she wants to make a difference through protecting the environment. In addition to her Promise award, MaryKate received a Carson Scholarship. Bani Randhawa: Valedictorian of her class, Bani graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice. Studying Political Science and Pre-medicine at University of Pittsburgh, Bani is passionate about international relations and medicine. In addition to her Promise award, she was named the 2014 National CocaCola Scholar.

“Find Your Success.”

–President Bullock

Kidsburgh! K is a website and newsletter serving as an online resource: a go-to guide for everything from the best places to go with kids in Pittsburgh to the latest news that parents– and others who care about our kids–need to know, from family-friendly events to child-serving organizations, including advocacy issues.

The website is the brainchild of a growing and collaborative group–from parents to educators to anyone working with kids or on kids’ issues– dedicated to making all Pittsburgh kids’ lives better. The vision? Every child is safe, cared for and provided opportunities to learn and create; kids’ voices are heard; resources are made available to all kids and each of us gives back however possible. “Together we are creating a better future for all kids,” it says on the website, “by raising awareness about the unique opportunities for children and youth living in our region; to better increase opportunities for parents, caregivers and kids to connect across neighborhoods and broaden participation in events, activities, programs and services. The Kidsburgh website is also relevant to teens and offers suggestions for what teens can do in Pittsburgh, from after school, mentoring programs to skateboarding in the brand new Pitcher Park, a one-of-a-kind skate park in Carnegie. Keep an eye out for a feature story with many more suggestions on this topic at!

Lyn Krynski is the Chair of the Kidsburgh Advisory Team.


START HERE: The Cellar, an afterschool/mentoring program downtown Mr. Roboto Project, a by-kids-for-kids performance space Pitcher Park, a wicked-cool Skateboard Park in Carnegie Polish Hill Bowl, is another cool skate park in the east end of town. Assemble, a maker-space for Arts and Technology The Labs @CLP is a digital learning space for teens. The Labs @CLP gives youth access to digital media tools so they can produce their own music, movies, software, games, etc. The Digital Corps is a band of digital mentors who set up shop to give teens access to digital tools, both hardware and software, and support as they learn how to create websites, make videos, design mobile apps and games.

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ASK THE We asked five Presidents of Promise eligible schools a question...


What soft-skills do you see as being critical to a successful career and how should a student go about developing those skills? From top left across: Dr. James H. Mullen, Dr. Charles J. Dougherty, Dr. Mary C. Finger, Mr. Dennis Wilke, Dr. Cheryl Norton




Although there may be a few jobs out there where it’s enough to be a brilliant loner, most students will find themselves leaving college to work in environments where collegiality and the ability to work as a team are prized as much as a skill set associated with a particular discipline. I would also add civility to the list of soft skills that will serve students well in their careers. It’s important in any work environment to be able to truly listen to your colleagues’ arguments and points of view and to be able to express your own point of view while respecting the fact that not everyone will agree.

Skills to analyze, organize, communicate and collaborate—without them we cannot work together effectively, and without them we cannot hope to be understood or to understand others. Clearly, nothing is “soft” about these important skills. It is work to acquire and improve them, and they are essential in every field. Students are more successful when they develop them, and employers seek candidates who have them. Experience also tells us that these skills are absolutely indispensable for career advancement.

Today’s students must develop skills particular to their chosen professional field but also skills that will make them good citizens, valued employees and strong leaders. Students who can communicate well, problem solve, collaborate, and work hard with integrity will achieve success. At Seton Hill University, academics are undergirded by a strong liberal arts tradition, which prepares students to think creatively, critically and ethically. Our focus on the liberal arts, coupled with our robust professional programs, prepares students for life – whether they immediately pursue a career or go on to graduate study. Through experiential learning opportunities, our students gain awareness on how to manage unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations and see the world through a different lens. Seton Hill’s athletic and extracurricular programming fosters students’ ability to work together toward a common purpose. Similarly, participation in volunteer projects helps our students recognize that service to others is more important than service to themselves. And through meeting students from a variety of backgrounds and studying abroad, our students learn how to live and work in a global marketplace. Seton Hill students are able to adapt to whatever the future holds.

Students routinely develop these particular soft skills in a liberal arts environment – and especially at colleges where class sizes are kept small, which means that students have more opportunity for the give and take of class discussion. Small classes are great environments in which students learn not only to think critically but to contribute to the mix of ideas and to the larger work that’s going on around them. It’s a perfect model for what’s going on in the best work places.

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None of that is news at Duquesne. Our focus has always been on the whole person, on providing each student with an education for the mind, heart and spirit. We provide an experience that immerses all of our students, regardless of their majors, in a core of liberal arts, where the skills to be better listeners, better thinkers and more empathetic persons are developed. Moreover, wherever possible, classes at Duquesne stress ethics, the bedrock of decisions and the starting point for a life that has meaning and value. Beyond the classroom, students should seek opportunities - in community projects, internships and student organizations - where they can develop these soft skills. They will serve as a foundation for success in a career and in life.



Read through to the end to get my super-secret, brutally honest answer to this question but there are some things that you need to know first. Four of the most important soft skills necessary for a successful career are: Communication, Honesty, Humility, and Enthusiasm. In fact, most of these traits are listed in the Rosedale Tech Values Statement.

Communication skills top almost any list of skills sought after by employers, graduate programs and professional schools. Certainly students have numerous opportunities to learn those skills in a variety of classes, but I encourage them to hone their skills by participating in a student club or organization. What better way to apply classroom knowledge than to participate in an activity that requires one to communicate a position, argue for a cause or inspire others to participate.

The ability to communicate well, both verbally and in writing is vital in nearly every occupation. One of the best ways to develop this skill is through reading. Read something every day, whether it's online articles, magazines, newspapers, or books. Be honest not only with others, but also yourself. Good companies and good managers respect honesty. The key to being honest is to have self-confidence. One common way to develop selfconfidence is to have a vibrant spirituality. Belief in a higher power enables many people to also believe in themselves. Humility in the workplace goes hand-in-hand with self-development. Understanding yourself and your own needs for improvement are the ways to personal and career growth. Humility often accompanies honesty, especially when one is honest with themselves. Enthusiasm can't be taught, but it is critical for success. Develop enthusiasm by getting involved in a career path or company that you can believe in.

Similarly, by becoming engaged in academic and social clubs and organizations, you can learn and then demonstrate your ability to relate to others, work with others and be sensitive to other people and their cultures. In addition, juggling classes, work and extracurricular activities demonstrates your ability to manage multiple priorities. I also encourage students to try new experiences, not just repeat the activities in which they participated in high school. Taking a risk to spread one’s wings demonstrates your willingness to learn and perhaps to handle failure – traits critical to success. Employers, graduate programs and professional schools want people who are passionate, self-confident, self-motivated, dependable and honest. Campus clubs, organizations and volunteer opportunities provide the perfect laboratory to cultivate and demonstrate these traits.

But now, the brutally honest secret: to be successful, you have to care. It's what I call the "give a crap" factor. People who care will succeed one way or another. But, no one else can make you care. This is what you have to bring on your own. But, if you do, you will do well. 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.

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Promise fulfilled. Your future looks promising, and Penn State can open doors. Take advantage of all we offer to help you achieve your potential. > Twenty campuses and more than 160 majors for undergraduates > Tools for success: academic advising, career planning, internships, scholarships and other funding options > Leadership opportunities through a variety of student organizations > Resources for multicultural students: educational services, guidance, support Contact one of our campuses and take the first step toward fulfilling your promise.

penn state in WesteRn pennsYLVania Penn State Beaver Monaca, PA 724-773-3800, 877-JOIN-PSU 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

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NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT : Beechview A rider struggles to make it to the top of Canton Avenue, one of the steepest residential streets in the world, during the annual Dirty Dozen ride.

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1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

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giving kids the chance of a lifetime, it’s


their dreams of going to college, trade or technical school. This goes a long way towards improving our city’s schools, nurturing great talent and keeping our Pittsburgh’s kids by giving at

or calling 412-281-7605. It will do more than you know.

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