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FIRST WORD

THE

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

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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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IdeaPod Fall 2014  
IdeaPod Fall 2014  
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