IdeaPod Fall 2013

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FALL 2013

money your






FALL 2013



12 Stay on Track


First Word


To Tweet, or Not to Tweet




Higher Education, Your Path to Opportunity


Building Community


Money Matters


Career Spotlight


Soft Skills: Your Secret to Success


Giving Glimpse


Searching For a College


Promise Faces


Executive Scholars 2013


Ask The President


A Second Look at Accounting


Last Look

EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril Contributing Writers Michelle Lurie, Richard Borden, Louann Zwieryznski, Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, James Court, Matt Collins, Secretary Arne Duncan, Kimberly McCurdy, Felix Brandon Lloyd, Alyssa Boehringer, Jim Richardson, Edward E. Scott, excerpt from Jean Chatsky’s Money Rules Art Direction/Design Phil Mollenkof Photography Josh Franzos, Phil Mollenkof Advertising Marsha Kolbe


PITTSBURGH PROMISE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Franco Harris, Chairman NFL Hall of Fame Owner, Super Bakery, Inc.

Grant Oliphant President and CEO The Pittsburgh Foundation

Candi Castleberry-Singleton Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, UPMC

Luke Ravenstahl Mayor City of Pittsburgh

Debra Kline Demchak Community Leader

Cindy Shapira Senior Policy Advisor Allegheny County Executive

Robert Hanson President and CEO, American Eagle Outfitters Linda Lane, EdD Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools Mark Laskow Managing Director Greycourt & Co. Anne Lewis Chair Oxford Development Company Pamela Little-Poole Youth Organizer/TeenBloc Coordinator, A+ Schools

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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David Malone President and CEO Gateway Financial Group Martin McGuinn Chairman and CEO (Retired) Mellon Financial Services

David Shapira Executive Chairman, Board of Directors, Giant Eagle, Inc. Edith Shapira, MD Psychiatrist Private Practice Kiya Tomlin Parent Volunteer Pittsburgh Public Schools Olga Welch, EdD Dean, School of Education Duquesne University Demetri Zervoudis Senior Vice President Bayer Material Science Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise


LIVE GENEROUSLY Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise One of my favorite people in the whole world is an elderly widow who lives in the Hill District, just a short distance from my office at The Pittsburgh Promise. She has been my friend and a deep source of inspiration in my life for nearly 20 years. She has a beautiful name and a very sweet spirit. She is pretty old, her health is poor, and her mobility is limited. She lost her husband and her children, and she lives alone in a tiny house. She does not have much money.

And she shares her little bit of money very freely. She gets $700 each month on which to live. Before she does anything else, she gives away $70 to her favorite charities. Then she pays her utilities, buys her food and medicine, and if there is anything left, she tucks away a couple of dollars for a rainy day.

But, don’t you dare call her poor. Not because she would be insulted, but because she believes that a poor person is someone who has nothing to give, and as long as you have something to give, you are not poor. She has a lot to give. She shares her joy and her life stories very generously, and because of her, hundreds of young people are inspired to serve and live joyfully. She shares her wisdom very gently, and those who pay attention are often spared the unfortunate consequences of regrettable choices.


In the City of Pittsburgh

90 Neighborhoods to choose from!

In this issue of Idea Pod, we’re talking a lot about money. In my section, I hope to encourage you to start the habits of generosity early in life. I like this approach to managing money that many experts recommend:

• Give 10% to causes that are important to you

• Save 10% for things that you want to buy later like electronics, a trip, or a car

• Invest 10% for bigger things down the road like college, a house, or even retirement

• Spend 70% on your daily needs and interests

Similarly, I want to encourage you to give away a portion of your time on a regular basis to serving the needs of others. I know you are busy with school and homework, family and friends, sports, hobbies, and maybe even a job. In the midst of your very full life, I hope you can squeeze a couple of hours each week to tend to the needs of another human being, without expecting anything in return. You’ll be surprised how much you get in return when you’re not expecting it. You also have a lot to give. Live generously.

ATTEND Pittsburgh Public Schools

EARN up to $40,000


90% +

2.50 GPA

(cumulative and unweighted)

= Up to $40,000 scholarship 1 ideapod // FALL 2013



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I set a minimum in my bank account that I do not want to go under. It helps me to think about what I am buying and how much I’m willing to spend. -Erin

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Make a PROMISE to close the skills gap.

Jerome Tria

Pittsburgh Promise Recipient 2012 Allderdice High School Grad Rosedale Tech Automotive Technology Student

Wesley Thomas

Pittsburgh Promise Recipient 2012 Carrick High School Grad Rosedale Tech Automotive Technology Student

There is a critical need for Skilled Tradespeople in the new American Workforce. Rosedale Tech offers training to meet industry demand. Wesley Thomas After graduating from Carrick High School in the spring of 2012, Wesley Thomas enrolled in Rosedale Tech’s Automotive Technology program. Thanks to his commitment to the classroom while in high school, he earned the Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship. Wesley is now using his reward to pursue a career in Automotive Technology, something for which he’s had a lifelong passion. Along with school during the day, he’s also currently working in the field and quickly advancing.

“I know I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have if I hadn’t made the decision to attend Rosedale Tech. It definitely helped me get my job and my promotion.” - Wesley Thomas

Jerome Tria A 2012 graduate of Taylor Allderdice, Jerome Tria also had the dedication in high school to be awarded the Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship. He started Rosedale’s Automotive Technology program in the fall of 2012 and has found the style of education and training to be exactly what he was looking for.

“The thing that surprised me the most was how much the lab work directly relates to the work I do every day in the field. Each day I spend at Rosedale makes me more confident at my job. Rosedale Tech really does provide CAREER TRAINING.” - Jerome Tria



“We’re All About The Trades!” Follow Us: RTI is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution and Employer. ACCSC Accredited Institution, and NATEF ASE Certified.

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Michael has been one of my best friends for over three years. We go to movies, dance together, go bowling, talk on the phone, and do everything else friends do. You would never know that Michael has special needs. I met Michael through an amazing program called The Friendship Circle. The Friendship Circle pairs teen volunteers with kids who have special needs. They offer many wonderful activities and events and there is always something fun to do. One unique program is called “Friends at Home;” once a week two teen buddies spend time at their friend’s house. I was lucky enough to be paired with Michael. Every Sunday at 1:00 I would see Michael’s face peering out of his window with an expectant grin. When I first met Michael, communication was one of the hardest barriers to overcome. I soon realized that we would have to learn to communicate in nontraditional ways. I found that friendship revolves around common interests and I quickly discovered that Michael loved the song “Mambo Number Five" and dogs. After learning about his likes and dislikes, we were able to incorporate them while we hung out. For example, we often listened to “Mambo Number Five” on repeat while dancing and we have eventually added other songs like “The Yellow Submarine” to our play list. We frequently take his dog or my dog for walks and watch movies—one of our favorites being The Devil Wears Prada! And just like any two teenage friends, we talk on the phone. He calls me a few times a week, says hello and then quickly hangs up—often when I’m in the middle of saying something. I think that in a way, every single one of us has some type of “special needs”—some are just more obvious or difficult to overcome than others. It shouldn’t matter how someone looks, how they talk—or

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE: how they cannot talk, or what they can or can’t do and the Friendship Circle Community exemplifies this idea. At Friendship Circle events, all social barriers are broken and the most genuine kinds of friendships are formed. That is something that is very rare to find. My relationship with Michael has truly shaped the person I have become. I began my time with Friendship Circle as a way to participate in community service, but by simply “hanging out” together, Michael has taught me compassion, understanding, and patience. I have learned the importance of dedication and how to relate to people who have diverse lifestyles and abilities. As I enter college to study communications, I will use the skills that I have gained to relate to people I meet along the way. I am passionate about volunteering and I plan to continue in my college years and beyond. One hour each Sunday may not seem like a lot, but my time with Michael has changed my life. Not only have I made a best friend, but I have developed insights and skills that will help me succeed wherever life takes me.

Michelle Lurie is a Pittsburgh Promise scholar studying Marketing and Communications at Penn State University.

200 Years of Excellence In the Classroom. In the Field. Across the Globe.

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Career in Fashion design and marketing may be the obvious areas to focus on in school to prepare for a career in retail. However, leading retailers like American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) also need employees with backgrounds in finance, law, technology, real estate & construction, human resources and a variety of other expertise areas that complete today’s global company. For example, meet Mallory Milsak. She was in the first graduating class to receive The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship and now has a career at the Pittsburgh-based Corporate Campus of American Eagle Outfitters! Mallory attended CAPA, Pittsburgh's performing arts high school, as a dance major. “After my freshman year of college, I became the first intern/office assistant at The Promise and I’ve been helping them with events ever since. Being part of The Pittsburgh Promise Alumni Leaders led me to their summer Career Launch event, which led me to American Eagle!” Today, Mallory helps American Eagle as a Production Coordinator in the fast growing area of the omni-channel business, which joins marketing and information technology to create a seamless brand experience for the customer. Nick Gray was also educated here in Pittsburgh and landed a job in retail and loves it. He says computer courses in high school gave him a foundation of skills that he still uses today as an Associate Inventory Planner at American Eagle Outfitters. “After high school,

Promises made.

Retail I attended Duquesne University studying business. I loved the classes that focused on how goods are moved from one place to another. Additional courses in Information Systems helped me understand how computers are enabling and driving business today. Overall, my college education taught me how to solve problems and work in a team environment, qualities that are crucial to my success in retail!” AEO continuously recruits educated and talented people, passionate about retail, to fill the company’s stores, offices and distribution centers around the world. Here are some tips for students considering retail careers from the expert Recruiting Team at American Eagle Outfitters: Get out in the world and get involved. You may not realize how big your professional network already is! From parents of friends to an athletic coach - all of these people could know someone who might have the perfect job opportunity for you. Join student organizations and take on different leadership roles. Be an active leader! Have an open mind. Not everyone lands their dream job right out of school. It takes time to build a professional reputation and gain experience that people trust. The path to your career goal may not be the straightest line but you’ll build a great skill set along the way. Keep your grades up. GPA is extremely important to employers when evaluating candidates. Continue studying and remain in good standing. 3.0 & higher is ideal! Make that first impression count - With everyone you meet, you want to make your first impression count. Be confident - look an interviewer in the eye - smile and, most importantly, be yourself. Love your career path, you’ll love your job – You will spend the majority of your weekdays working. Make sure you’re doing something you enjoy with people who will help you grow and stay positive!

Richard Borden is the Director of Internal Communications at American Eagle Outfitters. Inc

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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With more than 80 undergraduate majors in fields like marketing, theater arts, nursing and more, it’s easy to see why so many Pittsburgh students and families have made Duquesne University their top choice for higher education.

LEARN MORE AT 412.396.6222

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At Slippery Rock University, we believe the best foundation for life is a rock solid education. Since 1889, we’ve been laying the groundwork for incredible futures. SRU offers experiences you can build on for years to come. Faculty bring real-world challenges into the classroom. Upperclassmen mentor first-year students on their research. Top-notch facilities meet the highest professional standards. 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. Call: 800.929.4778 Email: Explore:

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

rock solid education A member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

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2/28/13 12:29 PM


It Takes a


Cheering on The Promise at The Pittsburgh Marathon

Meet Louann Zwieryznski, Pittsburgh Faison K-5 principal and Promise volunteer. Louann organizes a cheering group for Promise runners in the Pittsburgh Marathon. Her group cheers year after year and raises funds and awareness for The Pittsburgh Promise in the process. As a principal, Louann knows first-hand what The Promise can do for a child and she is stepping up to make a difference in a big way. We are profoundly grateful to Louann for her work, and had a few questions for our head cheerleader. Tell us about your volunteer work for The Promise and our Pittsburgh Marathon team. I have been fortunate to be part of several teams that have raised money for The Promise. The one that I have found to be most fulfilling and successful is being part of the Pittsburgh Marathon. I started when I was a part of the district’s PELA (Pittsburgh Emerging Leaders Academy), I continued it as principal of Pittsburgh Langley High School, and I have organized the group two more times as the principal of Pittsburgh Faison. The most rewarding year so far was last year’s Marathon. Our fundraising team was made up of administrators, teachers, and even a PPS student. Our cheering section, led by a teacher, consisted of teachers, parents, custodians, students, administrators and community members. The cheering section had such a wonderful time! They played music, served water, ran at times with runners to encourage them, did cheers, held signs and truly motivated the runners. Over the 4 years, as a team, we raised over $5,000 for The Pittsburgh Promise. What inspired you to support The Pittsburgh Promise and get involved? The Pittsburgh Promise supports our Pittsburgh Public Schools, and more importantly, the children of the City of Pittsburgh. As an employee of

PPS and a resident of Pittsburgh, the least I can do is try to support The Promise. I have had the pleasure first-hand of seeing students benefit from The Promise. I have had the extreme pleasure of hearing a child say, “Are you saying I can go to college?” as their parent’s eyes fill with tears. These moments have been some of my most gratifying moments as a principal. What is your message to others who may be considering donating to The Promise, getting involved, or raising funds? I hope that everyone realizes the importance of The Pittsburgh Promise and its ability to change the direction of not just a child’s life, but the life of an entire family, and the direction of our city. It takes a village to raise a child and when we all raise funds for The Promise, even in small amounts, it is a way for all of us to be a part of that village.

GIVING TO THE PROMISE: Are you inspired by Louann’s work? Below are some ways that you can give. UPMC will give $1.00 for every $1.50 that is contributed to The Pittsburgh Promise!


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

The Pittsburgh Marathon Sponsor runners at: pittsburghpromisepitts2014

UNITED WAY Use our agency code number 9576075 when donating.

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Meet The Pittsburgh Promise

AMBASSADORS The Pittsburgh Promise Ambassadors are high school seniors who will serve their peers by answering questions and promoting Promise readiness. We hope you will take a moment to get to know them and reach out to them in your school.












Not Pictured: Briana//City High Charter, Simone//Obama

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We had a few questions for The Promise Ambassadors about their role and their plans for the school year.

Q: Tell us what The Promise Ambassador Program is all Q: What is your advice to a student who is not yet about?




Matthew: The Ambassador program is one of the many ways that The Pittsburgh Promise reaches out to schools. Ambassadors are senior students that serve as liaisons to their peers. Ambassadors help to share information about The Promise to the school and other students. We also plan events to promote The Promise and encourage other students to fill out applications.

Ian: The program teaches a select group of seniors from each high school the ins and outs of The Promise. We then promote The Promise in our schools.

Q: What did you do over the summer as Promise Ambassadors?


Alexis: We spent some time this summer learning about concepts that we might overlook such as setting goals, financial literacy, and how to talk about The Promise with others. We spent time at The Promise office which helped us with networking and working with people that we didn’t know well.

Diamen: It is never too late! The Promise has options including the extension program to allow students who just miss the GPA requirement to try CCAC for a year. Just dream big and work hard and you will find your niche.

Q: How will you get The Promise message out in your school?


Briana: We will each try to build a team of 5 students in our schools. We will help to train them and then as a team we will hold info booths at the school and during events. We will also go to classrooms and hold Promise info sessions.

Q: This IdeaPod issue is focused on financial

literacy. What can you pass on about finances and college?

Kauser: My summer was a great work experience. It was like an internship that allowed me to make new friends and plan our program for the year. I plan to talk about the Ambassador program in my college resumes.


Q: What did you learn this summer that was the most

Matthew: Don’t get a credit card unless you know exactly what you are getting into!


Alexis: Save your money for essential expenses and be sure to pay off your debt before spending on things like a new pair of shoes or a concert.


Diamen: I was surprised that all of the money for Promise scholarships is given by organizations and even regular people.

Matthew: There are so many different ways to pay for college. Financial Aid is a broad topic and there are tons of ways to ease the financial burdens of post-secondary education.

Kauser: Apply for all scholarships because college is expensive. Keep your grades up so that you can keep your scholarships.

Q: What do you hope will be the result of your work as an Ambassador?

Q: What is something that PPS students should know A:


about The Promise?

Quincy: Students should know that some things are not negotiable like grades and attendance, and not knowing that can hurt them.

Raven: If you graduate with a GPA between a 2.0 and 2.5 you can still get The Promise if you go to CCAC for at least a year and keep your grades up. It’s called The Promise Extension.

Simone: I hope that everyone I talk to will understand the opportunity of a Promise scholarship.

Quincy: I hope to inspire other students to do more and get involved. I hope to even inspire someone to become an Ambassador next year.

New Promise Ambassadors are recruited by The Promise each year! If you are interested in learning more, ask your school’s Ambassador or email Gene at The Promise office at

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PAY ATTENTION TO ATTENDANCE Showing up for school has a huge impact on your academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Attendance is essential for success in school, a key component to receiving a Promise Scholarship, and will be highly important on the job in the future. DID YOU KNOW? • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation. • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty. • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.

• By 9th grade, high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.

• Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success. • Attendance is an important life skill that will help a student graduate from college and keep a job. What can students do? Students can start by making school attendance a priority. Embrace the importance of showing up to school every day, and make that the expectation for you, your friends, and family. If your priority is attendance, you will do your best to not schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day. You also won’t stay home unless you are truly sick. It is also helpful to maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night's sleep. What can parents do to help? Parents can help teens to stay engaged. First talk to your child and find out if he or she feels engaged by the classes and teachers and feels safe from bullies and other threats. If not, work with your school. Parents can stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Also be aware of your child’s social contacts; peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated. Encouraging meaningful afterschool activities including sports and clubs can be helpful, as well as provide a fun incentive to getting to school every day. What can families do together? Be sure to know your school’s attendance policy, incentives, and penalties. Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting to school or getting your child to school. Keep open lines of communication with your school and continue to check to be sure absences are not piling up. Together we can make attendance a priority and ensure academic success!

Hedy Nai-Lin Chang directs Attendance Works, a national and state level initiative aimed at advancing student success by addressing chronic absence. Learn more at

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oon-to-be-grads, good news! In 2012, 73 percent of recruiters hired candidates sourced through social media. And your generation is nothing if not good at social media, right? Well, here’s another stat: one in three companies have done the opposite; elected NOT to hire somebody because of information found about them on Facebook alone. Intimidating, I know. But by applying a bit of time and ingenuity, you can fall into the first group instead of the second. Here are a few things to consider as you start to manage your online presence: Social media is in a constant state of flux. Today we’re all #hashtagging and @mentioning, but that could change tomorrow. No matter how social media changes, it will always focus on communicating and connecting with people—a critical skill in any industry. While nobody expects you to use perfect grammar in every post, be conscious that how you communicate on social media will shape your personal brand. This is especially important for discussion boards, blog or website comments, and email (one of the first social media tools!).

James Court Marketing Associate & Social Media Specialist @DDIworld

Professionalism and communication style influence more than half of all hiring decisions made via social media. All jobs, and successful job searches, require staying up-to-date on industry trends and news, and there is no easier way to do this than through social media. Stay in the know for the career you hope to have by following the top experts in a field on Twitter and following companies and industries you’re interested in on LinkedIn. There are many ways to use social media to influence your job or internship search, including finding jobs that interest you, networking to get your foot in the door, and making a solid first impression with potential employers. We encourage you to spend time creating an online presence that will get you noticed for all the right reasons.

"BE'S" OF SOCIAL MEDIA Be Present Be Informed Be Engaged Be Creative Be Networking Be Yourself

For more advice on getting noticed, getting hired, and having a successful career, follow James and Matt on their professional pages.

Matt Collins Talent Management Advisor @MattCollinsHR

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Illustration by Yutaka Houlette 14 ideapod // FALL 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION Your Surest Path to Opportunity By Secretary Arne Duncan


n today's world, graduating from high school and completing college is a necessity and the surest path to opportunity and competitiveness in the global marketplace. I challenge you to use your education as both a road to personal success and a shield against ignorance and intolerance. Applying to and completing college will directly benefit you, your community, and our nation. Getting a college degree is enormously valuable in the job market—and is only getting more so. The truth is, within the next decade, as many as two-thirds of all new jobs will require some kind education beyond high school. President Obama and I are counting on you to better yourself and your communities. Whether your dreams lie in Pittsburgh, or a nearby city, or further corners of the globe, a degree is an invaluable tool to achieve your dreams. The seriousness you bring to the classroom, the effort you put towards your studies and the tenacity you’ll learn along the way will pay off. I assure you. The economic benefits couldn’t be clearer. The unemployment rate for college graduates is half what it is for those without a college degree, and lifelong earnings are often 2 or 3 times greater for college graduates. Overall, students with bachelor’s degrees earn about one million dollars more over their lifetime than students with only a high school diploma. I know college is expensive and I encourage each of you to begin to plan for college now. Whether you are a high schooler researching institutions, or a younger student just beginning the process of looking, start thinking seriously about what post-secondary

education path is right for you. It’s often difficult for students, and families, to decide which college is the right fit for them. Talk with your parents and use teachers and school resources available to you when making this important decision. The unfortunate reality is that in a relatively short time, the U.S. has gone from leading the world in college attainment to being ranked 14th. This is unacceptable and frankly unsustainable, if we want to compete and succeed in a knowledge-based global economy. President Obama knows this is a problem and that is why he set the goal of America once again leading the world in college attainment by 2020.

Students with bachelor’s degrees earn about one million dollars more over their lifetime than students with only a high school diploma.

The goal is a shared one. All students - regardless of income, race, or background- deserve and need a first rate education. I believe we will succeed in achieving this goal because I believe in students like you.

I cannot stress it enough: work hard, finish high school, go to college, and after you graduate, never stop working to improve the community around you. Challenge yourself and hold yourself to the highest standards. Your education remains the cornerstone for a healthier, safer and more successful future. A lot of folks are doing all that they can to help in this effort, but ultimately it is up to students like you to earn that college degree.

Secretary Arne Duncan is the ninth U.S. secretary of education. He has served in this post since his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 20, 2009, following his nomination by President Barack Obama.

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MATTERS Thinking about money and financial literacy can be intimidating. As students about to embark on the next phase of your education, it is crucial to have an understanding of your personal finances and financial aid. The selection of a school and the years in college will be one of the largest financial decisions you and your family ever make. Sound scary? It doesn’t have to be. In the following pages, we provide some great resources for your financial literacy but there are many more. Check out the articles and then take the next step to learning more about your financial future.

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The FAFSA form can be intimidating but by following this step-by-step guide, it will be completed in no time.


Financial Aid is a process. There aren't any secrets to receiving financial aid or completing the paperwork, but it is important to know the process so that you are sure to receive everything to which you are entitled. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a form that determines not only federal financial aid that might be available, but is also required for most institutional aid, including The Pittsburgh Promise. During the student's senior year in high school, the FAFSA should be completed between January 1 and April 30. For example, if a student will be going to college in 2014-15, his or her financial aid form would be available for completion on January 1, 2014. For students who are younger, you may complete the FAFSA4Caster at which gives you an estimate if you qualify for a Pell Grant and student loan eligibility.



When you sit down to complete the FAFSA form; you will need to have the student’s Social Security Number, date of birth, email address, and any income information from the prior year. Parents will also need their SSNs, date of birth, email addresses, and income information from the prior year. Income information will include Adjusted Gross Income, wages for each parent, asset information (including 529 plans), and untaxed income such as contributions to 401ks or child support received. Once you compile this information, you are ready to begin.



Tip: Remember this is the student’s application, so anywhere you see “Student” at the side of the page; the information is about the student. It changes to “Parent” when you are to complete the parent information.



Answer all of the questions, double checking all of the information. If you are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, it will pull many of your required income elements from the IRS.




Once you sign your FAFSA you will be prompted to fill out the Pennsylvania State Grant Form. At the top of the confirmation page is the link for the Pennsylvania State Grant Form. If you are a PA resident, you must complete this form the first time you apply for financial aid. You answer the questions and submit the form electronically; however, the state does not have an electronic signature process at this time. You will have to print the form, sign (the student and one parent signs the form) and mail it to Harrisburg at the address provided.



Be sure to attend any Financial Aid presentations offered at the student’s high school. Many schools also host a FAFSA Completion session to assist with any questions you may have. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) also has several publications that can be great resources for you. You can download the PA Student Aid Guide or FAFSA Reference Guide at: or contact Kim McCurdy, PHEAA’s Higher Education Access Partner for Allegheny County, at


Once you complete the application, you will sign and submit the form electronically.

Kimberly McCurdy is a Higher Education Access Partner with Allegheny County PHEAA - Pennsylvania School Services.

You sign the form using a 4-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) that you can obtain before you start the application or by using the link on the signature page. You submit the form and receive a confirmation page. Print this page for your records. 17 ideapod // FALL 2013


YOU AIN’T GOT IT. The truth about credit cards.

It was my freshman year of college and my first trip to the bookstore. Apart from the excitement of everything being brand new, I most remember how the bag that the cashier gave me contained a collection of credit card brochures. By the time I left the student center, a guy with a round face and big voice offered me a slick thermos to sign up for my first Visa. It took less than five minutes. What that gentleman didn’t tell me — what my parents didn’t think to put up there with the birds and the bees — was how much that card would affect my adult life. No one told me the first few secrets to being a consumer in today’s world of fancy doodads and easy plastic: If you don't have it, you ain’t got it. The best way to use a credit card, if at all, is as a substitute for “real” money (i.e. cash in your pocket or bank account). Too often, I used mine when I didn’t really have the money — the fellas were starting a Madden tournament in the dorm and we surely needed a proper TV set. Here’s the thing— you should know how you’re going to pay within no more than 30 days before you swipe the plastic. cards aren’t free. In fact, they are pretty expensive. Take that TV of mine, $300 —shiny and new. I made the $10 minimum payment requested in my monthly credit card bill. It’s as simple as that. But it would take me until after graduation to really pay for that one purchase. By then, I had spent over $400 on that TV, which had been left behind with my college days. You see, a credit card comes with an APR (annual percentage rate), which is a confusing way of saying that you have to pay it back with interest. I didn’t care at the time, but as it turns out... Credit cards affect credit score. And your credit score matters. Who knew that I was being graded for everything I did with my credit card? Not paying it off each month — oh, that gave me a B credit score. Not paying on time — slipping down to a C, a D, an F! Meanwhile, the places where I applied for jobs were checking my credit score to check me out. Years later, when my wife and I bought our house, our credit scores were the first thing we had to bring to the table. If I could do it over again, I’d ask that guy with the round face, why do I need this credit card? I suspect he’d tell me because every grown-up has one. Maybe he’d say that it’s good to have the plastic in case you need something you can’t afford. I’d say to him, in a voice as big as his, if I don’t have it, I don’t need it. Then, I’d buy my own thermos with cash!

Felix Brandon Lloyd is Chief Dad & Co-Founder of Zoobean. Article reprinted from Idea Pod Spring 2010.

18 ideapod // FALL 2013


Money is simple. People make it complicated.

In Jean Chatzky’s book, Money Rules, the bestselling author provides 90 simple rules to keep your finances on track… forever. Sound impossible? By breaking down personal finances into simple ideas to follow, this book makes it easy. After participating in a student round-table on financial health with the author, we asked Pittsburgh Promise scholars to choose their top 6 excerpts from Money Rules that can apply to student life. Check them out.

RULE 10:


When I hear people suggest that you “live on what you make,” I always shake my head. If you’re living on what you make, you’re spending every dime. The key is to live on less than you make. This is non-negotiable. Why? Because if you do it consistently, you’re automatically saving consistently. Aim to save at least 10 percent of what you earn, 15 percent if you’re more than age 35 and haven’t started yet. If you can’t hit 10 percent, start by saving something. If you can do 3 percent, start at 3. If you can do 5 percent, start at 5. And if you can save more than 15, by all means do that, too. Then, with the same enthusiasm you brought to watching your lima bean plant take root in grade school, watch that stash start to grow. Take pride in it. You’re accomplishing something very few people can. And that will inspire you to set aside more.

RULE 18:

YOU WILL SPEND MORE WITH CREDIT THAN WITH DEBIT AND MORE WITH DEBIT THAN WITH CASH. When you buy something using a credit card, you are not spending your own money. Even if you fully intend on paying the money back that same month, this truth has been absorbed by your psyche. And for that reason, spending the money using a credit card is not nearly as painful as spending cash. Bring the green stuff and leave the plastic at home.

RULE 20: COUNT DOLLARS LIKE CALORIES. Research has shown that keeping a food diary (writing down what you put into your mouth, habitually and without fail) keeps even the most troubled dieters honest. The same is true of tracking your spending. Most people have absolutely no idea where their money goes-particularly their cash. Tracking, whether you do it using pencil and paper or a Web or Smartphone application, works. I know because I’ve done it. I know others who’ve done it. It will transform your financial life.

RULE 47. SHOP WITH A LIST. Last year more than 80 percent of Americans made impulse purchases. Many spent hundreds, if not thousands, without planning on it. That’s rent. Or a car payment. The best way to avoid this is to write down what you need. And unless you see it in black and white, don’t buy it.

RULE 84.

BANKING ONLINE MAKES YOU SMARTER AND SAFER. Sure it saves you time (roughly 2 hours a month) and money (about $60 bucks a year in stamps) but that’s not why you should do it. Research has shown people who bank online look at their accounts four times more often than people who bank the old-fashioned way. And just looking at your money is a great way to notice if something fishy is going on in your accounts. That means if you happen to be one of the nearly 10 million annual victims of identity theft, you’ll notice it, and be able to shut it down sooner.

RULE 94.


People who spend money and time on charity are healthier and happier. They sleep more and exercise more and that puts them in a better frame of mind. Giving back (doing something for someone else, whether you write a check, volunteer, or give away your unwanted things) gives the human psyche a boost that’s hard to replicate in any other way. And I truly believe that practicing gratitude is also the antidote to materialism. Think about it: Materialism is focusing on what you want, obsessing on what you desire. Gratitude is being thankful for what you already have.

Special thanks to author, Jean Chatzky, for allowing The Promise to share her wisdom. Read the rest of Money Rules and learn much more about your financial health at:

19 ideapod // FALL 2013

BUILDING A BUDGET Creating a budget is one of the best ways to understand your own finances.

Quite simply, a budget is a realistic plan, which you put together based on your income, expenses, and goals. Creating a budget is great way to stay on track and to stay accountable. The good news is that creating a budget is easy. We provide a sample budget below for you to practice with. Notice all the categories that you might spend money on. It is sometimes easy to forget a quick coffee or shampoo purchase. A budget forces you to remember that a dollar is a dollar, no matter how you spend or save it. Use our budget or explore the possibilities- there are countless mobile and online budget apps to try out as well. Just remember, you can do it and if you stick to it, your wallet will thank you.


Total Wages/Income

Income Taxes

Total Spendable Income



DIFFERENCE (budget minus amount spent)

(Wages and Income minus Taxes)


Monthly Savings


Gifts or Donations







Cell phone

Internet FOOD: Groceries

Eating Out

Coffee or Snacks

HEALTH & MEDICAL: Medical Expenses

Fitness TRANSPORTATION: Car Payments


Auto Repairs/Fees

Auto Insurance

Other (tolls, parking, bus, taxi, etc)

Credit Cards

Student Loans


Other Loans Cable TV/Videos/Movies/Netflix




Other Entertainment Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories


Grooming (Hair, Make-up, Other) Toiletries, Household Products

Any other Expense

Total Expenses

RESULT (Spendable Income minus total Expenses)

20 ideapod // FALL 2013


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With more than 50 majors in the liberal arts, sciences and engineering, an active residential campus and NCAA Division III athletics, Grove City College prepares students for success in college and after graduation. Ninety-six percent of the class of 2012 was employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diplomas.*

Learn more about Grove City College today. | 724-458-2100 * A response rate of 95% from the entire 2012 graduating class.

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9/5/13 2:00 PM

Your Promise + Ours

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

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

That’s our promise.

big thinking for a big world 21 ideapod // FALL 2013



WHAT THE EXPERTS SAID: Pittsburgh Promise scholars who held summer internships through Urban Innovations 21 share what they learned.

TIME MANAGEMENT ABILITIES "This internship has tremendously helped me improve my time management skills by giving me the responsibility of a nearly full time job. I know it will help me to succeed and hopefully land a job.”

Your secret to success


Phil // Point Park University


ome students believe that in order to have a successful career, the only skills they need are the ones that are taught within their field of study. While these “hard skills” are important in qualifying for and even landing a job, they alone do not guarantee success or advancement within the workplace. At any given organization, most employees will have the hard skills to perform the job for which they are hired, but not necessarily the skills to retain it. So, what determines the essentials for a successful career? The answer is soft skills. Soft skills are things like communication, time management, work ethic, self-confidence and adaptability, to name a few. They determine how well you will do within a work environment and are interchangeable from career to career. So if you decide to switch careers and become an IT consultant instead of a nurse, your soft skills will carry over, unlike hard skills. One of the best ways for students to learn soft skills is through an internship. Whether it is with a small or a large organization or even directly related to your major, you will be learning invaluable skills. All internships give the confidence and maturity to be better suited for a successful career. These skills are essential to career readiness and retaining a job or internship. Experience is the key to improving upon your soft skills. Part-time jobs, job shadowing experiences, volunteering, and best of all, internships are all ways to develop better soft skills. With strong soft skills you will be a step ahead of the game when looking for a job or internship in your field.

Alyssa Boehringer is the Program Manager of Internship Programs at Urban Innovations 21.

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“This is my third internship experience and I have been able to enhance my skills, which makes me more confident heading into the workforce" Janine // CCAC

TEAM WORK “My internship showed me how to build relationships by networking and how to work in a team with others" Mark // CCAC

GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS “This internship has taught me proper phone etiquette that will be very useful to me in the business world and as a professional speaker." Mariah // CCAC

FLEXIBILITY “I learned to be flexible, especially with my hours since it was only a part-time internship. It was a very diverse culture and I had to adapt to the work place and to my coworkers as well.” Shyheim // CCAC

POSITIVE ATTITUDE "Although my internship didn't relate directly to my major, I maintained a positive attitude and found that I was gaining experience in other areas that helped me grow professionally." Leah // Duquesne University

Choose Excellence. Choose Edinboro. Complete with world-renowned and nationally accredited programs, modern facilities and a proud history, the Edinboro University experience is a formula for success. For more information or to apply today, call or visit us online. Edinboro’s Nursing program is ranked

#19 IN THE NATION for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs

Edinboro’s online graduate programs in Education rank

#32 NATIONWIDE of more than 200 reviewed

$39 million Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion

Edinboro’s Animation program is

#1 IN PENNSYLVANIA As ranked by Animation Career Review

Edinboro is ranked as a

TOP COLLEGE IN PENNSYLVANIA for return on investment


Source: U.S. News & World Report

ready for your future 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

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Edinboro University is one of the 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.


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throughout the process, don’t forget about you

24 ideapod // FALL 2013

High school graduation is right around the corner and you’re likely wondering, what’s next? College seems to be the popular answer, but is it the right answer? And if college is the right answer, which college is the right one? So many questions, it’s hard to know where to begin. The first thing you should do is relax. Understand that there is likely more than one school where you can go and be successful and have the time of your life. Forget the notion that you will be ‘lucky’ to get into any school. Schools will be lucky to have you! Finding the right school is a process that starts with you. But there is work to do to identify which schools are right for you. Consider your college search as you would consider forming any personal relationship. You need to get to know them as much as they need to get to know you. As much as you give, you should be getting back. Dedicate time to research and identify the schools you want to consider. Ask your friends, siblings, parents and teachers for their thoughts. Look through national publications like U.S. News and World Report to understand how schools are ranked. All of that is only part of the equation though. When it comes to you, your opinion matters most. After all, the ‘best’ pizza in town according to some might not be your favorite. Just like friends, some colleges will fit you better than others. Spend time at the schools that interest you with a purpose. Talk to professors and administrators. Ask great questions and expect great answers. Talk to students. Ask them what they love and what they don’t. Ask them why they chose that school and ask them what they would have done differently. A menu may look great…but sitting in the restaurant actually eating the food is the only way to know if it truly is any good.

Most importantly, be sure to focus on you and what you want, what you like, what you need...not just on the scores and requirements of the schools. Just because you get a brochure in the mail from a college doesn’t mean they are a good fit, or the only fit. Find the schools that meet your academic needs. Find the schools that give a sense of comfort. Find the schools that will make you a better you. Behind all of the impressive buildings, academic programs, and extracurricular activities, colleges are made up of lots of people just like you. Just like you, the college wants to be wanted. They want to know that you really want to be there and you are committed to them just as much as they are committed to you. Colleges aren’t looking for applicants or first year students. They are looking for graduates. When relationships are mutually committed and compatible, success is inevitable. Go be successful!

Jim Richardson is a Higher Education Administrator with over 13 years experience in financial aid, admissions, and compliance. He has counseled hundreds of students and families on how best to maximize their success. You can reach him at:

25 ideapod // FALL 2013

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 from not only high school to college, but from college to a career. We are very proud of our 2013 Executive Scholar class. Congratulations! UPMC Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Montel Anthony: A member of the chess and engineering clubs at his school, Montel graduated from Pittsburgh Obama with a passion for technology. He attends The University of Pittsburgh and studies Computer and Electrical Engineering. Montel volunteers at the local Food Bank. Michelle Lurie: Michelle studies Marketing and Communications at Penn State University. She graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice with high honors. She volunteers with Friendship Circle by supporting special-needs teens and participates in the Student Hunger Action Coalition. Karlee Ralston: Karlee studies Nursing at Duquesne University. She graduated from Pittsburgh Brashear with high honors. Karlee coaches a girl’s softball team. She participated in Students Against Destructive Decisions in high school. Jacalyn Sharp: A graduate of Pittsburgh Science and Technology, Jacalyn graduated with a 4.0 GPA and a passion for engineering. She was active in her high school’s Robotics Club and was a youth mentor for robotics camps for children. She studies Mechanical and Computer Engineering at The University of Pittsburgh. Jalice Shedrick: Jalice is pursuing a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown. A member of the first graduating class of Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Jalice completed three lab research internships in biomedical and cancer research while in high school. Emma Yellin: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Emma studies Biology and Journalism at Penn State University's Schreyer Honors College. As a Girl Scout, Emma completed an 80 hour service project launching a book club for Middle School girls. Emma hopes to become a concussion specialist. 26 ideapod // FALL 2013

Highmark Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Jacob Himes: Jacob is studying Chemistry and Japanese at Temple University. At Pittsburgh Allderdice, Jacob was as a member of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, National Honors Society, and United States Leadership Academy. He also received Temple University’s Dean’s Scholars Scholarship. Caitlin Miller: Caitlin attends Point Park University and is pursuing degrees in Communications and Public Relations. A graduate of Pittsburgh School for Creative & Performing Arts, Caitlin is passionate about community service. She teaches children at her local dance studio and was a National Honors Society peer tutor. Qawiyah Muhammad: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Qawiyah attends Chatham University and is pursuing a degree in Nursing. Qawiyah is interested in helping others and she gives back by volunteering at the Jubilee Kitchen. In addition to her Promise award, she received a Ben Carson Scholarship. Katie Spinneweber: A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, Katie is studying in the competitive five-year Physician Assistant Program at Seton Hill University. In addition to her Promise scholarship, Katie was awarded an academic scholarship with Seton Hill. Emily Van Horn: Emily studies Computer Science at Slippery Rock University. Graduating Valedictorian from Pittsburgh Perry, Emily was involved with the drum team. In addition to her Promise award, Emily received the Northside Leadership Conference Scholarship and Slippery Rock University’s Merit Scholarship.

U n i v e r s i t y

o f

P i t t s b u r g h


Currently, eight Pittsburgh corporations make up The Pittsburgh Promise Executive Scholarship program:

UPMC • Highma rk • BN Y Mellon Gia nt Eagle • PNC A merica n Eagle Outf itters • Myla n Thermo Fisher Scientif ic

BNY Mellon Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Kevin Horvath: Kevin studies Actuarial Science at Robert Morris University. Kevin graduated from Pittsburgh Carrick with high honors. Kevin worked during his high-school years and was awarded with a leadership position at his part-time job. Ricardo Llovet-Nava: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Ricardo attends Allegheny College with a major in International Business. He is highly passionate about language and culture. He volunteers with Carnegie Mellon’s Circulo Juvenil supporting Hispanic teens, and with Children’s International Summer Villages promoting cross-cultural understanding.


in education

pioneer in research


in regional development

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

Dillon Secilia: A graduate of Pittsburgh Carrick, Dillon finished with high honors. His participation and excellence in Carrick’s Finance Tech program led to his passion for business and math. He is currently studying Business and Accounting at the Community College of Allegheny County. Samantha Spangler: Samantha is studying Security, Risk, and Analysis at Penn State University. She graduated from Pittsburgh Perry as the Salutatorian and Vice President of Perry’s National Honors Society. Samantha also received a Biotechnology award for her studies in high school. Hannah Tajuddin: Hannah is studying Forensic Accounting and Business Management at Carlow University. Salutatorian at Pittsburgh Carrick, Hannah maintained a 4.0 throughout her senior year of high school. Hannah gives back by volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

For information on admissions:

412-624-7488 | |

27 ideapod // FALL 2013

Giant Eagle Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Bakir Becirevic: Bakir is excited to be studying Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg. A graduate of Pittsburgh Perry, he was a member of the National Honors Society. In addition to his Promise award, he received a University of Pittsburgh scholarship. Shiri Goldis: Shiri graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice and attends the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in both Psychology and Business. Shiri was active in her community during high schoool through volunteering at the local soup kitchen, interviewing Holocaust survivors, and participating in her school musical. Miller Goughneour: During his time at Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts, Miller was the photography editor for his school yearbook and coached a community soccer team. Miller received an academic scholarship to attend Duquesne University and pursue a degree in Marketing. Kellie McIntyre: Kellie is pursuing a degree in Communications at Point Park University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Kelly was the president of the school’s Women’s Student Union. In addition to her Promise award, she received a President’s Club award from Point Park. Jasper Wang: Jasper attends Carnegie Mellon University with a focus on English and Pre-Medical studies. A graduate of Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts, Jasper was a member of the Environmental Club and tutored other students throughout her high school experience.

Engaging Minds. Embracing the World. Whether you are an entering freshman or transfer student, La Roche College in Pittsburgh’s North Hills offers the innovative, skills-driven education you need to succeed in today’s global economy.

Open house on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. 412-536-1272 | 800-838-4572

28 ideapod // FALL 2013

PNC Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Rebecca Brown: A Valedictorian at Pittsburgh Allderdice, Rebecca studies Sociology and Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. Rebecca founded two service clubs at her school, Becca’s Closet and Allderdice Cares. In 2012, she won The Princeton Prize in Race Relations for the region. Deja Hopkins: Deja is studying Finance at Robert Morris University. A graduate of Pittsburgh Obama, her goal is to become a Financial Advisor and to share financial literacy and knowledge with low-income communities. She received a Shyne Award and a Robert Morris University Academic Scholarship. Benjamin Junker: A graduate of Pittsburgh Obama, Benjamin is passionate about civic engagement. He served as Lieutenant Governor in the YMCA PA Youth and Government Program, and served as Ambassador for the regional Council on International Educational Exchange. Ben studies Economics and Political Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Erica Lisitsa: Erica studies Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh. During her time at Pittsburgh Allderdice, she was the captain of her field hockey team. To commend her commitment to Friendship Circle, a volunteer organization supporting teens with special needs, she was awarded an Ida Wagner Fellowship Award. Kelsey Sturm: Kelsey studies Business at Penn State-Behrend. A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Kelsey is passionate about community service. She is the recipient of the Girl Scouts Bronze and Silver Awards as well as the Greenfield Organization Youth Volunteer Award for her years of service.

American Eagle Outfitters Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Mylan Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Lauren Brown: A graduate of Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts, Lauren attends Chatham University majoring in Biology and Fine Arts. Her artwork has garnered her multiple awards and has been displayed in the Eastside Gallery. She is the recipient of the Eleanor Frieberg Scholarship and the NAACP Human Rights Award.

Aryell Heywood: Aryell studies Biology and Kinesiology at Temple University. A Pittsburgh Creative & Performing Arts graduate, Aryell is not only passionate about science but has a strong connection to music. She plans to give back during her time in college by volunteering in lowincome neighborhoods near her campus.

Natalie Jellison: Natalie studies Writing and Business at Chatham University. She graduated from Pittsburgh Brashear and is passionate about empowering women. In addition to her Promise scholarship, Natalie received an Academic Scholarship with Chatham University.

Amedeo Hirata: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Amedeo participated in over 400 hours of service with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank while in high school. He is pursuing a double-major in Mechanical and Civil Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Kevin McIntyre: A graduate of Pittsburgh Brashear, Kevin is pursuing a degree in Computer Science at Allegheny College. Kevin was a member of the golf team in high school. In addition to his Promise scholarship, he received the Trustee and Bicentennial academic scholarships through Allegheny College. Sara Micic: Sara graduated from Pittsburgh Brashear with high honors. She studies Photography and Journalism at Duquesne University. She received national honors for her volunteer efforts with Carnegie Library and the Children’s Museum. Erik Rauterkus: Erik studies Public Policy and Economics at Swarthmore College. Erik graduated from Pittsburgh Obama with a passion for civic engagement. In 2012 he was elected Youth Governor through the Pennsylvania Youth and Government Program. As the Governor, he promoted service hours to youth state-wide resulting in 1500 service hours completed in the program.

Joseph King: A graduate of Pittsburgh Perry, Joseph attends the Community College of Allegheny County in pursuit of a Biotechnology degree. Joseph is highly interested in the sciences and participated in the STEM Summer Academy during high school. Joseph also received the Allegheny War Memorial Scholarship. Rina Matsuda: Rina is pursuing a Biology degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Rina was always passionate about the sciences, so much so, that she attended summer science camps at Johns Hopkins University during her years at Pittsburgh Obama. Goda Tarcijonas: Goda studies Biology and Spanish at Franklin and Marshall College. A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Goda was the captain of the swim team and tutored elementary students. To explore her love of science, she participated in the Gene Team Summer Research Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

29 ideapod // FALL 2013

Thermo Fisher Scientific Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise Mara Greenberg: Mara attends the University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing pre-medical studies. A Valedictorian at Pittsburgh Allderdice, Mara has won many awards pursuing her passions for math and science including a National Merit Award and a Carson Scholarship.

Aedan Marty: Aedan attends Carnegie Mellon University and studies Biology while maintaining an interest in Business as well. He is a graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice. Aedan is passionate about his volunteer work with TopSoccer, a studentdriven organization that links special needs children with coaches for soccer games and tournaments.

Aaron Jackson: A graduate of Pittsburgh Allderdice, Aaron studies Microbiology and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. His goal is to work in neuroscience research. As a member of his high school marching band, he held benefit concerts for local charities, including the Animal Rescue League.

Amanda Schwarz: A Valedictorian at Pittsburgh Brashear, Amanda is studying Molecular Biology at the University of Pittsburgh. Amanda is a volunteer at The Pittsburgh Project and was the President of the Sign Language Club at Brashear. Her dream is to become a medical researcher to help cure chronic diseases.

Matthew Marshman: Matthew graduated from Pittsburgh Brashear with high honors and was the recipient of a Computer Science Magnet Award. He currently studies Computer Science at Duquesne University. To give back, Matthew volunteers with the Urban League and Summer Dreamers Academy.



Innovative graduate programs including: Master of Science in Fraud and Forensics, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in High Performance Learning, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Psychology in Counseling Psychology









Conference-winning women's soccer and softball teams, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and women and men's cross country





CARLOW.EDU | 412.578.6000 | 3333 FIFTH AVENUE | PITTSBURGH, PA 15213 30 ideapod // FALL 2013

A Second Look at

Accounting Have you ever thought about becoming an accountant or learning about the field?


The truth is not enough students are considering accounting. To help, Point Park University (PPU) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) offered a free, one week summer camp last summer for high school students who were interested in learning about job opportunities in the accounting field. The program is called ACAP (Accounting Career Awareness Program).

The college search is about you – about discovering the best place for you to pursue your interests, stretch your mind and set your course for a successful future. Bucknell University could be the place where you can make your dreams become reality. Along with high graduation rates and stellar career outcomes for our alumni, we offer more than 50 majors and 65 minors in: fine and performing arts humanities • social sciences • sciences and mathematics • engineering • management • •

ACAP teaches high school students about great jobs in the accounting profession. The students live in Point Park University’s residence halls while attending workshops designed to increase their awareness of accounting. They also learn about the academic courses and job experience required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Accountants are highly sought after and well paid. All businesses need accountants! The larger the company, the more accountants that are needed to prepare the tax returns and the financial reports that are used to make business decisions. The average starting salary is $45,000 for a student graduating from college with a degree in accounting and good grades. Accountants can also further their careers and salaries by passing a test to become a CPA. Historically, the number of minorities who pursue accounting has been low. One reason is simply the lack of awareness about the benefits of the accounting field. Think about it this way; we have all seen TV shows about doctors and lawyers but when was the last time you saw a show about accountants? In addition, students often learn about and become interested in fields like accounting because they know someone in the field, typically a family member or good friend. Since minorities are underrepresented in the field of accounting, the chances of middle and high school students knowing an accountant are fewer. Many also believe that to be an accountant you must have superior math skills. Yes, you need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide; however, you do not need to be mathematicians with straight A’s in all math classes to become an accountant. Promise Scholar, Erika Mangual participated in the program as a student supervisor for the week. As an International Business major and current college student curious about accounting, she had a unique perspective. “I am not majoring in accounting. However, I decided to get involved with the ACAP because I was interested in learning about what accounting does and why it is so pertinent in the world of business. I also wanted to participate in the program for networking purposes. I was able to build relationships with the high school students that participated in the program and give them advice about what to expect in college. I also met many professionals both in the accounting field and other business fields.

Not for you? Think Again.

To get on our contact list and find out more, go to Better yet, see our beautiful campus for yourself. Schedule a visit at Office of Admissions Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA 17837 570-577-3000

The best advice I could give any and every student considering Business is to have a very open mind about accounting. Most people perceive accountants as people who crunch numbers. That's not the case. Companies are not able to survive without accountants. I realized through supervising the program that gaining a Minor in Accounting will be extremely beneficial to me personally, especially because my major will be International Business. With an accounting degree, any career choice is possible!” Due to the success of the program in July 2013, Point Park University and NABA will offer ACAP again in summer 2014. All students who have an interest in a business-related field, especially accounting, are encouraged to attend. Students must have a 2.75 GPA and two letters of recommendation, one from a teacher. For more information on the 2014 Accounting Career Awareness Program, please call Edward Scott at 412-392-6194 or email him at

(Photo by Martha Rial)

Edward E. Scott (MBA, CPA) leads the ACAP program and is the inaugural appointee to the George Rowland White Endowed Professor of Accounting and Finance position at Point Park University. In 2011, George and Kathy White donated $1 million to PPU’s school of business in order to promote accounting career awareness to minority high school students. 31 ideapod // FALL 2013



We asked four Presidents of Promise eligible schools a question...

From top left across: Dr. James Mullen, Jr., Dr. Cheryl Norton, Mr. Dennis Wilke & Dr. Charles J. Dougherty

32 ideapod // FALL 2013

ident Q:

Since Higher Education requires a significant financial investment, what were some of the creative ways you funded your education?



My experience was not unlike many college students of today. My father passed away when I was seven and my mother had limited means to get by. She had not attended college and sacrificed a great deal to support me because she believed deeply in the importance of a college degree. Throughout my college experience I had different jobs - one of my most memorable occupations was working as a security guard in a parking garage. I worked the late shift. One of my duties was to patrol the garage at various times throughout the night – alert to anything seeming unusual or out of the ordinary. (Luckily, I never encountered anything too dangerous!)

It is true that higher education requires a financial investment, but it’s important to remember the return on that investment returns to you in so many ways: more and better career opportunities; a higher quality of life; and exposure to people, places and thoughts that will shape your life forever.

Student debt is one of my greatest concerns for college students today. Like most, I graduated with student debt, but the quality of my college experience prepared me to succeed in the workplace. It was the best investment I ever made.

MR. DENNIS WILKE ROSEDALE TECH Creative? I wish I had been creative. At my college, we were pretty much on our own to figure out how to pay the tuition bills. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be much information available back then to help me figure it out. But, times have changed! At some schools, like Rosedale Tech, the financial aid staff works individually with students to help identify, apply for, and receive various types of financial assistance. That assistance can come in many forms. In addition to The Pittsburgh Promise, there are other grant programs, work-study jobs, scholarship possibilities, and more. Some schools have figured out that exceptional customer service in the financial aid department is crucial for its students to be successful. The other way things have changed is in the availability of information. Via the internet, students can find lots of information about paying for their education. Part of that information relates to the value of that education in the long run. Students are now able to quickly research typical salary ranges for the type of career they’re interested in, and compare the cost of the education needed for that career to the long term income expectations. During this process, many students are able to compare the value of different forms of education, such as 2 year degrees, and then decide what’s right for them. I only wish I had known about all of this back when I was preparing for life after high school!

One of the first things I did to prepare for investing in my future was to study hard in high school to be able to take advantage of every scholarship opportunity for which I was qualified. That effort paid off and I earned enough scholarships to be able to attend the university of my choice. Once in college, like many students today, I worked a variety of jobs to help cover my needs (as well as my wants.) I worked as a Resident Adviser and Women’s Judicial Officer, which covered the cost of my housing, and worked in a variety of positions at a bank. One thing I always tried to do was to tie my work experience to my career goals. Those experiences helped launch me into my graduate studies and eventually a career in education. It was a great pathway, one I hope you’ll also pursue.

DR. CHARLES J. DOUGHERTY DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY Often life's important lessons are learned outside the classroom. I came to that conclusion not as an educator but as an hourly employee, working to pay college bills by busing tables in the campus cafeteria and as a construction laborer in and around New York City during the summer. Those jobs provided tuition dollars and spending money, and they shaped my attitude toward work itself, helping me appreciate the contributions each of us makes through labor for the good of us all. Those jobs also helped me acquire an attitude of thankfulness for the opportunity to attend college and for the sacrifices my parents made—and all parents make daily—to provide an education for their children. At Duquesne we say that Pittsburgh is our largest classroom, and we strongly encourage our students to explore the city, to use it as a resource for learning and launching their careers. My hope is that the city's businesses continue to provide current and future college students the part-time and summer jobs needed to help finance college, and most importantly, that the rewards of their labor exceed wages, helping young persons appreciate work's true value and the importance of earning a college degree.

33 ideapod // FALL 2013

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34 ideapod // FALL 2013

LAST LOOK NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT : East End The ever-changing business district of Centre Avenue in East Liberty offers its residents plenty of shopping, eating and entertainment.

35 ideapod // FALL 2013

1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219



WHEN Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

WHERE Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

(Across the street from Consol Energy Center)

WHY Connect with the schools where you can use your Promise Scholarship!

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