IdeaPod Spring 2013

Page 1



World the

at Pittsburgh Public Schools







13 Be There!


First Word


Career Launch




The Benefits of a High School Job


Building Community


The World at Pittsburgh Public Schools


Career Spotlight


A Blueprint for Technical Education


Giving Glimpse


Full Circle with The Promise


Promise Faces


Ask The President


Last Look

EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril Contributing Writers Holly McGraw-Turkovic, Kara Peterson, Mardi Royston, Teireik Williams, Cydney Miller, Dr. Linda Lane, Ashlee Mauti, Angela Mike, Greg Defeo, Debbie Bier, Allyson Vignone 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 Family and Community Organizer, A+ Schools 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

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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AN IMMIGRANT Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise I am an immigrant. My family fled from Lebanon during the civil war when I was 16 years-old, and arrived in the United States in July of 1976. That was the summer before my junior year of high school. Although I learned English and French in my childhood schools, my first language was Arabic. In addition to having to master a new language and learn how to make new friends, I also had to adapt to a new culture, new geography, new customs, and new values. My biggest challenge was to learn to navigate the sub-culture known as the American High School. While a small number of students did not seem happy to have a foreigner in their school, most people were friendly. They smiled as they walked by me in the hallways. Some asked about my background and wanted to hear me say things in my native language. A few even invited me to their homes and churches. I will never forget these few. They really impacted my life for the better. I have some memories that make me laugh out loud when I remember them. Here is one: I had never heard the word “prom” before this girl asked me if I would go with her. Even though I had no idea what prom was, I said “yes.” Then she said, “You know, this is a dress-up event,” to which I said, “Everybody knows that.” To me, “dress-up” meant that I


In the City of Pittsburgh

90 Neighborhoods to choose from!

would go through my closet and find my nicest outfit and wear that, which is exactly what I did. I was the only kid at prom who was wearing a green corduroy suit, with the wide lapels, and with a paisley disco shirt underneath it, with several buttons opened to show a few chest hairs. Needless to say, that was our only date.

the world once again.

Having to learn a new culture can make one a better person. It is good to know that we share this amazingly beautiful planet with some people who are just like us, and many more people who are different than us. I have appreciated discovering that the way I was raised and educated as a kid is not the only good way to raise and educate kids. I have grown to love hearing languages I don’t understand and celebrating that our beloved Pittsburgh is becoming home to

In this issue of Idea Pod, we are delighted to introduce just a few of the cultures and languages that make up our Pittsburgh Public Schools. I hope that you will enjoy the color, the beauty, the depth, the wisdom, the joy, and the challenge of our growing diversity. I also hope that you will make a point of walking across the hallway, or the cafeteria, or the gym, or the classroom to extend a warm Pittsburgh welcome to the world in your midst.

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Lauren // Special Projects Coordinator I worked on a small farm in south France during a summer in college to practice speaking French. It was tough but so much fun!



Saleem // Executive Director I was invited to Mexico City to train workers who serve homeless children. I was moved by their deep compassion, their unwavering respect for human dignity and value, and their unrelenting resolve to make life better for their children.

Julie // Events & Campaigns Coordinator To recruit international students to a local college, I traveled to Asia, visited 11 cities, and gained a quick but lasting impression of Asian foods, schools, and lifestyles.



Afiya // High School Internship Coordinator I love The Big Apple; something about New York City makes me come alive. There are so many things to do, places to eat, and people of all walks of life to interact with.

Marsha // Development Manager My first trip to Haiti transformed the way I think about what gives people joy. Possessions were few for the Haitians I met, yet their joy and generosity were astounding.



Phil // Communications Coordinator I love Joshua Tree, California for its incredible rock formations, friendly community of rock climbers, and desert beauty.

Amirah // Outreach Coordinator



During my first trip to Europe, I took a tour of Bern, Switzerland. The old historic town was beautiful and I was able to meet some great people from different parts of the world.

Gene // Outreach Coordinator I attended college in Bloomsburg, PA, and met so many diverse people; it helped me to grow and mature.

Katina // Development Assistant One of my favorite places to visit is Outerbanks, North Carolina. Highlights are its beautiful beaches, great places to shop, and incredible food.



Steve // Data & Technology Coordinator I’ll never forget a mountaintop lodge in Costa Rica that I used as my base camp while I kayaked the beautiful rivers.

Shawn // Director of Programs I love San Francisco and its diversity and the truly international feeling of walking down the street and hearing the different languages being spoken around you.


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Gerry // Director of Development I enjoyed cruising the Mediterranean aboard an ocean liner on a ballroom dance cruise and meeting people from different parts of the world who also love to dance.

Reality stars

chatham college for women

Fifty years ago, a Chatham alumna wrote the book that launched the environmental movement. Since then, the women of Chatham have served in Egyptian Parliament, sat at the top of the world’s largest banks and run the National Science Foundation. Today, the women of Chatham are using Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater as a studio, filming documentaries on corporate pollution and working to change health care policy in Washington, D.C. The reality is: Chatham College for Women lets students see the world in a different way – honing their creative and critical thinking skills to break the mold, shatter the ceiling and bring big thinking to life.


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COMMUNITY discover your path

I’ve been out of high school for 17 years but when I think back to the subject of “what’s next after graduation,” I remember clearly what led me to my path. Can you guess what it was? It was volunteering! Considering that my career aspirations before I started volunteering were to be Janet Jackson’s back up dancer or an accountant, I was starting from square one. Once I starting volunteering, I realized how much I enjoyed working with people, being around kids, helping, and training. Math wasn’t going to be my thing, so that accountant career was history. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have it all figured out after one volunteer experience. I volunteered at my local YMCA to coach gymnastic classes, led activities for kids in my neighborhood, painted and repaired playground equipment, planted trees, filed death certificates, worked on an assembly line at the food bank, served meals at a soup kitchen, performed at a senior citizen's home, and the list goes on. Through all of my volunteer experiences not only did I figure out what I really enjoyed doing, but I also met my mentor, figured out what I definitely did not want to do, and met so many great people who are still my friends today. When you start thinking about what types of careers you might be interested in, consider volunteering before you make any decisions. Look for volunteer opportunities where you can explore your skills and interests by connecting with a non-profit in an area that you enjoy. You can make it a win-win situation. One where you can have fun, build your resume, meet new people, and possibly find your niche along the way, all while helping to make your community a better place!

Thank you, Pittsburgh! Recently, Pittsburgh Promise scholars, hundreds of Pittsburgh Public School students, and Pittsburgh Cares joined together for a city-wide day of service to say “Thank you Pittsburgh” for investing in The Promise!



Service Hours Logged

Agencies Served



Projects Completed


I know what you are thinking now, “How can I start?” If you visit you will find many opportunities to choose from to help you find your passion, and possibly get on the path to a career that you will really enjoy! Pittsburgh Cares connects volunteers to many organizations, such as Lincoln Park Community Center, The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Toys for Tots, Boys and Girls Clubs, Animal Friends, Scott Conservancy, Holy Family Institute, The Pittsburgh Project, Rankin Christian Center, and many others. You can search volunteer opportunities by social issue, date, location, and so much more. You can even apply for some cash to do your own service project. So what are you waiting for? Get out there! Start giving back and figure out what’s next for you! Holly McGraw-Turkovic is the Director of Youth Programs at Pittsburgh Cares, and is glad to answer questions. Email her at:

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monumental futures some assembly required

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

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A Career in the

NATURAL GAS industry Western Pennsylvania is sitting atop the largest producing natural gas field in the nation with reports indicating that it could be largest in the world. While the geology below our feet here in the region is providing a source of domestic energy, it is also creating vast opportunities above the ground for job seekers. Currently the natural gas industry supports over 240,000 jobs in Pennsylvania. These jobs are providing young professionals with great salaries and they are giving employees the opportunity to work close to home, work in an office setting or outdoors, and earn promotions within the companies. What is unique about Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry is that there is a job that fits your skill sets. The natural gas industry employs a rich melting pot of people ranging from high school graduates, college graduates, and scientists with a doctorate - and all earn family sustaining salaries. The natural gas industry has a lot of work to be done over many generations here in Pennsylvania. These long-term goals mean the industry must continue to grow a strong and diverse workforce. Each discipline in that natural gas industry requires a different background, training, and education. For those who are interested in working on a crew, driving a truck or becoming a welder, there are several reputable training programs here in the region.

Promises made.

Most of the community colleges or vocational-technical schools provide a training program designed to make you a well-rounded graduate at the end of the program in only a few months. These programs will provide you with an industry overview, necessary mechanical skills and potentially your Commercial Driver’s License. Range Resources’ biggest workforce needs for the future will be engineers of all types. For those considering a four-year degree and excel in math, science, and problem solving, this may be an exciting path for your career. Range’s staff consists of petroleum, chemical, mechanical, civil and environmental engineers as well as departments such as Accounting, IT, Investor Relations, and support staffs. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the natural gas industry, take some time to talk to your guidance counselor or a mentor to help build a career path. There are plenty of sound training programs and universities here in the Commonwealth that can provide the proper education and skills to prepare you for a career in this field.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Kara Peterson is a Senior Human Resources Specialist for Range Resources.

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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CU this year

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“ Clarion is preparing me for a career I will love.” “ Internship opportunities – a grade in academics doesn’t mean anything unless you have experience.”


More than 90 associate, bachelor’s and master’s programs at the Clarion Campus, Venango College and online.

Apply at 800-672-7171 (selection 1)

Clarion University is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer.

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Meet it Head On. If you’re trying to figure out what to do next with your life, consider this. We believe God has big plans for you. And that includes becoming everything He meant you to be. We can help. We’re Geneva College. A challenging Christian college that prepares you to challenge the world. And succeed. We have the majors and graduate programs you need to compete. A rigorous academic environment grounded on the truth of the Bible that helps you keep the faith—no matter what life throws at you. Discover a whole new take on your life. Together, we can meet the challenge.

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Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship Matching Grant Beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, Geneva College pledges to match Pittsburgh Promise scholarship money. Go to for details.

“I’ve lived all over the world and believe that the true purpose of education is to feed and educate the whole person. At Grove City College, I found the emphasis on the humanities I wanted and the


Christian environment I needed. I enjoy living, working and learning as part of a community that makes me feel like I am part of something bigger than myself. Grove City College has also helped me examine, reflect and appreciate what I’ve learned from past generations, the values that have been transferred to me, the sense of honor and respect — and how that has helped me become the person I am today.”

See what other students have to say.

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KEEPING the promise

Meet Mardi Royston, energized Pittsburgh Promise donor who is the driving force behind a new group of supporters whose mission is to raise funds and friends for The Promise. Mardi and her husband Jim are among eight founding couples of Keepers of The Pittsburgh Promise, a program that has the potential to fund hundreds of future Promise scholars. Mardi’s vision for the Keepers I am invigorated by the fact that Pittsburgh is returning to a reinvented glory. Educated citizens and vast opportunities are such important parts of what makes a community strong, and The Pittsburgh Promise offers the hope of both to urban youth. It is so important to me to see such an innovative program succeed. The Keepers of The Pittsburgh Promise is made up of a group of individuals who recognize the magnitude and importance of The Promise to the Pittsburgh region. We got started simply through a conversation that took place in the living room of one of our eight founders. Launched early in December 2012, the Keepers’ mission is “to support and promote the work of The Pittsburgh Promise by increasing visibility and awareness, developing or deepening friendships with donors, and assisting in fundraising efforts through community outreach.” We do this in a very clear-cut and effective way. Currently, each Keeper signs on to make a minimum $300 contribution, and then commits to inform and attract additional Keepers. It is essentially a grassroots effort; each Keeper is reaching out to their contacts to find additional

A SOUND INVESTMENT If the keepers organization stays on track, they could raise:







members, and then the process repeats. There is also a personal side to participation as a Keeper as we feel deeply connected to each other as a result of our shared commitment to the work of The Pittsburgh Promise. Following the launch of our organization, we saw growth in participation of almost 300% in the first month and we plan to double that number by the spring of 2013. The potential for 8 founding members to exponentially grow and grow is clear and we hope to continue to expand until we have friends in every community of the region talking about and understanding the needs of The Pittsburgh Promise. With steady outreach and growth, the capacity to spread the word of The Promise is without limits. The Keepers want our hometown to come out on top as a winner! In order for that to happen, the entire community needs to embrace The Promise and own a piece of it. My hope for the Keepers of The Pittsburgh Promise program is that it will be a vehicle for larger community “ownership” of The Promise and its mission. If the Keepers stay on track, they will expand from a group of 8 friends to 80, and increase funds raised for The Promise from $4,000 to $80,000 in just the first four months! Think about what those numbers might look like 2 years or even 10 years from now!

GIVING TO THE PROMISE: Inspired by the Keepers’ efforts? Here are some other ways to give. UPMC will give $1.00 for every $1.50 that you contribute to The Pittsburgh Promise.


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

KEEPERS OF THE PROMISE Contact Marsha Kolbe ( for more info.

UNITED WAY Use our agency code number 9576075 when donating.

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These Promise scholars expanded the boundaries of their education. Through study abroad they found a depth of experience they weren’t expecting.

Pittsburgh CAPA High School Class of 2012 Penn State University- Communications Major I traveled abroad to Italy during the summer before my high school senior year on a scholarship through the World Affairs Institute of Pittsburgh and The Experiment in International Living. The all inclusive scholarship and the trip are geared toward exploration, so no pesky tour guides— just you and a brand new city. This was my first experience in traveling internationally. I thought it would be amazing to travel to Italy because of the wealth of culture and art, and it was! I traveled across Italy for five weeks with a group of other American kids, studying the language, history, art, and cuisine of the Italian culture. We stayed in an assortment of places from hostels to hotels but the most exciting of the assortment was the home-stay where we lived for two weeks with local Italian families. Everything in Italy is so naturally beautiful and preserved. It’s like taking a step back in time. The thing that surprised me the most was the kids that I met during my stay. You never really realize it but kids are kids no matter what country they live in. We all go through the same things and have more in common than you might think. My host brother and I were both American football fans and we would talk for hours about teams that we both liked. He also helped me discover one of the greatest joys of Italy – gelato. Gelato is often considered Italian ice-cream but ice-cream can never compare to the holiness of gelato. 10 ideapod // SPRING 2013

The biggest challenge for me was allowing myself to be open to new experiences. I had my mind set on what I would do, and would not do, prior to my trip so that made it difficult to push myself to try new things in the beginning. Once I got over that, it was smooth sailing. The most inspirational part of my trip was a combination of the relationships I built with the nine students that I conquered a new country with, and the bond that I shared with the three strangers who opened their home to me and became my new family. I will always remember the summer that changed my life, the summer that trying new things wasn’t an option but a requirement, the summer that I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the summer that people I barely knew became my family. I learned that the world only seems so large because we distance ourselves from each other and are lost in the translations. My advice to those considering a study abroad experience is just do it! There is nothing that can compare to being somewhere for the very first time and living someone else’s culture first hand. It is such a liberating and fulfilling experience to travel abroad. Look into it, talk to your school counselor, and make it happen for you!


Cydney Miller- CAPA High School Class of 2009 University of Pittsburgh -Psychology/Philosophy Major, Theatre Minor Last fall, I studied abroad through the University of Pittsburgh in London for three and a half months. Before study abroad, I had traveled to Mexico and Canada but never to Europe. I had narrowed my choices to London or France but I chose London because the program worked really well with my psychology major and there wasn’t a language barrier. My studies focused on Child Psychology and Art History plus an internship at a charity called Westminster Befriend a Family. Once I arrived in London, there were a lot of little things that were surprisingly different. Some of their English words were hard to understand, it took a bit of getting used to. The oddest experience was driving on the other side of the road. Now that I’m home, I really miss the awesome public

Travel Tips

Cydney and Teireik share from their experiences:

Explore your options by visiting your college’s study abroad office. The program costs are tuition based so financial aid, including The Pittsburgh Promise, can be used to help pay for the trip. Pick the country based not only on what you want to see, but what makes the best sense for your education. Check out the conversion rates and the fees that your bank imposes for international withdrawals. Don’t be afraid to go abroad without knowing anybody in the program, you will meet a ton of new people!

transportation system. In London, public transportation is extremely efficient and nearly everyone uses it so it is really easy to get around. The most valuable part of my trip was seeing another culture and noticing the subtle differences as well as the obvious ones. It really inspired me to examine my outlook on life. It is so easy to become single minded when you are only exposed to one way of thinking. It was eye-opening to experience a different set of ideals and to meet so many new people. I realized through my trip that there is a world beyond America and that there are good and bad aspects to every culture. It helped me to look around and question. I think that all countries could achieve more if instead of fighting for power, we worked collaboratively and improved upon each other’s systems. I really appreciate having a new outlook based on my experience. My advice to other high school and college students is take advantage of programs that allow students to go abroad. It may seem daunting, but it is worth it. For me the biggest challenges were the “before” and the “after.” First, the challenge is filling out the applications and visa paperwork before you leave. The next challenge is coming home after it’s over. The friends and experiences that you have abroad will shape you as a person but you still have to come back to your life and it definitely takes time to readjust. Despite the challenges it is truly an amazing experience- my advice is study abroad anywhere that speaks to you!

Check the length of your trip. Although any amount of time is great out of the country, the longer the trip the more you can experience. Go somewhere you have never been. Traveling abroad is about new experiences. Try everything. Don’t limit what you will and will not do. I had to eat donkey! Be open. Open to trying new things, open to meeting new people, open to having your life changed by all of the above. Traveling is wonderful for the development of a well rounded individual. Take the chances necessary for an exciting and once in a lifetime opportunity!

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Part of the “Dream Big. Work Hard.” slogan for The Pittsburgh Promise means having great attendance at school. Being successful in school, college, and on a job means being where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there. Working hard starts with being in your place- your school and your classroom each day. Those who come, learn. There was a day when girls could not go to school, when African Americans could not go to school, when only families with a lot of money could send their children to school, in fact most of us could not have gone to school! Now we can. Today the grownups in our country, our state and our city all pitch in and create schools so all of us have the privilege and the responsibility to come to school. Why? Because we care about you, just like our communities cared about us when they sent us off to school. So why should you care? •School is your first and most important job. You’re learning about more than math and reading. You’re learning how to show up for school on time every day, so that when you graduate and get a job, you’ll know how to show up for work on time every day. •Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime. •School only gets harder when you stay home too much. Sometimes it’s tempting to stay home because you’ve got too much work or you don’t understand what’s going on in class. But missing a day only makes that worse. •School is fun! Showing up every day gives you the opportunity to spend time with your best friends, participate in different clubs and activities, and learn interesting things from teachers who care about you. Challenge yourself to “BE THERE!” and improve your attendance for the final quarter of the school year! Let us help you to get or stay on the Pathway to the Promise! Dr. Linda Lane is the Superintendant of Pittsburgh Public Schools

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P A EC R 13 0 2

“Hopefully when I graduate I’ll land a dream job, which for me is a job that I can love to do every day” says Promise scholar, Charmaine Clarke. We all share this dream of finding a career we can be passionate about, that makes it a pleasure to go to work every day. The Pittsburgh Promise is partnering with companies and organizations throughout the region to help make that dream come true for all Pittsburgh Promise scholars. To help students connect their educational path to a career, The Promise hosts an annual Career Launch event that provides professional development, networking, and information about the region’s highest-growth job sectors and the opportunities they offer. Promise scholars get to make connections with the real world by attending panel discussions showcasing these job sectors and then spending time with employers to network and apply for internships and jobs. Promise scholars are given a unique pathway to connect with employers early in their college career and build relationships that may lead to jobs later. These companies are interested in hiring Promise scholars. The event also provides an opportunity to hone job search skills through activities like an Interview Workshop conducted by Development Dimensions International (DDI), a global leader in talent management. Using role play with feedback from DDI’s experts, Promise scholars learned how to respond to many of the toughest interview questions. Dozens of companies and hundreds of energized Promise scholars take advantage of this event. We asked some them to share a little bit about their experience: “I’m just starting my senior year at Seton Hill University and I’m hoping to find an internship this year, preferably in the marketing field. I want to find a “hands on” internship that equips me with valuable skills for my first job. I attended the Career Launch because it’s starting to become reality that soon I’ll be in the real world, paying bills, and paying student loans. I feel like the most valuable part of the Career Launch for me was meeting company representatives. I was surprised that I had some good conversations with companies that I wouldn’t have expected when I walked in. I took away from the day that it is so important to network; anyone you meet could be the person to give you your first real job! Hopefully when I graduate I’ll land a dream job. At the core, I just really hope to enjoy my job so that going to work every day will be fun and not a chore.” Charmaine Clarke CAPA, Seton Hill University Business Marketing and Human Relations

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WORKING HARD To Get Promise Scholars Working

An enormous


Some of the Pittsburgh region’s most vibrant companies made the Career Launch a success. We extend our deepest gratitude to: Aerotek American Eagle Outfitters Bayer BNY Mellon Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC City of Pittsburgh Development Dimensions International (DDI) Direct Energy Dollar Bank Eat'n Park Hospitality Group Education Management Corporation (EDMC) Enterprise Holdings Giant Eagle Highmark Kindred Healthcare Lanxess Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc. PA State Police Pitt-Ohio Pittsburgh Public Schools PNC Financial Services Range Resources Thermo Fisher Scientific U.S. Steel Corporation UPMC WESCO West Penn Allegheny Health System OUR SPECIAL THANKS TO: Ann McGuinn, Event Chair for Career Launch James Court and Matt Collins, DDI Candi Castleberry-Singleton Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, UPMC Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant President & CEO, Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc. Promise Alumni Panelists

“I’m a senior in college and I’m still not 100% sure what I’m going to do next. I went to the Career Launch in order to get tips on the job search and definitely to meet prospective employers. There were a couple of elements of the event that really helped me. The Interview workshop was a great learning experience. They spoke in depth about how to start and end an interview and how to make a lasting impression. We also got a chance to write answers to interview questions that we can use in the future. There was also a panel of Promise Alumni who now have jobs. They spoke about how they got their jobs and gave great tips on how to transition from college to work. It was nice to hear from my peers who were able to be successful in their job search. I’m still working out what I would like to do in the future but activities like the Career Launch help me to reflect upon what will be right for me when I graduate.” Valerie Michael Allderdice High School University of Pittsburgh Neuroscience and Psychology

MEET AFIYA! Career exploration doesn’t have to start when you get to college and choose a field of study. That process ought to start in high school through job shadowing, internships, and summer or part-time jobs. We are excited to introduce Afiya Bey who recently joined The Promise staff to help high school seniors connect with job shadowing and internship opportunities!

The HIGH Benefits SCHOOL of a JOB

PART-TIME AND SUMMER JOBS CAN PROVIDE MORE THAN JUST EXTRA SPENDING MONEY. I am a Pittsburgh Public School graduate and now hold the Director of Marketing position with Covelli Enterprises/ Panera Bread where I help oversee five different regions of marketing for Panera bakery-cafes. My years of high school were a stepping stone for my future. Panera employs many people in the area, offering employment to young adults who want a part time job, and offering full-time careers as well. Holding a job part-time while you’re a student or during the summer months teaches time management, social skills and responsibility while giving you the satisfaction of knowing you are earning an honest income. It can also develop into a career opportunity for you. Panera has many success stories of individuals who started at age 16 as an associate and now manage cafes and oversee regions of multiple cafes. Panera is my career but has also given me opportunity to make an impact on the Pittsburgh community. Panera does several promotions during the year that benefit local charity organizations. We also donate all of our unsold bread at the end of every night in all of our bakery-cafes to local hunger relief organizations. It feels great to work for a company that gave over $3 million dollars in food donations to help people in the local Pittsburgh community to not go hungry. As you start to enter the workforce keep in mind- if you can work in a rewarding atmosphere for a company that does great things in the community, and still have the opportunity to grow in your personal and professional life, that is more than just having a “job.” Young adults should strive to achieve academic success and put their education first and foremost. In addition, students should challenge themselves to start working part-time in high-school or during summer vacations to open the doors of opportunity and growth at a young age.


Opportunity Working in high school can help you: •Obtain work experience which can be used to build a first resume and help you land an internship in college •Build professional relationships and networks •Earn your own money and start to manage your finances •Gain good habits and skills like professionalism, time management, communication, and customer service •Gain confidence and independence

Ashlee Mauti is the Director of Marketing at Covelli Enterprises/Panera Bread.

Excellence in U Edinboro University is where students come to celebrate who they are, and become all they want to be. It’s an experience complete with world renowned and nationally accredited programs, modern facilities, and a proud history. At Edinboro U, you’ll thrive in a culturally-diverse atmosphere that’s full of unique opportunities, yet driven by one unified goal... to give you everything you need to achieve excellence.

On Campus. Online.




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

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Illustration by Yutaka Houlette


at Pittsburgh Public Schools

With a growing population of international students, Pittsburgh Public Schools is emerging with rich culture and diversity.


he Pittsburgh Promise office is a place where we enjoy surprising global diversity. We have an Executive Director who is originally from Lebanon. We also have staff members who were born in South Africa and Japan and of course native Pittsburghers. That diversity lends interesting perspectives to our conversations and we benefit personally from sharing holiday traditions, favorite foods, and cultural differences.

Pittsburgh Public Schools are also growing increasingly culturally diverse. In fact, there are over 700 international students who speak 35 different native languages in English Language Learning (ELL) programs throughout Pittsburgh Public Schools. ELL students relocate to Pittsburgh for many different reasons; some are refugees, some have parents who transfer to local universities or companies, others immigrate to be close to family, or simply to find change, acceptance, and opportunity. ELL students bring not only their beautiful languages to PPS, but captivating cultures and new ideas that add vibrancy and character to the schools for all students. International diversity lends fresh perspective and rich culture to PPS. It also presents an opportunity for students and teachers to not only give, but to gain wisdom from students who are navigating an entirely new world. Much can be learned from ELL students’ journeys both from their home countries to Pittsburgh as well as their journeys through PPS as newcomers. When you look at Pittsburgh Public Schools or at The Promise office, global diversity may not be something that you see at first glance. We decided to look a little harder and were moved by so many students who are forging new paths with open minds, strength, and positivity, and are so happy to introduce you to a few of these inspiring individuals.

Russia Jane Ektova 9th Grade Allderdice

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eeking opportunity and education, Jane and her mother moved to the US and to Pittsburgh just this last winter when her mother was accepted to Carnegie Mellon University as a student. They came to Pittsburgh as a dynamic duo and both have responsibilities for household chores and managing course work schedules. While this can make Jane’s day-to-day life stressful, she remains hopeful that they will continue to live in the US and that she will continue to grow as an English speaker. In Russia, Jane’s mother taught her to speak English when she was just five years old and as a result Jane developed a love for languages. She excels in English and also studies French and Japanese when she can. Jane’s dream is to live in the US, to travel and experience other cultures, and to attend a top university to become a nutritionist. She is encouraged that PPS allows her to focus her studies on the sciences to explore her career path in nutrition, “You have the right to choose some of your subjects in US schools and study what you are interested in, and this is not the case in Russia." Jane’s determination to be positive and productive in a very new and sometimes stressful environment is so uplifting. In her words, “I think about my friends and family living in poor neighborhoods in Russia. They deserve an opportunity and I know I am lucky to be in the US.” Jane and her mom are working hard to make the most of their experience here. We asked her to give advice to other ELL students, “Never give up because English is an important language even in countries that don’t speak it natively. Remember that ELL is an exciting program and even American students should be excited to support it!”Jane inspired us with her willingness to tell her story with such warmth.

Bhutan Lachu Man Darjee

CCAC College student Brashear


achu is one of many refugees of Nepalese origin who arrived in Pittsburgh to escape cultural persecution in Bhutan. Lachu had nearly finished school in his own country so his plan was to start working when he arrived in Pittsburgh. He quickly realized the importance of an American education and enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools instead. Lachu was not only in a new place, with a new language, customs, and all new faces; but like so many international students, he happened to be much older than his classmates. Many international students experience this because their home country education systems do not align with the US system. While his age made it all the more difficult to relate to his peers, Lachu was determined to make the most of his educational experience. He said, “I was compelled to go to school in Pittsburgh. I wanted to see how it worked and I wanted the opportunity to go to college. I felt silly about my age and knew the other students might laugh at me but I also knew it was important to get an education.” He didn’t let his age difference or language barrier hold him back, instead he made new friends and worked hard to excel, not only in English but also in his other PPS coursework. Lachu graduated at 21 years of age and is currently studying medical assistance at CCAC on a Promise Scholarship. His dream career is in pharmacy. Lachu’s resolve and hard work are such an inspiration. We asked him to give some advice to other ELL students; he said, “It’s hard to get into a new culture but it’s important to try. Speak English even if there are other students who speak your home language. Work at it and you will get accepted. Remember that when you step out of high school there is a real world and there aren’t as many people to help you, make sure you work hard to be prepared for it. “

From The Director Jonathan Covel ESL Director Pittsburgh Public Schools

The great South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu once declared, “We inhabit a universe that is characterized by diversity.” Over the course of the last ten years, Pittsburgh Public Schools has experienced a steady growth in the number of English Language Learners in the district. ELLs, and their families, enrich our schools in innumerable ways and add to an exciting, vibrant learning atmosphere for all students. Their participation in various school and district events reveals the richness of their cultures. On stages all across PPS, ELL students have:

•Rapped in Kazigua, Swahili, and English •Performed traditional Nepali dances •Served as musicians from Uzbekistan, Congo, Burundi, and China •Performed Somali Bantu dances •Danced Merengue, Salsa, and Cumbia from various Spanish speaking countries

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Naomi SaenzMorales 9th Grade Allderdice


aomi was actually born in the United States but moved back to her mother’s native country of Mexico when she was two years old. After spending most of her childhood in Mexico she returned in the 7th grade to Pittsburgh and PPS. Moving out of the country twice before the age of 12 is quite a journey that requires a lot of flexibility and Naomi seems as easy going as they come. She returned to Pittsburgh in middle school and Naomi was able to make friends with a few other Spanish speaking students which helped her transition to her new home. She also found that schools in Pittsburgh are larger and have more supplies and accommodations than her schools in Mexico. Now in high school, the very friendly and outgoing Naomi is continuing to perfect her English skills and make friends along the way. Naomi’s advice for all students is to be positive about differences and language barriers instead of frustrated. That is her motto. When asked what she missed she said, “Mexican food! If you haven’t had it, it can be weird looking but it’s really good once you try it.” She also gave us a tip- her favorite authentic Mexican foods in Pittsburgh can be found in Oakland at Las Palmas. We were inspired by Naomi’s bright and positive personality. Naomi’s dream is to become an architect to fulfill her passion for both the arts and mathematics. She hopes to go to college in Pittsburgh, and become successful here in her home city.


he stories of these few students are echoed in the stories of many ELL students who face unique challenges. Students from Puerto Rico, Bhutan, Israel, Haiti, Nepal, Peru, Uzbekistan, and more also shared their stories and they were equally powerful accounts of transformation, hard work, and tolerance. By recognizing and coming alongside the challenges that our region’s international students face, Pittsburgh Public Schools have a special opportunity to not only strengthen the global culture of our region but to set examples of acceptance and cooperation. The influence of this acceptance and growing diversity will allow current and future PPS students to have a sense of the world beyond Pittsburgh and the chance to learn to collaborate. As the Pittsburgh region continues to expand its cultural and linguistic diversity, Pittsburgh Public Schools will be at the forefront of merging new students and families, along with native Pittsburghers, into one common humanity – much like the Allegheny and the Monongahela converge to form the mighty Ohio. Lauren Bachorski is the Special Projects Coordinator for The Pittsburgh Promise.

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Chinese (Mandarin) : 你好  Somali: is: ka warren  Nepali namaste Haitian Creole: alo  Arabic : ‫مرح با‬  Swahili: wapendwa  Arabic : ‫مرح با‬hello  Vietnamese: chào  English:  Kirundi : Bwakeye  English: hello  Hebrew : ‫שלום‬  Somali: is ka warren  Azerbaijani: salam  Somali: is kaPortuguese: warren  Brazilian Olá   Arabic : ‫با‬ ‫مرح‬ wapendwa  Swahili: wapendwa  Swahili: French: bonjour  Spanish: ¡Hola  English: hello  Kirundi : Bwakeye Yoruba: Ẹ: nBwakeye lẹ  Kirundi  azerbaijani Russian:  Somali:привет is ka warren  Azerbaijani:  Burmese:salam min-ga-la-ba  Azerbaijani: salam  Swahili: wapendwa  Chinese (Mandarin) : 你好 yoruba  Spanish:  Thai :¡Hola สวัสดี Spanish: ¡Hola   Kirundi : Bwakeye  Russian: привет hindi (namastē)  Nepali : namaste  Hindi : नमस्ते  Azerbaijani: salam  Russian: привет  Chinese (Mandarin) : 你好  Cambodian : Sour Sdey english  Haitian Creole:  Spanish: ¡Hola alo  Nepali : namaste  Chinese (Mandarin) : 你好   Russian: привет Gujarati: હેલchà ો o  Vietnamese: somali  Haitian Creole: alo Nepali(Mandarin) : Hallo namaste   Chinese : 你好  German : chà  Vietnamese: o hebrew : ‫( שלום‬shalom)  Hebrew   Nepali namaste Haitian Creole:  Japanese : もしもし alo  Hebrew : : ‫שלום‬  Brazilian Portuguese: Olá malay Haitian Creole: : Hello alo  Vietnamese: chà MalayPortuguese:  Brazilian Oláo  Vietnamese: chào こんにちは (kon'nichiwa)  French: bonjour  Polish : Halo japanese French: bonjour  Hebrew : ‫שלום‬  Hebrew : ‫שלום‬  Ukrainian Привіт  kirundi Yoruba: ẸẸnnlẹ:lẹ  Yoruba:  Brazilian Portuguese: Olá  Brazilian Portuguese: Olá  Burmese: min-ga-la-ba german  Burmese: min-ga-la-ba   French: bonjour French: bonjour  Thai : สวัสดี  Yoruba: Ẹ n lẹ (marhaba) arabic  Thai สวั สดี Ẹ n lẹ  :Yoruba:  Hindi : नमस्ते  Burmese: min-ga-la-ba polish Burmese: min-ga-la-ba  Cambodian  Hindi : नमस्ते  Thai : สวัส:ดีSour Sdey 

Learn to say hi to your fellow classmates with a simple greeting.

¯ .¯  thai Thai: હેनमस्ते :લสวั Gujarati: ો สดี (swasdī) Hindi  Cambodian : Sour Sdey Arabic : ‫ با‬ ‫مرح‬ : Hallo swahili  Cambodian Hindi : नमस्ते German : Sour Sdey Gujarati: લો English:  hello  Japanese હે : もしもし gujarati  Gujarati: હેલો (hēllō)  Cambodian : Sour Sdey kaMalay : Hello Somali:  is German warren : Hallo  German : Hallo cambodian  Polish : Halo  Gujarati: હેલો Swahili: wapendwa  Japanese : もしもし  Japanese もしもし (pryvit) ukranian  Ukrainian :: ‫با‬ Привіт Arabic : ‫مرح‬ Kirundi : Bwakeye   Malay : Hello: Hallo German  Malay : Hello  nepali English: hello  Polish : Halo Azerbaijani: salam  Japanese : もしもし  Somali: is: ka warren  Polish : Halo  creole Ukrainian Привіт Spanish:haitian ¡Hola 

                 

Malaywapendwa : Hello Ukrainian : Привіт burmese Russian: привет Polish : Halo  Kirundi : Bwakeye chinese mandarin : 你好 (zài zhōngguó) Chinese (Mandarin)  Azerbaijani: Ukrainiansalam : Привіт Nepali : namaste  french Spanish: ¡Hola Haitian Creole: alo привет (privet)  russian Russian: Vietnamese: spanish chà o Chinese (Mandarin) : 你好 Hebrew : vietnamese ‫שלום‬  Nepali : namaste Brazilian Portuguese: Olá alo  Haitian Creole:  Vietnamese: chào French: bonjour Yoruba: Ẹ n lẹHebrew : ‫שלום‬  Brazilian Portuguese: Olá Burmese: min-ga-la-ba Thai : สวัสดี French: bonjour 


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IT CAN BE DIFFICULT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR EDUCATIONAL PATH SHOULD BE. WHEN THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE, A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ARE SURE TO CROP UP: What should I study after high school? What type of school is a good fit for me? What type of job will I get when I graduate and will I be able to get a job easily?” To shed some light on one area of study, we asked three experts to provide us with a blueprint of Career and Technical Education by answering three big questions:

CAN I EXPLORE CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN HIGH SCHOOL? By: Angela Mike Executive Director, Career and Technical Education, Pittsburgh Public Schools As you enter your sophomore year of high school, you can experience the best of both worlds in a Pittsburgh Public Schools Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTE will put you on the path to earn Pittsburgh Promise scholarships, post-secondary degrees, industry-recognized certifications and jobs with upward mobility. Some will leave the Pittsburgh Public Schools with not only a high school diploma but an industry certification and college credits. Students who aspire to attend college or a workforce certification program may discover that CTE can help their dreams come true. At the end of the program, you can complete a National Occupational Competency Testing Institute exam. If you achieve advanced scores, you are eligible for advanced placement in a number of postsecondary schools throughout the state and can earn cost-free college credits while still in high school. The CTE program allows you the opportunity to pursue your passion and obtain an industryrecognized certification at the same time. Perhaps you would like to become a cosmetologist—you can 24 ideapod // SPRING 2013

obtain a license to work in a salon which could lead to opening your own business. Or maybe you want to go into the sports industry—the Business of Sports Academy (BOSA) provides students with the opportunity to earn college credits from Duquesne University and learn about sports marketing, media, law and ethics. Or you may want to enter the food services industry—in the District’s culinary arts program students can earn ServSafe certification and create a career in cooking. Other CTE programs include automotive body repair, automotive technology, engineering technology, finance, health careers technology, information technology, machine operations and refrigeration heating, ventilation and air conditioning (RHVAC). You can also obtain a certification in CPR, NIMS, ASE, EPA 608, OSHA, Microsoft and CISCO. By participating in CTE, you will develop your critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. Along the way, you’ll learn what it means to have a strong work ethic and to be a team player, which will help you to become productive, successful, and employable. CTE expands student options. Not only can CTE students go to college, they can earn credits at no cost. Certifications are industry-recognized and sometimes necessary to gain employment or additional training in certain fields. Finally, CTE programs provide academic rigor and the opportunity to learn technical skills that are in demand in the job market. Through CTE, you can become college and career ready, truly giving you the best of both worlds.

To learn more Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Pittsburgh Public Schools, please visit the website at:, send an email message to or call 412-665-2258.

IS A CAREER OR TECHNICAL COLLEGE RIGHT FOR ME? By: Gregory DeFeo President, Pittsburgh Technical Institute Choosing the right college is personal. There is no straight-forward answer or litmus test to determine which students should attend a technical school or career college. Your personality, your style of learning, and your career goals should be your guide when selecting the right school – for you. Technical education runs the spectrum from specialty schools with a single focus to colleges with many programs. Some prepare students for skilled, white-collar careers such as accounting, nursing, web development, and high-tech robotics. Others prepare students for trade-oriented careers such as welding, automotive mechanics, electronics, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Education comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Institutions can be very different even though they may look alike, sound alike and offer similar degrees and programs. It is often how an institution delivers education and how it connects with students that really matters. But, how do you know if one of these career-focused options is right for you? Start by thinking about how you learn best and ask yourself questions like these: 1) Do I enjoy hands-on learning more than traditional lectures? Do I learn best by doing, not hearing? 2) Would I prefer to spend my time mastering career-specific skills, and less time in general education classes? 3) Do I prefer small labs to larger lecture halls? 4) Am I eager to get started? Would I prefer to graduate in 1 or 2 years, not 4 or 5 years? 5) Do I have an idea of the career I wish to pursue? If you can answer yes to a few of these questions, then it’s likely in your best interest to visit one of the many technical schools and career colleges in the Pittsburgh area.

On your visit ask about your classes and how they are taught. Request a tour of classrooms and labs so you can see where you will be learning and the equipment you will be using. Talk to instructors to learn about their industry experience. It is important to choose the right program at the right college. It might not be what everyone else is choosing or expects. It is about matching what you like to do with a career and finding a college that can support those goals. Technical education can be right for students graduating at the top of their class as well as those who may have struggled in high school. Because technical education focuses on student strengths and interests, it reinforces academic success. Students can relate hands-on learning to the career they want when they graduate. Continuing your education beyond high school is a wise investment. Take the time to compare different types of schools. The more homework you do at the beginning, the wiser your choice will be. After all, what really matters is graduating and landing a job that makes you happy to go to work every day.

WHAT FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH CAREER AND TECHNICAL TRAINING? By: Debbie Bier Director of Admissions, Rosedale Technical Institute Much has been said about the poor state of the current job market. It seems every headline or employment report relays a grim forecast to those in search of work. In this down economy, several major sectors of the American workforce bucking the national trend seem to have been overlooked. Careers within the trades are back in a real way. Not only are the job opportunities opening faster than in most other areas, they’re also paying more than ever.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 20082018 the U.S. will need 28 percent more heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians and 23 percent more electrical technicians. The BLS predicts similar growth in health care, many not requiring advanced medical training, including home health aids, x-ray technicians and nursing home workers. The automotive field is also expected to grow at a healthy rate now that the car companies are starting to rebound. The projection for growth is similarly positive in a number of other skilled trade positions including pipe fitters/welding, plumbing, aviation maintenance, construction management, and maintenance supervision, among others. Locally, the development of the Marcellus Shale industry has spiked the demand for electricians, diesel technicians, machinists, truck drivers, carpenters and other skilled trades-people. Energy companies cannot seem to fill these positions with trained, able workers fast enough. In order to do so, the salaries and wages being offered are generally more lucrative. So, what has created this increased demand? According to Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America, “Many skilled-trade positions fall into the “middle-skills” job category, or jobs that do not require a four-year degree, yet do require some education or training beyond high school.” The perception has long been that to become

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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

successful, an education at a four-year institution or beyond was needed. That is simply no longer the case. Students finishing high school need to be aware that there are other avenues to success. A trade school offers training that is focused, affordable and accelerated allowing for the student to enter the workforce quickly. Due to the skills gap, the demand for trades-people continues to steadily grow while the supply of skilled workers has not kept pace. Also, owning your own business is a real option for many in the skilled trades. An office environment is not for everyone. For those who like to work with their hands and pursue growing industries, a career in the trades may be the answer.

$39 million Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion

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 $19,000 in renewable awards • 100 percent of freshmen receive financial aid • Catholic, Benedictine values orientation in and out of the classroom

Latrobe, Pennsylvania | Quali t y E d uc atio n i n t hE BE nE di ct i n E t rad i t i o n

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in education

pioneer in research


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

For information on admissions:

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have fun. Make friends. Build a career in 2 YeARS OR leSS.

> Proud participant of the Pittsburgh Promise > Hands-on learning and career-focused programs > Preparation for the Marcellus Shale industry > Financial aid available – find out if you qualify > Institutional grants and scholarships – find out if you are eligible > Member of Servicemembers Opportunity College > Approved for the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon program > Unlimited career search assistance > On-campus and off-campus student housing

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3/5/13 3:24 PM



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

From top left across: Esther Barazzone, Greg Defeo, Cheryl Norton & Karen M. Whitney.

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ident Q:

While pursuing your degree, what academic or extra-curricular experience unexpectedly shaped your life?



As a 19 year-old undergraduate, I was given the opportunity through a small travel scholarship to go to Guatemala for a program working with Peace Corps volunteers. My assignment was in the remote cloud forest area, where I lived with a US missionary family.

The time you spend inside classrooms and labs is important. Just as important is the time you spend outside; these hours can shape the person you become. My days in school in Tennessee were incredibly busy. While pursuing my accounting degree, I worked part-time delivering pizza and stocking shelves, competed in intramural softball, basketball and flag football, and spent more hours playing pinball than I am comfortable admitting. All that plus studying for class packed my days from morning ‘til night.

I assisted the PeaceCorps volunteers who worked with indigenous families helping them design pigpens to ensure the mothers would not lie down on and crush the piglets, destroying a valuable food and income source. It led to a lifetime fascination with travel, languages and intercultural learning, and has influenced both my personal and professional life. I received a Fulbright award to go to Spain after college, and earned a Ph.D. in European History. This influence has continued into my life as an administrator. Chatham has received the Andrew Heiskell award for internationalization and is ranked in the top 10 by the Open Doors publication for sending students abroad for at least a short travel experience. I continue to believe that early travel opportunities open young minds in ways that cannot be otherwise replicated. My sons also live in China and Brazil, so I consider them well launched to a lifetime of joyous international life and learning!

DR. CHERYL NORTON SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY Very early in my career I accepted a position as the Director of Recreational Therapy for the University of Virginia Hospital’s locked psychiatric unit. I was responsible for delivering recreational activities for a variety of patients, ages 14 to 70+. I always enjoyed exercise and sports and I always felt better after “sweating.” Unfortunately, my patients didn’t share my enthusiasm, and I had to find new and creative ways to get them up and moving. This “hands-on” experience challenged me to think outside the box and provided many “aha” moments as I saw these patients become healthier and better able to address their psychological problems. As a result, after leaving Virginia, I pursued a graduate degree in Exercise Physiology for the purpose of learning how to utilize exercise to promote wellness. Today, this initiative is referred to as, “Exercise is Medicine.” Slippery Rock University is known nationally for its preeminent Exercise Science program and our hands-on learning approach that develops students who are leaders in this field and who are making a difference in the lives of individuals they serve. After all, as the Buddhist saying asks, “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?”

As I reflect on this time, I realize the friendships I made hanging out in the cafeteria, throwing Frisbee in the park, bowling for the university team, and staying up all night talking about relationships, movies and sports taught me about life and profoundly impacted me. I learned the importance of hard work and commitment. I learned about myself, what I believe in, and the significance of treating people with respect and compassion. I learned that no matter how bad things seem they are never as bad as we think. I learned the unconditional value of friendship. The friends I made in college helped me become the person I am today. We shared good times and bad. We gave each other strength and perspective. We still do.

DR. KAREN M. WHITNEY CLARION UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA While pursuing my undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Houston, I worked many part-time jobs to pay my way through college. One job that shaped my entire professional career – from the very beginning to my current work at Clarion University – was in student housing. I held a variety of positions in the areas of student leadership and community development, eventually becoming a manager for one residence hall and then for an entire complex. Now, 33 years later, I am proud to be the president of Clarion University. What was clear to me then, and equally so now, is that learning is important but applying what you have learned is transformational. Combining the formal learning obtained in class with the informal learning acquired through the myriad of intentional and unintentional interactions – such as working on campus, being a member of a student organization, collaborating with faculty on research, studying in another country and volunteering in the community – WILL change your life. I know this is true because it changed mine!

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FULL CIRCLE with the Promise

Ally’s story takes her from a PPS student, to Promise scholar, to becoming one of Pittsburgh’s brightest new talents inspiring others to dream big! “In 2008, I graduated Valedictorian from Pittsburgh Langley High School; which made me part of the first graduating class to receive The Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship! I was so fortunate to receive the scholarship because it helped me pay for a large portion of my tuition at Robert Morris University for a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate. In March of 2012, I traveled to Belmopan, Belize in Central America to complete my student teaching semester through Robert Morris. With limited resources, I taught geometry Monday-Friday on an outdoor campus with an average temperature of 108 degrees. I spent my days with wonderful children who brought such joy to my life. They said that I changed their lives but they can never know the unforgettable impact they had on me. After returning from Belize, I felt even more inspired to teach in the city that gave so much to me- Pittsburgh. I launched into my job search focusing on Pittsburgh Public Schools and spent all summer looking for a full time teaching position.

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I feel so privileged that in February 2013 I started teaching 8th grade mathematics at Pittsburgh King PreK-8. As a city resident, Pittsburgh Public Schools alumna and Promise scholar, I am proud to be able to contribute to the lives of young Pittsburgh students. On my first day at Pittsburgh King, I made sure to share my story with my students. I want them to understand that it is possible for them to work hard to receive a Promise scholarship, attend a college of their choice, and pursue the future of their dreams. In my classroom I encourage students to set academic goals and strive to meet them daily with those dreams in mind. I specifically want to instill in them that every grade earned counts towards their future, each grade matters. Students enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools have an amazing opportunity through The Pittsburgh Promise and I hope that all of my students will take advantage of The Promise and follow their dreams!” Allyson Vignone attended Pittsburgh Langley High School & Robert Morris University before she became a King PreK-8 Teacher in 8th Grade Mathematics.

International Brotherhood International Brotherhood of Workers ofElectrical Electrical Workers Local Union No. 5No. 5 Local Union 5 Hot Metal Street, Southside, Pittsburgh, PA For youryour electrical & telecommunication Forallall electrical & telecommunication contractors with needs, using needs, using qualified contractors with highly-trained electrical workers, contact highly-trained electrical workers, contact (412) 432-1400 (412) 432-1400 MichaelMichael R. Dunleavy, BusinessBusiness Manager Manager R. Dunleavy, Thomas H. Dennis Higgins,E.President Eicker, President Michael W. Varholla, Vice President Thomas R. McIntyre, Vice-President Thomas R. McIntyre, Jr. , Recording Secretary Thomas H. Higgins, Recording Secretary Richard R. Dunkel, Treasurer Michael W. Varholla, Treasurer


A PAID A5-year 5-year PAID Electrical Electrical Apprenticeship Apprenticeship Program (the equivalent of a $200,000 Program (the equivalent of a $200,000 scholarship) scholarship) ••Earn & benefi Earnwages wages & benefits tswhile while going program goingthru thruthe the program

Minimum MinimumRequirements: Requirements: ••High Graduate HighSchool School Graduate

••Receive a CCAC Associate Receive a CCAC Associate Degree DegreeininElectrical Electrical Construction ConstructionTechnology Technology

••Current Driver’s License Current Driver’s License

••Be Union Member Bea aproud proud Union Member

••11year ofof High School Algebra year High School Algebra

••18 of of ageage 18years years

IBEW Local 5’s 5’s Livewithin within IBEW Local ••Be of our overover 118-year Bea apart part of our 118-year ••Live jurisdiction (covers 22 jurisdiction (covers 22 proud proudhistory history counties countiesininPA) PA) ••Be of our overover 25 years Bea apart part of our 25 years of ofGreen GreenTechnology Technology

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For & Application ForQuestions Questions & Application Information, please call:call: Information, please JOINT JOINTAPPRENTICESHIP APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING COMMITTEE TRAINING COMMITTEE I.B.E.W. Local Union No. No. 5& 5 & I.B.E.W. Local Union W. NECA W.PA PAChapter, Chapter, NECA (412) (412)432-1145 432-1145 55 Hot Street, Suite 100 100 HotMetal Metal Street, Suite Pittsburgh, 15203 Pittsburgh,PAPA 15203

4/8/10 4/8/10 1:56:41 1:56:41 AM AM

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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.

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32 ideapod // SPRING 2013


33 ideapod // SPRING 2013

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promise parents for the


May 22, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:30 am- 1:00 pm Rivers Club, One Oxford Centre, 4th level Price $35 per person RSVP by May 17, 2013 Register online at For additional information, please call 412-281-7605 or email

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