Idea Pod Magazine Spring 2015

Page 1


The magazine of The Pittsburgh Promise

Be well. Start now and you can take small steps toward big wellness.

Stand Up to Stress Yoga For Sound Sleep Real Talk About Real Food

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Real Talk About Real Food


First Word


Standing Up to Stress




Stretch, Smile, Sleep


Building Community


Learn & Earn


Giving Glimpse


Banking: A Building Block of Financial Health


Career Spotlight


Pittsburgh: A Wellness Warriors Playground


Promise Faces


Ask The President


Last Look

EDITORIAL Executive Editors Lauren Bachorski, Saleem Ghubril


Contributing Writers Theo McCauley, Christine Cray, Allyce Pinchback, Natalie Borkowski Emily Zapinski, Ryonna Ly, Alaina Webber, George Heidekat Lauren Bachorski, James Brenner, Esther L. Bush, Emily Stimmel Dr. Suzanne K. Mellon

Franco Harris (Chair) Member, NFL Hall of Fame Owner, Super Bakery, Inc.

Anne Lewis Chair Oxford Development Company

Art Direction/Design Phil Mollenkof

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

Pamela Little-Poole Youth Organizer A+ Schools

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

David Malone President and CEO Gateway Financial Group

Photography Joshua Franzos, Phil Mollenkof Illustration David Pohl Advertising Marsha Kolbe


The Pittsburgh Promise is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and is an affiliate of The Pittsburgh Foundation. The Pittsburgh Promise is a partnership between Pittsburgh Public Schools, the City of Pittsburgh, UPMC and other key funders. Ideapod is funded through advertisements placed by Promiseeligible, post-secondary institutions.

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Olga Welch, EdD (Secretary) Dean, School of Education Duquesne University Charles Burke, Jr. Chairman The Grable Foundation

William Peduto Mayor City of Pittsburgh Cindy Shapira Senior Policy Advisor Allegheny County Executive

Debra Kline Demchak Community Leader

David Shapira Executive Chairman Giant Eagle, Inc.

Kirk Johnson SVP, Wealth Management Merrill Lynch

Edith Shapira, MD Psychiatrist Private Practice

Maxwell King President and CEO The Pittsburgh Foundation

Kiya Tomlin Owner & Designer Kiya Tomlin Pittsburgh

Linda Lane, EdD Superintendent Pittsburgh Public Schools

Demetri Zervoudis Senior Vice President Bayer Material Science

Mark Laskow Managing Director Greycourt & Co.

Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise


YOU GOTTA MAKE DEPOSITS... ...If you ever want to make withdrawals Saleem Ghubril Executive Director The Pittsburgh Promise You gotta make deposits if you ever want to make withdrawals. At its most basic level, that principle is true in financial matters. I can’t go to the ATM to take out money if I had not already made some deposits into my account. If I do, I will either be rejected, or I will go into debt. I am not excited about either prospect. I can only take out cash to the degree that I make contributions. This is financial wellness. I cannot expect my friends or family members to be there for me when I need them if I am not also there for them when they need me. I might be able to get away with that in times of crisis, but that cannot be the norm, because that would make me a “taker,” and relationships require give and take. I can only have good friends to the extent that I am also a good friend. This is social wellness.


In the City of Pittsburgh

90 Neighborhoods to choose from!

I cannot perform my best at school, or be on top of my game at work, or reach the levels of achievement at my sport or art, if I am not also getting enough sleep, eating enough healthy meals, and being involved in positive activities with positive people. If I don’t give my body and mind the rest, nutrients, and recreation that they need, they will not give me the success to which I aspire. This is physical and mental wellness. I cannot meet the challenges and the crises that emerge in my life and stay standing tall and be full of hope despite circumstances, if I am not building up my internal self and feeding my spirit with those things that bring me peace and fuel my hopefulness and trust. If I don’t pay attention to the inner voice, I will eventually become cynical and negative and too jaded to be effective in making this world a better place. This is spiritual and emotional wellness. And, if I pay attention to all of these areas, I have a greater shot at being a well person in my whole self and relationships. I desire this for the people I love, and for me. I also desire this for you. Be well, good friend.

ATTEND Pittsburgh Public Schools

EARN up to $40,000


90% +

2.50 GPA

(cumulative and unweighted)

= Up to $40,000 scholarship 3 ideapod // SPRING 2015



BEST DAY YOUR LIFE Starting when you wake at the odd hours of the morning, and ending when your noggin finally hits the pillow; every day is like a journey. Sometimes it’s hard to make a single day stand out, but, believe it or not, it’s always more fun to take the scenic route. When you fist-bump your alarm clock tomorrow morning, try following our road map. You’ll find that the best day of your life is just around the corner!

By Theo McCauley Promise Scholar, University of Pittsburgh


6:30 am

7:00 am


Set an alarm on the other side of your room with a big glass of water waiting for you. Standing up will get the blood moving and the cold water will snap you into focus!



Whether you realize it or not, taking notes will keep you actively engaged in the class discussion (which feels a lot better than falling asleep in the front row again).

Crack two eggs and add a splash of milk to a bowl. Toss it in the microwave for 55 seconds. Eggs are among the most nutritious food on the planet and easy to make.

7:15 am

10:00 am

Walk to school. If it’s too far, ride your bike! A little morning exercise will kick start your day way better than a jittery caramel macchiato addiction.


We know the cafeteria pizza is quite divine, but packing your own lunch makes you more conscious about how much pizza is too much pizza.


3:40 pm

Practice juggling. Learn a magic trick. Solve a Rubik’s cube. These are easy tricks that you can learn on YouTube that could come in handy someday!


9:15 pm


Studies show that you’ll sleep better if you put down your phone for at least one hour before going to bed. You’ve had a long day; use this time to unwind. Grab a book or listen to some music.

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10:30 pm

You need to sleep! If you’re still too wired, try reading a book or doing 50 pushups before going to bed. Both will help you sleep better and snooze longer!

Your Promise + Ours

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

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.

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Christine Cray is Director of Student Service Reforms for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

You can help younger students stay Promise-ready all year long.

GET INVOLVED: Learn more about Summer Dreamers Academy: email: web: phone: 412.529.2454


hat do you usually do over the summer? If you are anything like most kids, you fill your summer days visiting your friends’ houses, playing video games, or just sitting around the house. You might enjoy sleeping in for the first few weeks, but around the Fourth of July you start to get a little bit bored. By the time you do return to the classroom in the fall, you may find that it takes a few weeks to get back into the swing of your academic classes. You have to reach far back into your brain to remember everything that you learned the year before.

We aim to blend all of the fun elements of summer camp with the academic benefits that students would receive in a traditional summer school program. After arriving to camp and fueling up with a nutritious breakfast, campers start the day with a high energy All Camp Meeting, where they can participate in silly “Minute To Win It” competitions, line dance to the Cupid Shuffle, and be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments. The campers also participate in an English and Mathematics block. These academic classes reinforce what campers learned the prior school year, and preview the topics that they will see in the next grade level.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Over one hundred years of research has shown that summer is a time when most students lose academic skills in reading and math. For younger students, this can add up over the years and results in some students falling far behind their peers by the time they reach high school. We are trying to fix that for about 1,500 students through the Summer Dreamers Academy, a summer learning camp run by Pittsburgh Public Schools that serves students who have completed kindergarten through seventh grade.

This is not school as usual! Reading Idol performances, math games, and hands-on activities ensure that campers are having fun while they are learning. Each afternoon, campers participate in their choice of enrichment activities. In past years, we have offered video game design, fencing, swimming, community service, dance, and more! Throughout camp, we show students that learning is fun, and that it is never too early to begin working towards The Pittsburgh Promise. In fact, our camp chant includes the lines “I am a big dreamer, I know what to do,

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I will graduate and I’ll get the Promise too! We have lots of knowledge, we have lots of fun, we will go to college and show YOU just how it’s done!” And campers can earn “Promise Dollars” for their accomplishments during camp, just as students can earn The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship for their accomplishments in school. While we have great teachers and staff who work for us each summer, our campers really love student volunteers! In past years, we have brought on teens to assist in our academic and activity classrooms, and to interact with campers during lunch and recess. Volunteers have done everything from helping campers select books at our camp book fair, working with small groups of campers on reading and math, and playing basketball with campers on the playground. Our elementary kids love hearing what it’s like in middle and high school. They look up to older students who can show them what’s possible as they progress through school. If you’re interested in volunteering at the 2015 Summer Dreamers Academy, check out the information above. Additionally, many of our partners hire staff through the Summer Youth Employment Program. Check out page 20 to learn more.



On January 6, 2015, our annual Promise Career Launch brought together over 30 local employers with talented Promise scholars. Each year, top local companies join us in connecting Promise scholars to the region’s workforce. This year, we were lucky to have a presenting panel of Promise alumni, many of whom landed their jobs at The Career Launch in years past.

“I just finished my first six months at UPMC in corporate accounting. I’m very humbled that it does in fact come back to this exact event at this time last year. [The Career Launch] gets you energized! You’re ready to go. You’re ready to talk to recruiters!” ­Chris Norman Promise Alumnus, UPMC “It’s more than just a scholarship, it’s an opportunity. Having that courage and confidence, it gives you the opportunity to shine, and land that position.” Darryl Loman, II Promise Alumnus, Bayer Material Science



UPMC Highmark

Ca re er 20 Lau 15 nc h

PARTICIPATING EMPLOYERS Aerotek American Eagle Outfitters Bayer Material Science Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management Block Communications, Inc. BNY Mellon Brunner City of Pittsburgh Dollar Bank Duquesne Light Everpower First Commonwealth Bank Garrison Hughes Advertising Giant Eagle Google Highmark Imagine Careers Industrial Scientific Corp. Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania Massaro Corporation Mylan Peoples Natural Gas Pitt-Ohio Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Public Schools PLS Logistics Services PNC Financial Services Group Range Resources Corporation Robert Morris University Thermo Fisher Scientific U.S. Steel UPMC Urban Innovation21 WESCO Distribution Z Brand

$1 MILLION American Eagle Outfitters Mylan BNY Mellon PNC Financial Services Group Giant Eagle Thermo Fisher Scientific McGuinn Family Foundation


watch the video

Carolina Pais-Barreto Beyers and Pam Arroyo (Coudriet), Pittsburgh Promise Champions Zeve Family Foundation, Luncheon Sponsor

scan with smartphone

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ALLYCE Fostering a family legacy in Pittsburgh Public Schools, Allyce has an unlimited passion for making a difference, one step at a time.


y family has built a strong legacy in Pittsburgh Public Schools; four generations of PPS graduates and counting. Our commitment doesn’t stop after graduation. My mother, La’Fay, taught in the District for 38 years, my cousin, Ronniece, has been a PPS teacher for 18 years, my cousin, Sharene, served as president of the PPS School Board, and I am currently the District’s Director of Professional Development. As a family, we truly understand the value of a quality education and what it means for a successful future. When The Pittsburgh Promise was established in 2008, I was elated that post-secondary education would become a reality for so many more of our students. And when The Promise asked me to join their Young Leaders Board to encourage young professional engagement, I jumped at the offer, or should I say, I walked.

This past October, I fundraised for and participated in the Walk for One Promise. The walk is a journey that spans 13 miles and includes five school visits, including my own elementary school! I had no idea what it would feel like to walk that far, but being surrounded by so many passionate supporters of PPS and The Pittsburgh Promise made the long voyage seem like a walk in the park! The Pittsburgh Promise is so much more than a scholarship. It is a commitment to making Pittsburgh a smarter, more inclusive, and truly livable city for all by providing access to higher education for the next generation of leaders. The sustainability of The Promise depends on people like you and me who believe in the power of education, and are willing to support it with our time and resources. Help us to keep our promise to Pittsburgh students by Walking for One Promise. Register at the website below.

A city-wide walk for Pittsburgh’s kids. September 26, 2015

Allyce Pinchback is Director of Professional Development for Pittsburgh Public Schools and a 2005 graduate of Schenley High School

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


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

WALK FOR ONE PROMISE Register at: walkforonepromise2015

UNITED WAY Use our agency code number 9576075 when donating.

Zachary Neal, Pittsburgh Promise Executive Scholar and Nursing student at Duquesne University


Natalie Borkowski, recruiter, UPMC Schools of Nursing, has 26 years of experience helping students obtain the education they need to enter satisfying careers in the nursing profession.





ursing offers a rewarding career that provides financial security, flexibility, and endless opportunities. Nurses deliver and coordinate patient care, educate patients about various health conditions, and give advice and support to patients and their families. If you enjoy working with people, get satisfaction from helping others, have an interest in science, and are motivated to work hard toward your goals, consider the many benefits of professional nursing. Obtain Your Degree in 16 Months “Many schools offer registered nurse degrees in 16 months or less, which enables students to enter the workforce, making a competitive salary in a relatively short period of time,” says Joanne Vukotich, director, Student Affairs and Recruitment, UPMC Schools of Nursing. “Through partnership with UPMC, The Pittsburgh Promise gives students the financial means to complete a prestigious clinical nursing program, while our Schools of Nursing offer the knowledge they need to provide world class medical care.” There are 36-month, part-time, evening, and weekend programs available for students who may need to balance work and family responsibilities with their education. Competitive Salaries, Strong Demand After earning a degree, graduates enter a job market in need of nurses. Aging Baby Boomers, increased emphasis on preventive care, and growing rates of chronic health conditions like diabetes and obesity have created a job demand for nurses across the country that is expected to continue for the next decade. This demand also means job security, employment opportunities, and competitive pay no matter where you choose to live. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for a registered nurse in 2012 was $65,470.

Flexible Schedule In addition to providing financial stability, a nursing career can offer great flexibility in your work schedule. Depending upon the care setting in which you’re employed, you may have the opportunity to work an 8- or 12-hour shift, weekends only, or part time. Many nurses choose to work shifts around family obligations, child care, and personal activities. Endless Opportunities As a professional nurse, you can use your knowledge and experience in a variety of different ways. Many registered nurses begin as staff nurses in hospitals or community health settings, including doctors’ offices, home health care services, nursing care facilities, schools, or in the military. You may want to leverage scheduling flexibility to make time to obtain an advanced nursing degree. With further education, you can work as a nurse manager, teacher, researcher, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist. From the challenges of medical-surgical, cardiology, obstetrics, pediatrics, and intensive care nursing, to the rigors of trauma and burn, transplantation, rehabilitation, and research, nurses can continue to advance their careers to positions with more responsibility. Professional opportunities are as varied as the patients nurses care for. A Rewarding Career It’s no surprise that in a 2014 Gallup poll, Americans ranked nursing as the most honest and ethical profession. Nurses have more patient contact than any other health care professionals. They provide day-to-day support, often during the most trying times in a patient’s life. The compassionate care you give will be integral to your patient’s healing and bring you great personal satisfaction in return.

UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing

A great way to explore a potential profession is to volunteer. Charles “Eric” Stadterman, a graduate of Pittsburgh’s Allderdice High School and recent graduate from the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing, was inspired to enter the nursing profession after volunteering in the emergency department at UPMC Shadyside. “Patients rarely interacted with the doctors, most of their information came from the nurses … who also provided the things that patients needed the most,” he wrote in his admission essay. Following his volunteer experience, Eric was determined to be on the front lines of patient care. “I’m so excited to get started in my new career,” Eric says. “I find it very rewarding to provide direct patient care and help get people out of the hospital as quickly as possible, and back to their normal lives.” For more information, contact Natalie Borkowski at:

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An Allderdice graduate, Emily Zapinski is the Mascaro Scholar of The Pittsburgh Promise.


& SUSTAINABILITY Equal parts engineering wonder and environmental activist, Emily hopes to inspire change, one sustainable building at a time.

Tell us little bit about how you discovered your path in engineering and your passion for sustainability. Growing up, I loved to read and I loved to spend time in Frick Park. I didn’t think much about what I wanted to do, but I knew that I loved reading, writing, nature, and helping people. Little did I know that there’s a whole field of opportunities that involves all of those things. I attended Pittsburgh Allderdice, and it was there that I became fascinated with math and science. They were never my strongest subjects, but it’s amazing how having a really great teacher can change your whole perspective. While my eleventh grade peers were fretting over college decisions and the rest of their lives, I felt sure of myself. I knew I wanted to help make a direct impact and work as a civil or environmental engineer. Choosing a major is a difficult process for many students. What inspires you about your major and how do you know it is the right choice? Civil engineering will allow me to combine my love of helping others with my passion for the environment. Civil engineers work to make people’s lives better in just about every aspect, from drinking water to air pollution to designing better neighborhoods and schools. The social aspect, mixed with math and science, is what inspires me and confirms my choice. You are an advocate for sustainable building on your campus. How did you get involved? During my freshman year at Pitt, I joined a club called Engineers for a Sustainable World, and it has been a very influential part of my life. Through ESW, I learned more about how civil engineers use their technical knowledge to design and construct buildings that are highly efficient in conserving water, electricity, and waste products. It’s so important that we start designing with the planet in mind because this is the only planet we have. In addition to learning about sustainable buildings, I got to apply my knowledge in several volunteer projects. I even got to help build a rain gar10 ideapod // SPRING 2015

den in Oakland! It’s so important to be proactive in applying your skills and figuring out what you like and don’t like. Joining a related club or project also serves as a great reminder of what you’re working toward. I encourage everyone to give back and also to utilize their experience to learn more about their interests. What is your advice for other students who are considering STEM studies, especially students who may be intimidated by STEM? I know what I’m interested in and what I want to be doing, but getting there hasn’t been so easy. The college adjustment, as well as the demanding classes, has been challenging for me. If you think that you might be interested in math or science, I would say start getting involved as soon as you can. Take upper-level classes, they will only help you. Talk to your teachers about why they became interested in their subject, and ask them if they know any related programs or activities. They will be thrilled that you’re asking, trust me. I’m still very grateful to my twelfth grade physics teacher who pushed me toward every opportunity she could. There are so many different topics and areas in science. You are bound to find something you like, and once you find it, stick with it. Be your own biggest supporter, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Only you decide that. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help. I would not be where I am if it weren’t for all the help I’ve received from my parents and from teachers. It’s okay to pursue the subjects you’re not the best at, as long as you enjoy them. Natural skill cannot replace hard work and ambition. When times get hard, and they will, remember where you want to be in five or ten years. What is your dream for your future? My dream job would be working with a team of people to implement LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) strategies into new or existing buildings. My dream is to make life better for the planet and for the people who live and work on it.


David L. Lawrence Convention Center

This was actually the first green convention center! Last winter, I was able to attend a conference on sustainability in a sustainable building, which was pretty cool.

Consol Energy Center

It’s the only NHL LEED-certified arena in North America, plus Penguins games are always fun.

Phipps Conservatory

This building has always been way ahead of the game when it comes to sustainable innovation and development. Visiting their Center for Sustainable Landscapes is what first inspired me to get involved with sustainable buildings.

The Tower at PNC Plaza

I got to visit this construction site through the ACE Mentor Program, and it was one of the coolest experiences ever. This building has so many great green features, and by the time it’s completed, it will be one of the greenest buildings in the world!

CCAC Open House—

Become a College Student in One Day! Learn about: • Associate degree, certificate & diploma programs • Transfer programs • In-demand careers • Scholarships, grants & loans

Thursday, April 16 8:00AM–7:00PM

Tuesday, July 14 8:00AM–7:00PM At all CCAC campuses & centers

OUR GOAL IS YOUR 412.237.3100


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Be Well 2015

Democratizing food with Food Revolution Cooking Club


ood is something we all need, and eating is an experience that we all share. Food is central to our concept of who we are, the work we do, and our standards of living across campuses and cities. Food is meant to be relational, creative, restorative, just, and an expression of hospitality. Yet, we have conflicted views and complicated experiences around food. We want ingredients at the lowest cost, and quick, easy meals. At the same time, we want to feel great, be healthy, and make ethical purchases. What we eat, where we buy it, what it costs, and how it’s prepared—our relationship with food is a complex picture.

"Being confident in the kitchen to prepare meals from start to finish informs our interaction with food."

Keeping in mind this big-picture context, our goal at Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club is to “democratize food” by teaching students to cook. This work is grounded in the belief that every person deserves access to real food and the skills to prepare it for themselves and the people they share life with. When we learn to cook, we gain the skills we need to know how to eat well. Jahlia Finney, senior at Obama and founding member of the Cooking Club, explains that knowing how to cook leads to recognizing "the importance of treating my body right, improving my health, and using that to my benefit in college.” Being confident in the kitchen to prepare meals from start to finish informs our interaction with food, from the grocery store shelf to our kitchen tables. That confidence begins with knife skills and simple recipes. Cooking is a learning experience that makes real food part of our everyday lives. It exposes us to the meaning and significance of our food choices and encourages us to have an open mind, first about food, and ultimately about all areas of life. Using “creativity in the kitchen” has inspired Sam Okabayashi, junior at Obama Academy, “to cook often for others.” In this way, dining becomes a significant cultural experience that we share, instead of simply an act of consumption. Is cooking at home worth the time and hard work? Julia Child, acclaimed chef and author, wrote, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun." Why do food choices matter? Food choices change people and communities. Even when circumstances seem negative or unknown, we can be empowered by a commitment to try new things. In this way, choices, namely food choices, become risk-taking opportunities that are rewarded by a sense of ownership over feeding yourself well. You can start by choosing real food over processed food. Processed foods are stripped down, meddled with, packaged, labeled, frozen, reheated. Real foods nourish and sustain our bodies and the earth and are more a product of nature than of industry.

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Eating real food and heading to college—what’s the deal? Author Joel Berg says it best: “To be schooled, you must be fueled. To be well read, you must be well fed.” Choosing real food during the transition after high school is crucial, in the campus cafeteria and beyond. Here’s a short list of priorities to keep you on the right track: • Shop in season. Learn when produce and fruits are in-season to get the best prices. • Make friends with a farmer. Find the local farmer’s market, and know where your food comes from. • Proper tools and knowing how to use them well is where it all begins. Get yourself a great knife and cutting board. • Say yes to that #juicelife. Buy a basic juicer, and use it. Take the first step. Now is the perfect moment to make real food and cooking a priority. Soon you will embark on the next chapter of your education and will make more food choices than ever, especially if you leave home to live independently. As you continue to evolve, you can also continue to cultivate your connection to food, cooking skills, and ability to affect healthful change to your lifestyle and community.

Rhonna Ly, a senior at Obama Academy, joined the Cooking Club in 2012. Cooking after school over the last two years has taught her that she can tackle quick, easy snacks and elaborate dishes, and find ways to save money while eating the best real food. Alaina Webber is the Executive Director of the Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club. She is excited to be part of helping Pittsburgh become an equitable food city, where there’s room for everyone at the table.

Where Do I Start? Heading to college, you may not have a full kitchen at your disposal. Consider investing in a basic countertop juicer. Juicing is the most basic use of fresh produce, and the health benefits are through-the-roof awesome! Nix the caffeine, and start the day with fresh juice. Orange Carrot Ginger Juice 2 oranges, peeled 1 lemon, peeled 1 small piece of ginger, peeled 10-12 carrots, ends trimmed Process ingredients through the juicer, and enjoy! Yield: 2 servings Total time: 10 minutes You'll get: Oranges: Vitamins C, A, B6 (alkalizes the body, overall power food)

$39 million Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion


GET ACQUAINTED DAYS Open Houses for College-Bound Students and Their Families Saturdays, June 20 July 18 Aug. 15

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

Lemons: Vitamin C and antioxidants (cleanses toxins, strengthens immune system) Ginger: Antioxidants (increases circulation and absorption of nutrients) Carrots: Vitamin A (improved vision, cancer prevention, and healthy skin)


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Be Well 2015

As you race toward graduation and college, does your heartbeat seem to keep speeding up? That feeling, and a lot of others you might wish would just go away, reflect your natural responses to stress. Take a look at what's happening beneath the surface, why it’s not all bad, and how you can make it work for you.

Words by George Heidekat • Illustration by David Pohl

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ou already know some things that stress can do: Wreck your concentration. Swamp you with sadness. Shorten your temper. Even make your face break out. But what is it, exactly? And why does it happen?

But beware of stress overload. Monitor your levels, like a driver keeping one eye on the dashboard, Dr. Pletcher suggests. Learn to tell when positive, exciting stress (the kind that energizes you for a game, an exam, or a social situation) crosses the line into toxic, overwhelming distress.

Take comfort: Emotional stress, and the mechanism behind those side effects, is standard equipment. Not just for you and your friends, but for every living thing, from an amoeba on up. It starts with the fight-orflight response—nature’s way of automatically kicking our bodies into survival mode when we feel threatened.

“Trust your feelings,” Dr. Rofey says. “There’s a sort of peak beyond which it doesn’t feel so nice. When distress gets impairing or unmanageable, that’s a warning.”

“It’s an adaptation,” says Dana Rofey, PhD. She’s a psychologist with the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. “Back in prehistory, if a bear jumped out at you, you had an instant to run or defend yourself.” Your life would depend on lightning-fast hormonal changes, triggered in your brain and flashing through your body. Your blood pressure and heart rate would climb. Extra blood would turbocharge your muscles for strength and speed. Sugars and fats, stockpiled for just such an occasion, would fuel a burst of energy. Momentarily, you’d be a superhero. Then the show would be over. Your body (if still in one piece) would settle down to a quieter, hunting-and-gathering pace. Stressful situation resolved.

Preventive tactics like regular exercise, a good night’s sleep, and occasional timeouts to relax or socialize—away from your computer—can help keep stress from piling up and disrupting your life. But watch for overload signals like: • Anxiety or panic attacks • Increased moodiness or irritability • Difficulty sleeping • Sadness or depression

You’re not alone. According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, U.S. teens report chronic stress that penetrates every aspect of their lives. More than one in four say they feel extremely stressed during the school year. Many blame stress for angry, nervous, overwhelmed or depressed feelings. Fortunately, while stress can be hard to avoid, you can stand up to it, says Jonathan Pletcher, MD, who’s the director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Division. “Understand that it’s neither good nor bad in itself. Some kids tell me, ‘I like it, I perform best when I’m stressed.’


"Talking Can Be a Relief" “When I’m feeling stressed, I collect my thoughts in a journal, or write some music—or listen to music, for that matter. Exercise is a big help as well, even just a short walk to clear your mind. Talking things over with friends, or a therapist, or parents can be a relief, too.” Kai, Schenley, 2011; now in business administration at Carnegie Mellon University

• Urges to drink, smoke, overeat or do drugs When overload threatens, “Ask for help,” says Dr. Rofey. “If you feel you’re tipping over into distress, you don’t have to handle it yourself. Talk to your pediatrician or primary care provider, guidance counselor or school psychologist, the school nurse, or a supportive teacher.” “I’d add athletic coaches,” says Dr. Pletcher, “and, certainly, parents, uncles and aunts. Go to someone who really gets you, who’s

More than one in four teens say they feel extremely stressed during the school year. Many blame stress for angry, nervous, overwhelmed, or depressed feelings.

Fast-forward a couple of million years. This morning, anxiety about ACTs or homework, or that blowup-witha-significant-other may be stirring your conscious mind. But, deep inside, your brain is still designed for the Pleistocene. Your Stressful Situation dial is still set to “BEAR!” So your body goes to battle stations, with no chance for physical action to release the tension. You’re stuck in a stressed-out state that can linger a lot longer than is good for you.


concerned about your success—one of your adult allies who knows what you're going through. Together you can think of ways to handle the situation.” Many overstressed teens find that talk therapy—a process of guided self-discovery— can help them overcome difficulties, develop inner strengths or skills, or fine-tune themselves or their circumstances, Dr. Rofey says. “Sometimes a teen comes to see me and says, ‘I’m never going to get better.’ Actually, our data show the opposite,” says Dr. Pletcher. “Stress symptoms such as anxiety are some of the most treatable disturbances a teen can have.”

"A Break From Electronics" “A purposeful break, just getting away from my desk, makes me more productive. A timeout from electronic things—cellphone, laptop, social media—can be helpful when you’re stressed, because your mind is in so many places at once. And sleep, definitely, you need to schedule a regular sleep cycle.” Jessica, CAPA, 2011; now in women’s studies at Chatham University

"Let People Help You" “I taught myself to think systematically about the things on my plate, so I could tackle them in a more regimented manner. Aside from that, find a sympathetic ear. Saying out loud the things that are stuck in your head makes you realize how silly they can be. And let people help you! You may think it’s your battle, to fight on your own, but you really don’t have to handle it all by yourself.” Theo, Taylor Allderdice, 2012; now in nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh

“Stress is an everyday part of life. Learning to deal with it is a lifelong process. And there’s no better time than right now to start sharpening those skills.”

Dr. Rofey concurs. “Stress can drive some of us to do what we need to do in a short time, or excel under pressure.” 15 ideapod // SPRING 2015

Be Well 2015



Writing by Lauren Bachorski Photography by Josh Franzos 16 ideapod // SPRING 2015

ow many of your mornings are spent daydreaming about getting back into bed and hitting the snooze button just a few more times? For a student, mornings come early, with major emphasis on early. But by the time the evening rolls around, it’s difficult to unwind and get to sleep at a reasonable hour. It’s a vicious cycle. What’s the deal with the restless nights and sleepy days? We live in a fast-paced culture and it can be hard to shut it off and slow down for bed. After long days of school, assignments, and activities, many of us are also guilty of a habit that is highly detrimental to our sleep cycle. Let’s call it screen worship. Study after study reminds us that screens are an obstacle between us and sleep. Our minds become over-stimulated after scrolling through Instagram, watching TV, texting, and browsing online. When it comes time for bed, we don’t feel tired. A simple yoga practice can counteract an over-stimulated mind full of social media and to-do lists. By stretching and expanding your body and mindfully focusing on your breath, your nervous system is urged to let go and allow for deep sleep. This yoga sequence can be practiced on your bedroom floor, or even in bed, to have you off to dream land in no time. Use it to help you to get to bed earlier and you may even find your sleep is more restful. Take 20 minutes to unwind this week; step away from the phone, TV, and computer and try this yoga practice to encourage healthy sleep.


SEATED MEDITATION Start in a comfortable, seated position, cross-legged works, but so does sitting up on the knees. Align the shoulders over the hips and grow long through the spine, sitting up straight. Scan the body, relaxing the shoulders, neck, eyes, hips, hands. Close the eyes and start to deepen your breathing. Take long 5-count breaths in and long 5-count breaths out. Continue to breathe slowly, with even inhales and exhales. For a couple of minutes, focus on the air moving in and out of your chest and belly. Calmly allow the breath to be the focus of your mind. Take 6-10 breaths or as many as feel good.


FORWARD FOLD Straighten your legs and reach your arms overhead while taking a deep breath in. As you exhale, bend over the legs into a forward fold. If it feels good, reach for the toes; if not, place the hands on the floor, at the knees, or wherever is comfortable. You may have a slight bend in the knee. Close your eyes and breathe evenly for a few breaths.


seated spinal twist Come back up to a seated position with straight legs. Bend your left knee and place your left foot to the outside of your right thigh. Bring your right arm to hug around the left knee, and allow your left hand to reach behind you, below your shoulder. Softly twist, keeping your eyes soft and neck relaxed. Pay attention to your breath. As you inhale, sit up straight and imagine yourself growing long. As you exhale, twist a little deeper. Take a few breaths and repeat on the opposite side.


child's pose The quintessential resting pose in yoga, Child’s Pose, can unwind the body and bring a true sense of ease to the mind. Come to your knees. Keep your toes together and open your knees a little wider than your hips. Sink your hips back to meet your heels, drawing your forehead to the floor. Stretch your arms ahead of you, palms down. Make sure you feel comfortable in the hips; move your knees closer together or further apart, if needed. Keep breathing and turn your forehead side to side to massage out any tension at your brow. In this pose, it feels wonderful to close the eyes. Stay as long as you like. 17 ideapod // SPRING 2015

Be Well 2015



Lie on your belly with feet and big toes together. Clasp your fingers together at your tailbone. If that is too much on the shoulders, keep your arms at your sides and reach them with palms down toward the feet. Stretch long through your legs and feet. Slowly lift your head, chest, arms and feet from the floor. Allow your neck to be relaxed. Stay for a couple of deep breaths and then gently release to the floor. Repeat if you like. You can also place a pillow under the stomach for a supported version of this pose.

Thread the needle


Lie on your back with bent knees. Place the soles of the feet on the floor. Bring the right knee toward the chest. Place the right ankle below the left knee, opening the right hip and flexing the right foot. Lift the left foot off the floor, clasping the hands on either side of the left thigh for support. Allow your back and head to rest on the floor. You should feel a light stretch on the outside of the right hip. Take a few breaths here and repeat on the other side.

legs up the wall


This simple pose is amazing for relaxation and stress relief. Rest on your back, walking your hips close to a wall. Place a pillow under your hips if you like. Walk your legs up the wall. Remain in the pose for 5-10 breaths or as long as you like.


reclining bound angle This is a fantastic pose for finding sleep. If you are not practicing in bed, this is where I suggest you crawl in. Lie on your back and draw the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to fall open to the sides. If that is too much stretch for your hips, place a pillow or blanket under each knee. You can also place a pillow under your head and/or back if it feels good. Bring one hand to rest on your heart and one hand to your belly. Focus on your breath as your belly rises and falls. Close your eyes.


corpse/zzzzz Lie flat, straighten, separate, and relax your legs. Allow your arms to go slack at your sides, turning your palms up. Close your eyes and allow your breath to settle to a natural rhythm. Sweet dreams!

Lauren Bachorski is the Communications and Project Manager with The Pittsburgh Promise, a sleep enthusiast, and a yoga lover/instructor. You can check out her weekly yoga classes at

Don't hate, meditate! Studies show that meditation not only relaxes the mind and body, but can decrease pain, reduce anxiety and depression, boost immunity, improve memory and attention, and even increase overall happiness. Here are four easy steps to get you started.

18 ideapod // SPRING 2015

Get comfy...but not too comfy Find a comfortable seat in a quiet room. Sit crosslegged on a cushion or sit in a chair. Rest your hands on your knees and sit up nice and tall. The goal is to be comfortable but not so comfortable that you will be tempted to nap.

Focus your thoughts on your breath. Notice the feeling of air coming in and out of your nose, and the rise and fall of your chest.

Relax Scan your body and relax your limbs. Close your eyes and relax them in your eyelids. Relax your jaw and allow the expression on your face to fall away.

See ya later, daydreams If distracting thoughts pop up, don’t get too frustrated. Bring your focus back to your breath. Thoughts are a part of every meditation practice, but don’t slip into the daydream or to-do list. The goal is to notice the thought and let it go, rather than run away with the story.

Breathe Breathe slowly through your nose. Your goal is to find inhales and exhales that are even in length.

Try it out, aiming for a 3-5 minute meditation to start and increasing the time slowly when you are ready. Enjoy!



800.225.7393 |

Promises made.

Promises kept.

For over 160 years, Saint Francis University has been keeping promises to students just like you. The promise of a better education and the promise of a better tomorrow. Today, 97% of all Saint Francis graduates are employed or in graduate school just six months after they graduate. That’s a promise kept. | Reach Higher. Go Far.

19 ideapod // SPRING 2015






Young people will experience an increase in summer job opportunities through the City of Pittsburgh’s Learn and Earn program, launched by Mayor Bill Peduto. It is predicted that almost 1,300 jobs will be available in Mayor Peduto’s revamped 2015 summer Learn and Earn employment initiative, formerly known as the Pittsburgh Summer Youth Employment Program. Mayor Peduto is committed to improving the summer employment program for youth: “It is important to our city because it helps to develop Pittsburgh’s young workforce and it can be a powerful tool in the effort to open the doors of economic opportunity. I am committed to the growth of the summer jobs program for which I have convened a special Task Force to phase in improvements over the next several years. Summer of Learn and Earn will hopefully provide more jobs, more choices, and a wider range of career learning opportunities that open the pathways to great careers.” Starting on June 8, 2015, jobs will be available in a wide range of areas and occupational tracks. Paid and unpaid internship work choices include hospitals, laboratories, offices, schools, computer and computer information departments, graphics, child care, recreation, hotels, and amusement parks. Jobs will also be available in government offices including Pittsburgh City Council, Personnel, Planning, Citi-Parks, Public Works and various Pittsburgh courts. The Learn and Earn program will work hard to place applicants in jobs of interest and skill set.

Educating young minds for more than 225 years. Campuses in Pittsburgh, Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville

For information on admissions:

412-624-7488 | | 20 ideapod // SPRING FALL 2013 2015

Summer programs are scheduled to end in mid-August 2015. Paid positions average about $10.00/hour but vary by department. Mayor Peduto has encouraged each department to commit to taking as many interns as possible for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Current students interested in applying for an internship can create an online profile on the City of Pittsburgh’s Online Employment Center website ( employmentcenter). Applicants do not need any special skills to apply. However, experience with computers, technology and any previous work experience are helpful. The deadline for summer 2015 applications is April 20, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

James Brenner is Program Supervisor for City of Pittsburgh Department of Personnel/Pittsburgh Partnership.

BANKING A Building Block of Financial Health

Establishing good financial practices should begin when you’re young. For young adults, it is never too early to begin to learn the importance of saving for the future, building positive relationships with banks, and using their services. The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Bank On Greater Pittsburgh encourages the unbanked (people without checking and/ or savings accounts), and underbanked (people who have a checking and/or a savings account and still use nontraditional financial institutions), to use traditional financial institutions such as banks and credit unions to open checking and savings accounts. Individuals who do not have traditional accounts can become dependent on Alternative Financial Services (AFS), which includes; check cashing stores, pay day lenders, Pre-Paid debit cards and pawn shops. These services are often much more costly than traditional banking products and services. The use of these services can negatively influence a person’s ability to save additional money. Over a period of time, this financial loss can result in financial uncertainty. This is especially important for teens because Findings of a Teen Financial IQ Poll sponsored by TCF Bank showed that, “more than 27% of 17-year-olds don’t feel confident they will have the financial intelligence they’ll need to manage their finances by the time they graduate high school.” Over time, young adults can build wealth by practicing good financial habits, and as they move into adulthood, they will have a greater chance of not living from paycheck to paycheck.

BUSINESS ____________________________ SCIENCE ____________________________ HEALTH CARE ____________________________ EDUCATION ____________________________ TECHNOLOGY FIND WHAT YOU WANT.


For example, if you want to buy a car one day, you should already be thinking, “How can I, and how long will it take me to save for that car?” Some of you probably receive birthday, Christmas, and allowance money. Well, instead of going to the corner store every day and buying snacks, you can save that $10 or $20 dollars. Saving even a small amount can put you closer to buying that car or whatever goal you have chosen. Using a savings and checking account can also help you learn how to manage your money more effectively. It also puts in perspective what it takes to achieve your goal. When you have the ability to monitor exactly where your money is going, you are definitely on your way to financial stability. Remember, college is right around the corner; whatever amount of money you have when you become a freshman will go a very long way!

APPLY 800-672-7171 (Selection 1)

Clarion University is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer.

Esther L. Bush is President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. For more information on banking and your financial health, visit www.

21 ideapod // SPRING 2015

Pittsburgh: W A Wellness Warrior’s Playground.

hen it comes to health, Pittsburgh is making great strides. The city once known for chip-chopped ham now boasts walkable and bike-friendly neighborhoods, green spaces, and affordable housing. However, the health benefits of living in Pittsburgh aren’t limited to adults. Healthy options for teens abound, from structured wellness programs to cooking classes and activities that emphasize stress management, exercise, and the great outdoors. The Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC serves youth aged 12 to 26 as they transition to adulthood. Physicians and a team of social work grad students help teens identify goals and challenges and connect them with adult allies and community resources. “Sometimes teens have a particular individual need or identity that helps guide where the connection will be most beneficial— for example, the Persad Center for teens who are GLBQTIA, or the Thelma Lovette YMCA, [which] has an excellent program for adaptive sports [like] wheelchair basketball,” says Clinical Director Jonathan R. Pletcher, MD. Through CHANGE (Children’s Hospital Advisory Network for Guidance and Empowerment), the Center also offers monthly workshops that double as social events and focus on themes chosen by its youth board, including mental health, healthy relationships, and nutrition. Check it out:

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

Register online for Summer Visit Days: Sat., July 11 or Fri., Aug. 7 412-536-1272 | 800-838-4572

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

Choose Excellence. Choose Edinboro.




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

22 ideapod // SPRING 2015

“I think any time you teach kids to cook, you give them a sense of agency,” says Rosemarie Perla, who instructs children and teenagers in everything from knife skills to basic recipes and the social value of eating. Her Teach a Kid to Cook classes—co-taught with Kelsey Weisgerber, who heads up the food service department at the Environmental Charter School—occasionally pop up at Marty’s Market in the Strip. Teach a Kid to Cook is just one project of Slow Food Pittsburgh, which empowers teens to take control of their food through classes on topics like canning and foraging. Check it out: Venture Outdoors offers programming for all ages and skill levels—outings include kayaking, hiking and crosscountry skiing. Excursions vary by season, but Venture Outdoors covers a lot of territory year-round, showcasing the unique beauty of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s green spaces and urban neighborhoods alike. The group also hosts GPS-powered treasure hunts in the form of geocaching. Similar to geocaching, letterboxing involves following clues posted online to find log books hidden in parks and other outdoor locations, which are then marked with handcarved rubber stamps. Check it out: Bike Pgh offers something for everyone, from coordinated biking events to maps of the most bike-friendly areas in the city. Their City Cycling Classes teach essential skills like proper positioning, performing safety checks, and avoiding obstacles. Check it out: And if two wheels just aren’t enough, there’s always roller derby. Like its adult counterpart, Steel City Roller Derby, Pittsburgh Derby Brats is a full-contact league. Girls aged 10 to 17 are eligible to participate in this dynamic sport that builds physical strength, teaches healthy competition, and relieves stress. Check it out: As spring and summer come into focus, let Pittsburgh be your playground. Get out there, have fun, and stay healthy.

Emily Stimmel is a Kidsburgh Contributing Writer. Kidsburgh is a growing and collaborative group– from parents to educators to anyone working with kids or on kids’ issues– dedicated to making all Pittsburgh kids’ lives better. The vision? Every child is safe, cared for, and provided opportunities to learn and create. Kids’ voices are heard; resources are made available to all kids and each of us gives back however possible.





23 ideapod // SPRING FALL 2013 2015


23 ideapod // SPRING 2015



We asked Dr. Suzanne K. Mellon of Carlow University a question...


What can students do to build overall wellness into their lives throughout college?

he transition from high school to college is an important one in a student’s life. While it is a time of great excitement, opportunity, and promise, it is also a time of uncertainty and can be stressful. One of the best ways to build overall wellness into a student’s college life, which I have seen time and time again, is to be engaged in the life of the University, whether it is sports (competitive or intramural), student clubs, or service and volunteer opportunities. The balance with other activities outside of academics can be a great way to develop new friends, develop support structures, and build more connections. This is important for both residential and commuter students. It gives students an opportunity to see the connections between the academic and co-curricular experiences which further enhances their college experience and builds a healthy balance to their lives, throughout their entire college career and after they graduate.

24 ideapod // SPRING 2015


ACCELERATED PROGRAMS Save time and money by working on your graduate degree as an undergraduate student. › BA/BS to MBA Business Administration › BA/BS to MS in Fraud and Forensics › BA/BS to MS in Professional Counseling › BA to MEd with certification in Special Education › RN-BSN to MS in Nursing


RESPIRATORY CARE* *The respiratory care program is currently not authorized to enroll students and Carlow University is currently in the process of seeking CoARC accreditation for the program. However Carlow University can provide no assurances that accreditation will be granted by the CoARC.


Conference winning soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, and cross country

› 11:1 STUDENT TO FACULTY RATIO A private, liberal arts university education at an affordable price




50+ majors and certificate programs

CARLOW.EDU | 412.578.6000 | 3333 FIFTH AVENUE | PITTSBURGH, PA 15213 25 ideapod // SPRING 2015

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

penn state in WesteRn pennsYLVania Penn State Beaver Monaca, PA 724-773-3800, 877-JOIN-PSU Penn State Erie, The Behrend College Erie, PA 814-898-6100, 866-374-3378

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus Uniontown, PA 724-430-4130 877-568-4130

Penn State New Kensington New Kensington, PA 724-334-LION (5466) 888-968-PAWS (7297)

Penn State Greater Allegheny McKeesport, PA 412-675-9010

Pittsburgh Community Recruitment Center Pittsburgh, PA 412-263-2900 E-mail:

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce. Produced by the Penn State Department of University Marketing. U.Ed. ADV 13-8

26 ideapod // SPRING 2015

NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT: The Three Rivers A team of young men row into the sunset on the Allegheny River. With easy access to rivers, and many clubs and organizations for people to be a part of, rowing is a popular activity in Pittsburgh.

27 ideapod // SPRING 2015

1901 Centre Avenue Suite 204 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

It’s more than just

keeping our best and brightest in the region, it’s A scholarship from The Pittsburgh Promise is just the beginning. Promise scholars go on to do great things after graduation and they do it right here at home. This intellectual capital fuels our region’s economy, energizes the workforce and strengthens the business community. Help keep Pittsburgh’s promise to Pittsburgh’s kids by giving at or calling 412-281-7605. It will do more than you know.

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