Coro Pittsburgh extends a warm welcome to the 2016-2017 Coro Fellows in Public Affairs PGH! These competitively selected applicants form an intimate cohort of 12, embarking upon a full-time, nine-month immersion into multiple sectors. The Fellowship is offered in Pittsburgh, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. This is the 17th class to pass through Coro Pittsburgh’s doors, joining the ranks of over 180 local and 10,000 national alumni who have gone on to serve as leaders in national/global businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and elected public office.

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Sarah Amick
Hometown: Pittsburgh
Education: B.S. in Urban Studies and International Relations and Politics, Carnegie Mellon University
Leadership Traits: Listening, Empowering, Facilitating.
Placements: Cycle 1 – Personnel Department, City of Pittsburgh

During her time at Carnegie Mellon, Sarah acted as Education Coordinating Chair for PACE (Partners Allied in Civic Engagement), and was a research assistant at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Sarah looks forward to working with people from diverse backgrounds, extending her knowledge of the Pittsburgh nonprofit community, and inspiring others to share her passions as she moves forward in her career. After Coro, Sarah plans to earn a master’s degree in architecture or city planning, using what she learns during the Fellowship to guide her through a successful and collaborative career in urban design.

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Darryl Edwards
Hometown: East Orange, NJ
Education: B.A. in Political Science, Morehouse College
Leadership Traits: Assertive, Group-oriented, Principled.
Placements: Cycle 1 – United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 23

Prior to the Fellowship, Darryl has advanced his leadership as President of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at Morehouse College, and as an intern for Councilman Andre Dickens (Atlanta City Council). What excites him about the Fellowship is making an impact at a grassroots level, and gaining a nuanced understanding of the issues that affect urban environments. Darryl plans to study public policy, intending to one day work with urban leaders in Washington D.C. to affect change at the national policy level.

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Joanna Hernandez
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico and Harrisonburg, VA
Education: B.A. in Hispanic Studies, B.A. in Sociology, The College of William & Mary
Leadership Traits: Inclusive, Adventurous, Immersive.
Placements: Cycle 1 – Westinghouse High School

While in school, Joanna served in the President’s Office, advising campus leadership and bringing forth student concerns, ensuring they were the institution’s priorities. She co-founded The Diversity Project, a student group focused on making the academic space more inclusive. Joanna has acted as a healthcare interpreter, bridging the communication gap between Spanish-speaking patients and their English-speaking health care providers. Her professional goal for the Fellowship is to find impactful ways of pursuing her interests in immigration and refugee concerns, women’s issues, children and youth issues, and economic development.

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Reena Naik
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Education: B.A. in Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Thoughtful, Engaging, Inclusive.
Placements: Cycle 1 – McKees Rocks Youth Council

Reena served as the President of Hindu Students Council, Student Government Board (Judicial Committee Vice-Chair), and President of Pitt Int’l Students Association, working to increase inclusiveness. She interned at the ACLU, the Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Pittsburgh City Council, and in the Office of Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). Reena has volunteered at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Pittsburgh, assisting with incoming refugee cases, and served as an ESL tutor with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. Reena believes Coro will allow her to learn more about challenges faced by Pittsburgh neighborhoods and work with community-oriented teams to develop creative solutions. She intends to study immigration and asylum law, advocating for immigrants and newly-arrived refugees (especially women and families), and to eventually represent her identity as a South Asian Hindu Woman in local politics.

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Emily Neff
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: B.A. in English, Minor in Values, Ethics, and Social Action, Allegheny College; M.A. in Education Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University
Leadership Traits: Service, Thoughtful Listening, Collaboration.
Placements: Cycle 1 – Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children

Emily approaches leadership grounded in the philosophy that to lead is to serve. Prior to returning to Pittsburgh, Emily taught first grade in Mississippi and was a family support coordinator in New York City; these experiences were formative in developing her skills as a servant-leader. She is thrilled to return to Pittsburgh and collaborate with stakeholders committed to investing in the strengths of the people. Upon completing the Fellowship, Emily plans to stay in Pittsburgh and work in the education sector, ultimately in policy, advocacy and community engagement focused on early childhood, equitable distribution of resources, and community schools initiatives.

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Satvika Neti
Hometown: Enola, PA
Education: B.S. in International Relations and Politics, Carnegie Mellon University
Leadership Traits: Collaborative, Innovative, Passionate.
Placements: Cycle 1 – YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

Satvika brings her entrepreneurial experience to the fellowship, which includes founding Moneythink CMU, Beyond the Binary, and Arcsis Media. She has worked in policy and politics in Washington DC through the Center for American Progress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Society for Science and the Public. At Coro, Satvika hopes to gain a better understanding of the Pittsburgh nonprofit community and more about how community development works in practice. Satvika is interested in expanding the intersection between technology and social justice, and wants to gain experience working across sectors with different kinds of organizations. Her short-term goal is to start a community driven, skills-based education initiative called WE Education, with a long-term goal to run for political office in Pittsburgh.

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Brian Rhindress
Hometown: King of Prussia, PA
Education: B.S. in Computer Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Empathetic, Analytical, Careful.
Placements: Cycle 1 – e360

Brian spent much of college growing the “maker” culture in engineering education, including but not limited to: running a student organization that fabricates medical devices (Design Hub), helping to create new curricula and classes, hosting student workshops on design thinking and basic prototyping. Brian is excited to develop an understanding of the challenges Pittsburgh and many cities face, to contribute to the many constructive conversations happening all over the city, and to be a part of both grassroots and top-down initiatives. After his Fellowship, Brian will merge his technical background with his passion for public service in a meaningful way, such as in city planning, data journalism, research, advocacy, politics, or a related field.

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Sofia Sandoval
Hometown: Houston, TX
Education: Education: B.A. in Studio Arts, B.S. in Natural Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Collaborative, Mentorship, Creative.
Placements: Cycle 1 – No Crayon Left Behind

Sofia has dedicated the past four years to developing her artistic practice, completing a pre-medicine track, and finding unique ways to interweave her interests. Demonstrating the power of art has been a pillar for her as she co-curated an art exhibition to de-stigmatize student mental health at Pitt and across the city, and volunteered in art therapy at the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh. Through a Community-Based Research Fellowship at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, she has also published research on the transformative power art can have on inner-city youth. Sofia is excited to be working with and further connecting the local communities to create a more just and equitable Pittsburgh. After Coro, Sofia plans on attending medical school, and to create an organization that involves community health, arts outreach, and education initiatives.

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Manjot Singh
Hometown: Valencia, CA
Education: B.A. in Global Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Leadership Traits: Creative, Connection, Conversation.
Placements: Cycle 1 – Borough of Wilkinsburg

Manjot’s leadership experience ranges from nonprofit, to educational, to tech settings. At UCLA, he was the President of the Sikh Student Association, which taught him how to be more collaborative in style and bring together distinct viewpoints into a common goal/solution. He is excited to learn how other people lead, but also how they function within group work experiences, and to network with individuals who have more knowledge and experience than him. Additionally, Manjot hopes to be able to take some of the leadership and organizing skills learned in this Fellowship and use it to inspire the Sikh community, both in terms of movement and vision. His next steps include studying law or public policy.

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Laier-Rayshon Smith
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: B.A. in Political Science (concentration in International Studies), Point Park University
Leadership Traits: Determined Consensus Builder.
Placements: Cycle 1 – Office of Innovation and Performance, City of Pittsburgh

Laier-Rayshon’s personal leadership development has involved organizing community service initiatives at Point Park, and serving as an election judge. Laier-Rayshon is excited to have the opportunity to work across different sectors with people committed to strengthening communities. He wants to learn more about how these different sectors work in tandem to bring about effective change in society, and to build a leadership tool kit that he can use in real life. After the Fellowship, Laier-Rayshon plans to attend graduate school, focusing on architecture, urban planning, or public policy.

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Paul von Autenried
Hometown: West Windsor, NJ
Education: B.A. in Politics (Program in Political Economy) – Summa Cum Laude, Certificate in Musical Performance, Princeton University
Leadership Traits: Self-aware, Proactive, Participatory.
Placements: Cycle 1 – CCAC

After internships with the Center for Court Innovation’s Newark Community Solutions (where he helped advocate for alternative sentences for defendants in municipal court) and in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs, Paul was inspired to pursue a career where he can represent unheard voices. He practiced mentorship as part of his time on the West Windsor Human Relations Council, and was a Peer Academic Adviser at Princeton. Paul is excited to learn from the other Fellows and their experiences in Pittsburgh. He is hoping to learn effective ways to work in teams, how to ground big ideas and passions in reality. and how the nonprofit sector and government can work together to achieve goals that both envision, but cannot accomplish alone. He plans to study law and public policy, working toward criminal justice reform as it relates to issues of racial inclusion and inequality, poverty, and public perceptions of the justice system.

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