For evidence of the immediate applicability of the skills that graduates obtain from Coro Pittsburgh’s leadership programs, witness Rev. Cheryl Ruffin, a recent graduate of this summer’s Women in Leadership XVI. Rev. Ruffin, whose St. Paul A.M.E Church primarily serves the Beltzhoover and Knoxville communities, recently moderated a community dialogue regarding the public transportation service cuts proposed in January 2012 by the Port Authority of Allegheny County. The cuts – which in late August were narrowly prevented from taking hold this month – would have eliminated the church’s only bus route, while at the same time eliminating or severely restricting other routes serving surrounding communities. Rev. Ruffin says that her “participation in WIL provided me with the skills I needed to moderate a discussion, which brought concerned citizens and various civic leaders out to St. Paul.”

In addition to her work as a pastor, Rev. Ruffin works as an employee relations specialist in the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Human Resources. Also, her daughter Jessica Ruffin (a Coro alumna as well) was recently hired as the full-time training and learning director of Public Allies Pittsburgh, Coro Pittsburgh’s sole operating partner. Congratulations Cheryl and Jessica!