Tina Al-khersan
Hometown: Northville, MI
Education: Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Arabic, University of Michigan
Leadership Traits: Open-minded, Flexible, Confident.

“I am excited to partake in the Coro fellowship in Pittsburgh for a variety of reasons. First, I am excited to work in a city that is bigger than Ann Arbor. I think that working with a different demographic than just college students will push me to grow professionally and personally. I also learned about the history of Pittsburgh during selection day, and I’m excited to engage with the residents more and see how the history of a city impacts it’s present and future state. Lastly, I’m also excited to explore what Pittsburgh has to offer outside of work. From what I’ve seen and heard, it looks like there are ongoing events, and I look forward to attending them in my free time.”

Jasmine Costello
Hometown: Amherst, MA
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Temple University
Leadership Traits: Passionate, Reflective, Resilient.

“I am excited to work collaboratively with other young professionals dedicated to creating positive social impact and learn new approaches and/or systems from others. I am excited to explore my next career step through experiential learning and increased exposure to potential career paths. I am excited for the personal mentorship and feedback I will receive in order to build upon my leadership skills and increase my effectiveness and influence.”

Sanjana Dayananda
Hometown: Franklin, MI
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and English Literature, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Attentive, Inclusive, Innovative.

“During the last 4 years, I have witnessed Pittsburgh change with incoming businesses and gentrification. I have also seen the widening social and economic gaps in healthcare settings. Participating in the Coro Fellowship in Pittsburgh will deepen my understanding of the city and its neighborhoods and help me develop leadership and policy skills to use throughout my career. I am excited to enter the field of policy and civic engagement and dedicate myself to learning how to serve the public effectively and ethically.”

Zachary Grewe
Hometown: Jasper, IN
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies and Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Enthusiastic, Humble, Caring.

“As one of the fastest growing hubs for social innovation, I think Pittsburgh is quickly becoming the kind of community that other parts of the country will come to emulate. I am excited to begin engaging and finding my place within this dynamic region.”

Jad Hilal
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Curiosity, Community, Empathy.

“Pittsburgh is a city in an extremely influential stage, just recently having experienced growth through the development of the technology industry in particular. I believe that real change is most possible and most necessary in a city in this climate, and I’m excited to see the ways in which the Coro Fellowship will facilitate my passion for creating such change.”

Hannah Locop
Hometown: Royal Palm Beach, FL
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Florida
Leadership Traits: Responsible, Assertive, Results-Driven.

“When I visited Pittsburgh for selection day, I was so excited at all of the opportunities the city offers. From working with schools to promoting a campaign, there are a variety of placements I can envision myself in. This also means that are numerous chances to network with people outside of my potential career path, which is extremely exciting. I look forward to expanding my network and having a more multidisciplinary approach to situations. I also just fell in love with the city of Pittsburgh itself, so I am looking forward to exploring all the nooks and crannies of the city.”

Kyle Miller
Hometown: Collegeville, PA
Education: Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Sociology, Saint Louis University
Leadership Traits: Facilitating, Meticulous, Proactive.

“Having spent the past four years in St. Louis—the location of another center for Coro, I have witnessed the ability of fellows to contribute to change at the local level. As I matured over the years, I developed a strong desire to be a part of this program, contributing to my community in a similar way. While it would have been easy to stay in St. Louis and continue work that I have done there, I wanted to embrace change. To complete the program outside of St. Louis offers an opportunity to utilize the skills I have developed in St. Louis to assist in the change-making process. Furthermore, it is my hope that through my placement I will be able to refine the skills I have developed as well.”

Juliette Rihl
Hometown: Langhorne, PA
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Nonfiction Writing, University of Pittsburgh
Leadership Traits: Passionate, Inquisitive, Proactive.

“I seek to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that Pittsburgh neighborhoods face, learn how different sectors work together to mitigate these challenges, and make a positive impact through collaboration with Coro’s community partners.”

Maria Rose
Hometown: Harrisonburg, VA
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, Vassar College
Leadership Traits: Inspired, Purposeful, Inclusive.

“My work in Thailand over the past two years has been a wonderful mix of challenging and engaging, and though I am sad to leave, I am excited to finally be working in English — a language I am completely fluent in — instead of Thai. I am also eager to work with a cohort that prioritizes ethnic diversity, and am curious to see how our collaborative efforts in Pittsburgh communities will reflect these varied perspectives. Lastly, I am excited to work on and observe community development at different scales, from small neighborhoods and organizations, to more city-wide projects, and learn how to navigate the challenges and opportunities that exist at these levels.”

Daad Sharfi
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Ethnicity, Race and Migration, Yale Universtiy
Leadership Traits: Inclusive, Compassionate, Demonstrative.

“I am really excited to work closely with and learn from leaders across various sectors who aim to effect positive social change in the city. Prior to the Coro interview, I had never been to Pittsburgh before–the opportunity to discover the city (its culture, intricacies, issues and strengths) through the lens of leadership and service that Coro fosters is something that truly excites me.”

Shayna Solomon
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Dickinson College
Leadership Traits: Motivated, Consensus-building, Aware.

“I’m really excited to be in a city that’s mostly unfamiliar to me. I love learning new places. I’ve never lived for an extended period in a city that was hit disproportionately by post-industrialism and I’m really interested to see what that’s like.”

Harinee Suthakar
Hometown: Plainsboro, NJ
Education: Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh. Master of Arts in Gender and International Development, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Leadership Traits: Engaged, Approachable, Collaborative.

“I am excited to be part of a cohort of 12 individuals discussing, debating and reflecting on leadership, urban development and relevant issue areas in the city. I look forward to growing with and learning from my peers. I can’t wait to be in Pittsburgh as a young professional to learn about the ways different sectors approach a problem, work together and perhaps work against each other for multiple reasons. I hope to learn a lot from being placed in high responsibility positions in types of work and focus areas that I am unfamiliar with but seek to better understand, such as media/news or in the private sector in business and/or economic development. I also look forward to unpacking mainstream narratives of Pittsburgh’s revitalization and seeing how the city can better retain young people, particularly young people of color, and redress age-old power structures to be a city that is reinventing itself for the benefit of the most marginalized people.”