Public Allies Pittsburgh is a 10-month AmeriCorps program, operated in a partnership between Coro Pittsburgh & Public Allies National. Our mission is to create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it.

Program Components:

Full-Time Paid Social Sector Placement
Allies serve in a nonprofit or government setting 4 days a week, where they develop new skills, learn the day-to-day operations of their organization, expand their professional networks, and increase their understanding of the issues that their communities are facing.

 

Leadership Development Training
Weekly training sessions, delivered by active community leaders and subject matter experts.

 

Team Service Projects
Groups of 7-10 Allies focus on a community, explore its assets and collaborate with a local organization to develop and implement a long-term service project to be carried out over 10 months.

 

Professional Development Coaching
Each Ally works with a staff member to identify post-program education and/or employment goals. Allies and coaches meet regularly to determine appropriate strategies and track progress.

 

Qualifications
Applicants must be at least 17 years old, have a high school diploma or G.E.D. by 9/2018, be and eligible to work in the U.S.

 

Compensation

  • $1,500 monthly stipend (taxable)
  • $5,920 Education Award available upon program completion that can be used to further education or applied towards existing Federal Student Loans
  • Access to Health Care

 

Class of 2017-2018

First Year Allies

 

Gabrielle Antonicelli
Placement: PA Legal Aid Network
Hometown: Jersey Shore, PA
Recently graduated with Magna Cum Laude status from Duquesne University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and a minor in Sociology, Gabrielle is excited to develop valuable leadership skills and gain specific legal knowledge and skills through her apprenticeship with the Neighborhood Legal Services Association. Gabrielle is considering attending law school in the future.

 

Chloe Deardorff
Placement: Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Chloe graduated from Carlow University in 2017 with a BA in Psychology with concentrations in counseling and human development. At Carlow, she worked as the Lead Peer Tutor in the Hopkins Communications lab and presented at the 2017 National Association of Communication Centers conference, she also served with KEYS Service Corps during the Summer 2016 term with the Braddock Playgrounds Program. Chloe is excited to learn about the nonprofit sector and work directly with the people who are creating change in Pittsburgh, and is also looking forward to developing herself as an Ally and hopefully make a difference in the world. Chloe’s long-term goals are to become a counselor and work with youth in underserved/underprivileged areas. She also hopes to work on community development and use her background in counseling to create resources for families and youth outside of the clinical counseling setting.

 

Nacole Hough
Placement: Homewood Children’s Village
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Nacole brings her vast experience as a  volunteer and advocate for families and special-needs children in a social service setting to Public Allies Pittsburgh, and is excited by the opportunity to work with others to be able to impact the lives individuals and families, to be able to give back to the community, and to help others in their transitions through life. Nacole would one day like to start her own nonprofit, and stay connected to Public Allies and to continue to learn and to serve. Above all, she wants to be part of the change in her community, and grow along with those that she serves, helping them learn how to empower themselves.

 

Jaclyn Janocsko
Placement: Reading is FUNdamental
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Jaclyn recently obtained her undergraduate BA degree in Psychology and has always had a drive to work with people, especially children. She finds joy in seeing others succeed and finding their purpose in life. What excites her most about becoming a Public Ally is the chance to connect with a diverse group of individuals, and hopes the experience will provide her with the leadership skills necessary to support herself and others in the community. After Allies, she hopes to find a job where she feels that she is contributing to the community. Jaclyn also plans to move into the city and start her career.

 

Phylicia Johnson
Placement: Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Phylicia plans to transfer the customer service skills she developed in the foodservice industry to the nonprofit sector, acting upon her passion for social justice to help make Pittsburgh a better place for all. She sees Public Allies as a perfect vehicle for translating her social activism to action, and as a testing ground to determine her future education and employment goals..

 

Frank Kamara
Placement: Consortium for Public Education
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Frank volunteered at the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless for a year, and  also worked at Purpose Built School Atlanta as an after school program mentor at Thomasville Heights Elementary school in Atlanta. He is excited about networking, meeting new people, being a leader, and the opportunity to make a difference in the Pittsburgh and Atlanta communitie. His long term goal is to move back home to Atlanta and start up a homeless shelter, and to work on policies that prevent gentrification.

 

Michaelina McGee
Placement: Kelly Strayhorn Theater
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Michaelina graduated in May of 2017 from Chatham University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Government. Michaelina was a student ambassador and Vice President of her class, and continued to share her love of the arts by being a choreographer and dancer for CMU’s Dance Symposium. She is currently a member of BCB3 a local dance company through Bodiography Contemporary Ballet in Pittsburgh. She was a student volunteer for Inclusant, an organization that focuses on diversity and inclusion, where she helped create healthy relationships in communities and organizations. In her last semester of college she gained agency experience through an internship with Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy. In the summer of 2017, Michaelina earned one of 12 positions from a national pool of hundreds of applicants with the Urban Leaders Fellowship. She worked in a team of three to draft a legal and legislative memorandum with a specific focus on New Orleans school boards. Michaelina is very excited to be a part of Public Allies. She is thrilled to be placed at Kelly Strayhorn Theater where she can continue to focus on her love of the arts and make a difference in the community.

 

Dannie Ransom
Placement: UrbanKind Institute
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Before Allies, Aarika has been promoting community engagement and activism through organizations like Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and the Fund for the Public Interest. She hopes to utilize her prior experience and build upon it in the Pittsburgh community, and to combat gentrification in a sustainable way. Aarika would like to develop a longer-lasting relationship with the nonprofit community in Pittsburgh, and a secure a  position that will allow her to utilize the skills that she has gained.

 

Laylah Robinson
Placement: Bible Center Church
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Recently graduated from Carlow University with a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management and Technology, and Management in Health Service, Laylah was the President of the Black Student Union, and a Council Member in the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, a Student Representative in the Student Conduct Board, and  the Assistant Director in the Department of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. She also volunteered with Strong Women Strong Girls, and she volunteers at her church, (Rapha Ministries), co-founding a movement called Homewood Cleanup. She is excited for opportunity to help out a community that is near and dear to her, and to learn about nonprofit organizations and their leadership. After Allies, Laylah plans on grad school at Duquesne University, or the University of Pittsburgh, eventually becoming the Human Resources Director of a healthcare institution focusing on Diversity and Inclusion.

 

DeVaughn Rodgers
Placement: Bike Pittsburgh
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Prior to Public Allies, DeVaughn was an event manager at Boom Concepts, and Lead Instructor for Bike Pittsburgh’s Youth Educational program Positive Spin, and an hourly kitchen manager at Mad Mex Oakland. He is excited to help expand the programming at his placement organization, BikePGH, And hopes to strengthen his program coordination skills and build a stronger professional network within the community. DeVaughn also aims to be well established with the inner workings of the Pittsburgh Public Schools after school programming, with a long term goal of gaining funding and run his own after school programs.

 

Kelsey Salerno
Placement: NeighborWorks of Western PA
Hometown:
Pittsburgh, PA
Kelsey graduated from Pitt Greensburg with a BS of Psychology and from Bucknell University with an MS in Psychology, with a research focus on human evolution. She is active in the Pittsburgh volunteer community, primarily working on issues around reproductive and environmental justice. Kelsey is a Volunteer Captain and serves on the Political Action and Advocacy Volunteer Board with Planned Parenthood, as well as participating in community outreach and lobbying coordinator with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. She also served as a “Big” for four years with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is excited to learn more about the ins and outs of nonprofits and to get more direct experience in the nonprofit world, gaining more knowledge, skills and talents that will enhance her not only professionally, but in all aspects of life. Kelsey looks forward to learning more about financial education and homeownership through her placement, and to continue to grow her network in the area. She hopes to stay in the advocacy/nonprofit sector, and is considering running for public office and would hope that the work that she does with Public Allies will enhance and inform any policies that she would want to implement.

 

Kyle Spangler
Placement: Computer Reach
Hometown: Greensburg, PA
Kyle interned at the U.S. House of Representatives under Rep. Tim Murphy and his office, and at the Westmoreland County Housing Authority. He has also worked as an assistant manager of a rental company and also as a line chef at Silky’s Pub. What excites him most about becoming an Ally is the amount of opportunities he will hopefully have to meet new and productive people and organizations throughout the city of Pittsburgh. Kyle hopes to gain a better understanding of what Pittsburgh has to offer and also gain contacts that will allow hi,m to work alongside them in combating serious social issues. Ultimately, Kyle wants to be able to work in the Housing and Homelessness Sector and make a serious change throughout the city.

 

Mercedes-Benz Taylor
Placement:
 Homewood Children’s Village
Hometown: Palm Coast, FL
Mercedes-Benz grew up in a highly creative environment which led her explore all kinds of subjects, such as business administration, typography, web design, writing and film studies. She volunteered throughout high school with Girl Scouts and many local organizations such a Road to Success, Hope House and several parent support groups. She is excited to get better acquainted with Pittsburgh and learn more about the city’s culture. Mercedes-Benz  wants to find different ways to grow her professional skills and work in local communities. With the skills that she learns, Mercedes-Benz hopes to start her own business next year and continue to build upon her work with Public Allies.

 

Kirsten Wong
Placement: Fair Housing Partnership of Pittsburgh
Hometown:  Royersford, PA
Kirsten studied Public Service at the University of Pittsburgh. She was involved in several student organizations within the Pitt community. She wrote for The Pitt News and became the Opinions Editor. Kirsten co-founded a student political club called Pitt Progressives, and was involved with Jumpstart as a corps member and team leader. She also interned at PublicSource, the Office of Senator Robert Casey, and the United Steelworkers. Kirsten aspires to continue serving the Pittsburgh community and fighting for social change, eventually working in public policy.

 

Lainey Yockey
Placement: City of Pittsburgh Office of Innovation and Performance
Hometown: Kittanning, PA
Before joining Public Allies, Lainey was a student at Carlow University majoring in Secondary Education and English. After completing her program, she hoped to take part in the non-profit sector, specifically to help Pittsburgh communities, and was directed towards Public Allies Pittsburgh. During this year, she plans to meet her challenges in a new environment head-on and to serve as an aid to Pittsburgh communities. After completing Public Allies, Lainey plans on continuing in her path towards teaching within the Pittsburgh area, getting hands-on teaching experience before going on to graduate school.

 

 

Executive Allies

 

Jordan Bailley
Placement: Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Takeaways from First Year: “I learned the importance of sustained communication between different organizations working on similar issues. I would have spent more time financially preparing myself for such a substantial change in my income. I want to devote my time to an organization who will leverage my skills and energy into an asset for the community they serve.”

 

Justin Belton
Placement: Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
Hometown: Farmington, WV
Takeaways from First Year: “Clear and intentional communication is key to developing and sustaining impactful relationships and initiatives in your personal and professional life. It is crucial to solicit public input during all phases of community planning in order to build upon the positive aspects of a community and copower residents in shaping their future. Putting yourself put out of you comfort zone will lead to learning and opportunities that you may have otherwise missed out on and create stronger cohesion between yourself and the issues and strengths of the communities you are surrounded by. Through the Mayor’s Civic Leadership Academy and placement at the City of Pittsburgh’s office of Innovation and Performance, I learned an immense amount city operations and precedures. I hope to apply the tools I gained from these experiences to turn the tides of disinvested neighborhoods and residents throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Region. If I could change one thing from my first year, I would better utilize the resources and extensive knowledge bases of the communities that surrounded me. In my second year I hope to bridge even more connections in the non-profit community and the people they serve and pair those conversations with the tools I have gained and the skill sets of my connections to implement ethical, inclusive, and lasting policy and programs.After this year of service, I hope to continue helping implement residents ideas to bring disinvested communities to the forefront of Pittsburgh by investing in people, place, planet, and vibrant culture and ensure their inclusion in Pittsburgh’s blossoming economy.”

 

DéPree Hopkins
Placement: Pittsburgh Filmmakers
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Takeaways from First Year: “I learned more and more about the direction I want to take my life in both professionally an personally. If I could do it over, I would network a lot more. After I complete the program this year, I want to continue working at Pittsburgh Filmmakers while continuing to pursue gaining my Ph.D in psychiatry as well as traveling around the world, expanding myself, and continue to grow and prosper!”

 

Terry Thomas
Placement: Hillhouse Association
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Takeaways from First Year: “The importance of building relationships, and using OARRS (Outcomes, Agenda, Roles, Rules). If I could do it differently, I would not be afraid to stand up for my opinions. After this program year, I hope to gain full time employment while attending schooling.”

 

Serena Virgi
Placement: Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Takeaways from First Year: “During my first year I learned the importance of collaboration and working in a team. I also learned about asset based community development, which set the foundation for my outlook on nonprofit work. If I could go back, I think I would have challenged myself to do more things outside of my comfort zone. After this year I plan to continue working in the nonprofit sector, focusing on education and youth focused issues.”

 

Not pictured: Christian Moore.

EVENTS

HOST AN ALLY

Host a Public Ally.

Want to learn more about the benefits of hosting an Ally? Come to one of our Partner Info Sessions (2/28, 3/39, or 5/25).
RSVP Here!

CONTACT

Public Allies Pittsburgh
26 S. 27th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Naomi Tannenbaum
Site Director
naomit@publicallies.org
412-258-3021

i

NEWS

Meet the Public Allies Pittsburgh Class of 2017-2018!

Gabrielle Antonicelli Placement: PA Legal Aid Network Hometown: Jersey Shore, PA Recently graduated with Magna Cum Laude status from Duquesne University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and a minor in Sociology, Gabrielle is excited to develop...

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