For the next few months, we will be introducing the PCRG community to our latest AmeriCorps VISTAs. Get to know our cohort as each member will be featured on our blog and in our newsletter!
Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
I grew up east of Pittsburgh with my parents and three older sisters. As a family, we spent a lot of time camping and having really competitive board game tournaments. These are still two of my favorite hobbies, but I would also add going to concerts/amusement parks and searching for the best loaded nachos in the City of Pittsburgh. I studied Communication Arts and Community & Justice Studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and while this was a great four years, I’m glad to be back in Pittsburgh and surrounded by a more solid base of Pittsburgh sports fans.
I saw AmeriCorps VISTA as the perfect opportunity to put my theoretical knowledge into practice, as my passions and goals align directly with AmeriCorps mission and vision in a number of ways. I was also drawn to the VISTA Program because it does not focus on direct services, but on institutional changes that have lasting, permanent effects for partner organizations.
My goals for the year are to learn about the community development work that is occurring in Pittsburgh and to gain as much hands on experience as possible. I’m excited for the opportunity to engage directly with PCRG’s members and their communities, and I hope I’m able to have a positive impact and assist in building capacity.
One of my current projects is to reach out to PCRG’s member organizations and offer any support and services that would help them implement a lasting change. I am currently working with Tube City Renaissance In McKeesport and assisting Fineview and Perry Hilltop conduct research for their community plan.
My other main project is organizing an Alternative Spring Break trip that will be spending a week of service here in Pittsburgh in March. I am working with a group of ten students from the Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana and four of PCRG’s membership organizations. The students will spend a day completing direct service in each of these communities while learning about issues of gentrification and the work that is being done to redevelop some of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.
After VISTA, I hope to pursue a fulfilling career with community development non-profit organizations here in Pittsburgh.