The Pittsburgh Foundation

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Next stop: Outer space - Meet scholar Megan O'Brien

Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is a pretty small town, galactically speaking. That hasn’t stopped Greensburg native Megan O’Brien from dreaming of the cosmos. O’Brien, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA from Greensburg-Salem High School in 2020, says, “I love all things rockets, NASA, that kind of stuff.” After she receives her degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State University, she hopes to work in the aerospace industry on “quality assurance, testing whether things work, destroying things, seeing what needs fixed.”

Stories

Scholar Aeryn Lesesne: Making a difference

In 2019, Aeryn Lesesne, graduated from high school as the valedictorian of Pittsburgh Online Academy, a Pittsburgh Public School. Now she’s a secondary English education major at Point Park University. After she finishes college, Lesesne says she hopes to return to a district like Pittsburgh Public — but not as a student. “My aspiration is to make a difference as an educator.”

Stories

Scholarships help Colton Dietz pursue a music education career

Colton Dietz began following his passion for jazz improvisation and music because of the freeform creativity it lent him—the chance to express himself in a genre with a rich history. He picked up the trombone in fifth grade in Norwin School District and attended Norwin High School. He brought his interest in sharing music with others with him to The Pennsylvania State University to study music education.     

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Dr. Jerome Gloster: Resilience at the forefront of community-based health care

If there is an expression that defines Dr. Jerome Gloster, colleagues and friends agree, it is “realistic optimist.” Dr. Gloster, chief executive officer of Primary Care Health Services Inc., immediately after his appointment in 2018 focused on expanding the patient population at the nonprofit that provides an array of medical services to minority communities across Allegheny County. He developed an ambitious plan to build out clinic spaces and create state-of-the-art centers at Primary Care’s nine facilities, including the Alma Illery Medical Center in Braddock.

Stories

Scholar Ore Olaore’s journey from CAPA’s visual arts to Cornell University’s biomedical engineering

Ore Olaore’s journey to becoming a pediatric neurologist began during her freshman year at Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 high school. Though she was a visual arts major at CAPA, she’d always been interested in the medical field and thoroughly researched possible options. Ore was heavily involved in many STEM-related programs outside of school and was a teaching assistant for STEM and coding classes at Citizen Science Lab.   

Stories

Scholar Aqaveon Jackson: Turning his interest in helping people into his future career

Aqaveon Jackson has dreamed of being in the FBI since he was eight years old. The field sparks his interest because of his strong interest in helping people. “I was in the foster care system, and my foster family took guardianship over me,” said Jackson. “We have binders in foster care describing who we are, what we like and possible future careers, and I remember one of the careers I wanted to go into was the FBI. I have really wanted to do this for a long time.” 

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True T: Helping LGBTQ+ Pittsburghers Survive and Thrive

Since its 2010 inception, True T has transformed its mission and service to LGBTQ+ Pittsburghers. True T began as an organization of celebration and entertainment and now serves as a community hub also providing health and safety resources for LGBTQ+ individuals queer arts and activism.

Stories

Chantal Braziel: The dream does not die

Chantal Braziel has been awarded more than $17,000 in scholarships from Pittsburgh Foundation funds. Learn about her passion for opera and how the scholarships she has received have helped her pursue a career in classical singing.

Stories

Dannys Marrero: Images of protest and progress

Dannys Marrero is a Puerto Rico native, Army Reservist and political science student at Point Park University who now calls Pittsburgh home. For this photo essay, he selected images of civil unrest in Pittsburgh as residents protested killings by police and demanded equity and justice. He shared his thoughts on why these pictures are emblematic of the struggle and beauty of life during the pandemic and civil unrest.