Pittsburgh businessman Greg Spencer, of Oakland, says he may be nearing retirement from Randall Industries, the chemical company he owns. But he says he has no plans to stop mentoring the young people who seek out his guidance and advice.
Following a personal experience with the challenges of seeking expert medical care for her son, Staci Flint of Garfield created Kyle's Hope. The organization advocates for other families and helps them secure quality care for their loved ones.
Joyce Meggerson-Moore, of Stanton Heights, has led New Horizon Theater for more than two decades as chair of its Board of Directors, and, over the years, she has filled several other roles with the organization, such as company cook and chauffeur.
While building trails in Mt. Washington’s Emerald View Park several years ago, Nathaniel Broadus noticed some of his fellow African-American colleagues working in the park, but rarely using and enjoying its scenic trails.
The realization led him to organize monthly “Black-Packing Nature Excursions.”
Lateresa Blackwell of Pittsburgh’s Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood is a university administrator by day. She also is the proprietor, along with her husband, of the Café on the Corner where, by night and on weekends, she runs a no-charge workforce development program for teens, focusing on hospitality and business.
Elaine Effort speaks to Jamie Upshaw of Hazelwood about her organization Autism Urban Connections for 90.5 WESA Celebrates: 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories.
Jamie Upshaw of Hazelwood says it was hard to get a proper autism diagnosis for her youngest son. She says it was even more difficult to find the proper resources her family needed when the diagnosis was ultimately made. Upshaw has since started her own support group, called Autism Urban Connections.
Elaine Effort speaks to Jason Rivers of Stanton Heights about the AR3 Foundation for 90.5 WESA Celebrates: 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories.
It's been more than a decade since a Stanton Heights man—along with his family—created the AR3 Celebration of Life Foundation to honor the brother he lost to gun violence. AR3 organizes basketball tournaments and other youth activities to honor the memory of Anthony Rivers, who was murdered in 2008.
Elaine Effort speaks to Keysha Gomez of Sheraden about her program H.O.P.E. for Tomorrow for 90.5 WESA Celebrates: 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories.
Nearly a decade ago, Keysha Gomez and her husband opened the doors of their home to a few local kids in their neighborhood. What started as a somewhat informal after-school program for area youth has since expanded in both size and scope, from a solely youth-oriented focus to one that offers intergenerational enrichment.
Elaine Effort speaks to Nikkia Ingram about her program Cultivating Resilient Youth for 90.5 WESA Celebrates: 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories.
Nikkia Ingram’s responsibilities at Pittsburgh Brashear High School have outgrown her job title of school security officer. That's because what began as informal mentoring sessions during lunch breaks and weekends has grown to include the creation of a local nonprofit called Cultivating Resilient Youth.
Businessman Vernard Alexander of Homewood is known in his neighborhood as the "Connecting King,” because he uses online platforms to share information about jobs, housing and funding sources to help others in his community.
Sheraden resident Terri Minor Spencer started West End P.O.W.E.R. (Providing Opportunities with Effective Resources) three years ago. The organization aims to redefine and rebuild community in Pittsburgh's West End through the facilitation of multiple neighborhood support initiatives.
Minor Spencer spoke about P.O.W.E.R.'s origins with 90.5 WESA's Elaine Effort, as well as where she sees the organization moving forward.
Elaine Effort speaks with Chef Claudy Pierre for 90.5 WESA's 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories.
North Side Pittsburgh Chef Claudy Pierre is focused on teaching community members to prepare fresh food that is both nutritious and affordable. In fact, that’s the mission of the community program he has run the past four years called E.A.T., which stands for Empowerment, Awareness and Training.
Three years ago, a group of volunteers in Pittsburgh’s Larimer neighborhood decided to do something about an empty, overgrown lot that had become an eyesore in their community. Where that vacant lot once was now sits the African Healing Garden, which serves both as a tool education and relaxation for Larimer residents.
The group of volunteers behind the Healing Garden was led by longtime community organizer Betty Lane.
In an effort to eliminate barriers to accessing mental health care, West End social worker Julius Boatwright engages people in street conversations about mental health wellness in the communities in and around Pittsburgh. Boatwright is the founder of the Pittsburgh nonprofit Steel Smiling, a mental health resource provider.
Below are excerpts from his conversation with 90.5 WESA’s Elaine Effort for our series 90.5 WESA Celebrates: 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories.
Army veteran Michael Flournoy has made helping other veterans his life's mission. Even though Flournoy retired from his job as a therapist for the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs hospital a few years ago, the 80-year-old resident of Pittsburgh's Chartiers City neighborhood tells 90.5 WESA's Elaine Effort that does not mean his work with veterans has ended.
Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
ELAINE EFFORT: What made working with veterans so meaningful for you?
Emmai Alaquiva is a Pittsburgh-based Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and youth mentor who was recently appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 90.5 WESA contributor Elaine Effort recently spoke with Alaquiva about Hip Hop on L.O.C.K, an arts education program he created more than a decade ago.
Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
ELAINE EFFORT: Why did you find it important to give back and to do Hip Hop on L.O.C.K.?