The revamped Heinz Fellows program shifted the initiative from focusing solely on black men to creating a cohort that included women and reflected the racial demography of the Pittsburgh Public Schools student population, which is 53 percent African American and 47 percent non-African American. The program also expanded the career paths it encouraged participants to pursue, adding education advocacy and grass roots community organizing to the original emphasis on the teaching profession.
Yet, the intent to train individuals who would help improve urban public education by making it more demographically representative, culturally responsive, and academically stimulating and rigorous remains the same. The Fellows also continue to be people whose exceptional achievements indicate they will be – or already are – the leaders Pittsburgh and other communities need to push for public schools that provide children with an education that can guide them to a successful future.
University Preparatory at Margaret Milliones 6-12
Dakota Garilli, a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas College, received his bachelor’s degree in English and writing and later moved to Pittsburgh to earn his master’s of fine arts in creative writing from Chatham University. Dakota has substantial experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the Heinz Fellows Program, Dakota worked as a creative writing instructor through the Allegheny County Jail, and later as both a training content development contractor at THRIVE of Southwest Pennsylvania and as an activities coordinator at Chatham University. (middle school)
Aisha Hughes, a native of Pittsburgh, recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies. Aisha joins the Heinz Fellows Program from her previous role as an intern at Higher Achievement, where she taught a class about digital citizenship at the organization’s Homewood site. (middle school)
A Pittsburgh Public Schools alumnus, Daniel Dzodin graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School and later received his bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Pittsburgh. Since then, Daniel has worked as a research assistant at UPMC and later as an intake and program coordinator at the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. (middle and high school)
With a bachelor’s degree in media arts and animation from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Mario Lyles brings a creative lens to the Heinz Fellows Program. Mario, a Buffalo NY native, co-owns a dance studio and has worked as a youth mentor and educator across the city, including at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, YMCA, and Propel School in Hazelwood. (middle and high school)
A native of New Jersey, Tahra Anglade joins the Heinz Fellows Program after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Tahra worked previously as a student nursing assistant at Western Pyschiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC), an Americorps Keys member, a research assistant in Pitt’s psychology department, and most recently a student assistant right here in the Center for Urban Education! (high school)
Jeremiah Davis, a native of Toledo, Ohio, joins the Heinz Fellows Program after working as an assistant manager for the Pittsburgh Flag Football League and as an assistant program instructor for the Arts Greenhouse Program. Since receiving a bachelor’s in business administration, Jeremiah has held various positions across the nonprofit sector including working as a family intervention prevention specialist at Community Empowerment Association and being an admissions counselor at his alma mater, Pitt. (high school)
Hailing from the opposite end of the state, Devyn Swain is a proud Philadelphia native. Prior to joining the Heinz Fellows Program, Devyn held various positions in several charter schools and Pittsburgh Public Schools, most recently serving as a substitute chemistry teacher at Westinghouse High School. Devyn holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Cheyney University and a master’s in public and international affairs with a concentration in human security from the University of Pittsburgh. (high school)
Majestic Grigg, a proud New York City native, graduated from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh this spring with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and business administration. While in school, Majestic was actively engaged in community service: as a life coach for a family in Plattsburgh, as a mentor through Big Brothers Program, and as a summer camp counselor. (high school)
A native of suburban Philadelphia, Daniel Lampmann received his bachelor’s degree in communication and rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh. Throughout his time at Pitt, he worked as an executive council member with the Student Civic Engagement Council in the Office of PittServes. Most recently, he worked as an intern for the Pennsylvania chapter of the Innocence Project, assisting attorneys with writing legal briefs and conducting research and investigation.
Above: UPrep Fellows Majestic Grigg, Daniel Dzodin, Aisha Hughes, Tahra Anglade, Dan Lampmann, Mario Quinn Lyles, Dakota Garilli, Devyn Swain, Jeremiah Davis
Pittsburgh Miller African-Centered Academy Pre-K through 5
Jenna Geiman, a 2017 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, is a Chicago native. Throughout her time as a Russian language and literature student, Jenna was an active participant in the Pitt and greater Pittsburgh communities. She served as an undergraduate researcher at Pitt’s School of Public Health, as an Americorps member through Jumpstart, as an intern at the Institute of Politics, and as a teaching intern at Riverview High School in Oakmont.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Imani LaGrone graduated from Denison University this spring with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a concentration in neuroscience. Imani was an active member of her campus, supervising her peers as a resident assistant and working as a social media assistant at Denison’s Campus Leadership and Involvement Center. Imani was also engaged in the greater Chicago community, where she interned at Rush University Medical Center and at Chicagoland Pediatric Partners.
Germaine Carter, a Pittsburgh native, joins the Heinz Fellows Program after working as a teacher at a local music institute that help students overcome social and emotional barriers through music and creative expression. A Pitt alum, Germaine received a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and later earned his master’s degree from National University in Higher Education Administration. Outside of teaching, Germaine has worked extensively in the mental health field in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Above: Miller Fellows Jenna Geiman, Germaine Carter, Imani LaGrone
A. Leo Weil Elementary Pre-K through 5
Jordan Henderson is a Philadelphia native and a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s class of 2017. With a bachelor’s degree in Africana studies, Jordan became involved in the community through her internship at the Urban Affairs Coalition, where she enrolled students in the WorkReady program, led a research team, and conducted conflict resolution with parents, students, and work site supervisors. Most recently, Jordan worked on campus in the Office of Institutional Advancement as a Telefund fundraising representative.
Pittsburgh native Mark Brentley Jr. joins the Heinz Fellows Program from his previous role as a Pennsylvania state constable. Mark graduated from Clarion University with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and pursued a career in youth development as a court/school liaison and later as a truancy advocate specialist. Between these positions and his most recent role as a state constable, Mark was a supervisor at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.
Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in communication for advocacy from Carlow University, Jahlise Chard has been actively engaged in the Pittsburgh nonprofit community. Jahlise worked as a trainer at the Mentoring Partnership, as an educator and outreach specialist at Community Kitchen Pittsburgh, and as an intern for a local radio program working towards youth empowerment. She recently completed a 10-month fellowship focused on leadership and capacity building through Public Allies and CORO Pittsburgh.
Above: Weil Fellows Jordan Rosalyn Henderson, Jahlise Chard, Mark Brentley Jr.
Top photo: The Heinz Fellows’ community experiences have included a tour of the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood, where the group met the Rev. Glenn Grayson, who named the center after his deceased son, and Rev. Grayson’s nephew Kevin McNair, a former Heinz Fellow and founder and executive director of One Nation Mentoring. The Fellows talked with Rev. Grayson and Mr. McNair about their work in the community and how they might collaborate with the Fellows. Pictured at the center, from left to right, are Mario Quinn Lyles, Germaine Carter, Imani LaGrone, Kevin McNair, Daniel Dzodin, Mark Brentley Jr., Majestic Grigg, Rev. Glenn Grayson, Dan Lampmann, Jeremiah Davis, Tahra Anglade, Dakota Garilli, Jordan Rosalyn Henderson, Aisha Hughes, Jenna Geiman, Jahlise Chard and Devyn Swain.