2017 Summer Youth Philanthropy Recap
The Heinz Endowments employs recent high school graduates and rising high school seniors during the summer as philanthropy interns to incorporate a youth voice in its grantmaking. This year, 11 interns completed the eight-week program.
All interns were based at the Endowments’ offices in Downtown Pittsburgh to provide ample opportunities to build relationships with each other, learn how to work in a formal office environment and complete the grantmaking process within a foundation context.
The students worked in four teams, which each created audio documentaries with SLB Radio Productions, volunteered with 412 Food Rescue, completed a philanthropy project, and recommended grant awards up to $25,000, for a program grantmaking total of $100,000. A recap of the interns’ work follows.
Interns spent the first two weeks of their internship asset mapping three local neighborhoods: the Hill District, Hazelwood and Homewood. The students were tasked with identifying physical assets, economic conditions, civic associations, public institutions, local residents and compelling stories. They took walking tours of each community, visited nonprofits, and spoke with residents to gain firsthand knowledge of assets as well as challenges. Relying on their new knowledge, the interns developed and distributed requests for proposals to solicit program ideas that they would consider funding.
Senior intern Amma Ababio provided valuable support and worked with the program director to help to guide the interns in their day-to-day responsibilities.
Students worked with SLB to produce professional-quality audio documentaries on an issue of public concern. Intern teams created radio media that aligned with their requests for proposals.
The first team, comprised of Delajah Dennis, Delaney Morrow and Natalie Weida, wanted to increase awareness of healthy eating, nutrition and food preparation. “Cooking up Community” sought to invest in programs that focused on food literacy, nutrition education and cooking skills for youth in distressed neighborhoods. They also created an audio documentary called “Take a Bite Out of That.” Dennis, Morrow, and Weida interviewed Haley Goodrich of INSPIRED Nutrition, Jim Rowell of Grow Pittsburgh, and visitors to the Children’s Museum about the importance of nutrition education for youth.
The second team, comprised of Ahmari Anthony, Kelis Campbell and Rabina Phuyel, wanted to invest philanthropic dollars in programs to support young women of color. “Filling a Seat at the Table” sought to support programs that worked in the areas of educational, reproductive and juvenile justice. In their audio documentary, “Thriving Not Just Surviving,” Anthony, Campbell and Phuyel interviewed Ashley Chan of New Voices Pittsburgh, Denise McGill of Gwen’s Girls, and Lois Toni McClendon of Coalition Against Violence about the challenges and the inequities faced by women of color in America.
Katherine “Katie” Davenport and Joseph “Joey” Scapellato formed the third team and wanted to promote music education in out-of-school-time programs. “Music Education” sought to invest in innovative programs for high-school-age youth that not only focus on creativity but also entrepreneurship. In “The Changes in Hip-Hop,” Davenport and Scapellato interviewed the Rev. Tim Smith of Center of Life, Nicole Steele of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and staff and students at the Center of Life in Hazelwood about the impact of music and the genre of hip-hop, especially Krunk, on young people’s lives.
As the fourth team, Maya AlMoussa, Nicholas “Nick” Becker and May Knight wanted to increase youth civic engagement. “VOICE” sought to invest in the development of a robust civic education program for youth in underserved communities. For their audio documentary, “Breaking the Cycle,” AlMoussa, Becker and Knight interviewed Pam Harbin of the Education Rights Network, Thomas J. Catlaw of Arizona State University, Richard Garland of University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Christopher Uggen of University of Minnesota on the impact of school suspension on civic engagement.
Each intern completed an audio reflection at the end of the internship. Getting to the Point: Voices for a Just Future is the compilation of their individual voices and personal learnings.