2009 Program Recap

Recognizing the need to incorporate a youth voice in its grantmaking, the Endowments employed 30 youth philanthropy interns. The foundation’s internship program is in its 15th year, and in its fifth as a grantmaking initiative. Seven teams of interns each recommended $25,000 in grant awards to nonprofit organizations that responded to the requests for proposals they created. This year, each group of students addressed a specific concern related to the environment.

For the first time, the foundation’s internship program included the creation of video and radio documentaries; the topics covered a range of environmental issues. Pittsburgh Filmmakers, a nonprofit with the mission of producing media for noncommercial artistic and literary purposes, trained and assisted the interns in the production of their video documentaries. Six teams worked with Saturday Light Brigade, a radio program broadcasting from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh , on the radio documentaries. The seventh team worked with the Allegheny Front on its radio piece. The Allegheny Front provides environmental updates of issues affecting the community and is produced at WYEP-FM in Pittsburgh .

One of three teams based at the Endowments titled its program Youth EcoArt Initiative and looked to fund programs that engage youth in environmental education projects that use the arts. Brian Brown, Liz Clark, Kaila Elliott and Emily Tant were the members of this team.

Radio documentaries:

  • Art From Recycled Materials: Emily Tant and Kaila Elliott speak with Penny Lodge of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and artist Tim Kaulen.
  • Public Art: Is It Worth It?: Brian Brown and Liz Clark speak with Curt Gettman of The Sprout Fund and people walking along Penn Avenue in East Liberty.

Video documentary: Public Art: Painting a New Picture for East Liberty


The second team of interns, Revive Our Region, sought proposals from organizations that promote the restoration of open spaces, particularly through remediation of invasive plant species and restoration of native species. Members of this team were Alfreda Adams, Medina Bey, Brian Gaudio and Will Morrill.

Radio documentaries:

  • Invasive Species: Will Morrill and Alfreda Adams speak with Jake Milofsky of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Caren Glotfelty , Endowments Environment Program director.
  • Then And Now: Brian Gaudio and Medina Bey speak with adults at the North Side Senior Center and children at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Video documentary: Invasion of the Invasive Species


The B.E. G.R.E.E.N. team at the Endowments looked to support projects that educate youth about environmental issues in order to create a greener community through interactive and experiential learning. Jillian Andrews, Charmaine Clarke, Danté Haywood and Paula Simon were in this group.

Radio documentaries:

  • Campus Recycling: Jillian Andrews and Paula Simon speak with rising juniors Natalie at Duquesne University and Micah at Carnegie Mellon.
  • Environmental Effects On Children's Health: Charmaine Clarke and Danté Haywood speak with Dr. Craig Smith of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and Dr. Scott Faber of The Children’s Institute.

Video documentary: Growing Up Green 


The Pittsburgh Foundation interns sponsored the Youth Environmental Media Initiative to support projects that provide opportunities for youth to learn about environmental issues while fostering leadership and using visual/auditory media. Felecia Brown, Liz Moody and Ben Rubino were members of this team.

Radio documentary:

  • Perspectives: Felecia Brown, Liz Moody and Ben Rubino speak with Dr. Nancy Gift of the Rachel Carson Institute and Chatham University; Ned Brockmeyer and Nida Lapsys of the Student Conservation Association; and North Side teens working to clean up the environment.

Video documentary:  Youth Media 


The interns working with the Sarah Heinz House created Three Rivers Revival – A Funding Opportunity to Promote River Cleanup. They looked to support efforts in the Pittsburgh region that decrease amounts of hazardous substances entering rivers or prevent excess water from overflowing sewage pipes. Team members were Sarah Gilmer, Caitlin Duffy and Mark Dissen.

Radio documentaries:

  • Combined Sewer Overflow: Sarah Gilmer and Mark Dissen speak with Thomas Baxter of Friends of the Riverfront and John Schombert of Three Rivers Wet Weather.
  • Ground Water Quality: Caitlin Duffy speaks with Dana Rizzo of Penn State Cooperative Extension, Westmoreland County.

Video documentary:  Combined Sewer Overflow:  Pittsburgh's Dirty Little Secret


United Way of Allegheny County interns Andrew Nelson, Fifanitti Clervil and Darcie Mather, through Project SWAG: Students Working to Advance Gardens, were interested in funding projects that promote youth gardening.

Radio documentaries:

  • Friends Of The Urban Forest: Fifa Clervil, Andrew Nelson and Darcie Mather speak with Caitlin Lenahan of Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest.
  • Urban Gardens: Fifa Clervil, Andrew Nelson and Darcie Mather speak  with Christine Astorino about the therapeutic effects of urban gardens.

Video documentary: Garden S.W.A.G.


The team working with Sustainable Pittsburgh, Jack Billings and Emily McGinty, looked to support efforts to help the YMCA of Pittsburgh green its operations.

Radio documentary:

Braddock Youth Grow a Greener Future: Jack Billings and Emily McGinty worked with the Allegheny Front at WYEP.

Video documentary: Going Local: "It Just Kinda Makes Sense"