2010 Program Recap

Recognizing the need to incorporate a youth voice in its grantmaking, The Heinz Endowments again employed more than 30 recent high school graduates as Summer Youth Philanthropy interns. Now in its sixth summer as a grantmaking initiative, this program included eight teams of interns at local nonprofit organizations. Each team awarded $25,000 in grants to address a specific concern related to developing a sustainable community.

Teams researched issues of sustainability in the western Pennsylvania region and heard from experts about work that other organizations are doing in the field. Relying on their new knowledge, the interns developed and distributed requests for proposals to explain their team’s grantmaking goals. While waiting for proposals, the teams worked with Saturday Light Brigade, the Allegheny Front and Pittsburgh Filmmakers to learn the arts of radio and video production, and then produced short pieces highlighting issues of sustainability in our communities.

One of three teams working out of the Endowments offices, the Retrofit Beauty team, sought to fund projects and programs that educate women and girls about the health impacts of the personal care products they use and help them become better consumer advocates for themselves and their families. Both their film, The New Face and their radio piece Safe Cosmetics, further explored this topic. Interns were Mukui Mutunga, Ashley Cullens, Tessa Hochberg and Brian Brown.

The second team of interns at the Endowments, the Paint our City Green Initiative, sought to fund projects that educate school-aged youth about environmental issues through the arts. Their video focused on the Power of Music to create social change, while their radio pieces went farther afield, tackling the Gulf Oil Spill and the creation of Green Jobs. Interns were Talia Kirkland, Aleesha Allen, Doretha Murray, Travis Maloy and Jillian Andrews.

The third team working at the Endowments, the Pathways to Sustainability team, sought to support projects that create youth leadership in environmental public policy through education about environmental issues, civic engagement and the opportunity to make a difference. Their video, The Dialogues of the Desperate used humor to pass on important steps that individuals can take to lessen their impact on the environment, while their radio piece took a broader view and examined the problem of Overpopulation. Interns were Tristan Caloyer, Armani Davis, Jessica Tarantine, Hannah Somers and Danté Haywood.

Interns at The Pittsburgh Foundation created the Youth Green Space Initiative, which supported efforts to develop a community green space designed to educate young people, promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainability within the community. Their video, Blowing Away the Smokey City, explored Pittsburgh air quality, while their radio piece promoted ways for individuals to reduce their Carbon Footprint. Interns were Christina Brown, Miles Early, Anna Koebley and Ben Rubino.

The interns working with the Sarah Heinz House and Student Conservation Association created a joint funding opportunity, SWIM: Stormwater Irrigation and Management. The teams sought to support programs that reduce the problem of combined sewer overflow while educating the public about the issue. The team from SCA continued their exploration of the topic, producing an animated video titled What’s in Your Water. Their radio piece explored local reactions to the topic of Global Warming. The team from Sarah Heinz House used their video to promote Bikin’ in Da Burgh, while their radio piece took on the issue of Dirty Rivers. SCA interns were Lonnie Carroll, Kaity Ripple, Jasmine Springer and Brian Gaudio. Sarah Heinz House interns were Conner Plunkett, Shana Williams, Darcie Mather and Emily Tant.

The United Way of Allegheny County interns, through Project YIPP: Youth Improving Playgrounds and Parks sought to fund programs that improve community parks in under-served neighborhoods. Their video, Parks and Playgrounds, continued to explore this topic, as did their radio piece Park Violence. Interns were Fifanitti Clervil, Abigail Ferry, Breanna Evans-Potter and Chalese Floyd.

The team working with Sustainable Pittsburgh sought to support programs related to Wilkinsburg Borough’s sustainability plan by redressing vacant lots through the Vacant to Vibrant project. This team worked with The Allegheny Front to produce a radio piece entitled Electric Bikes Gain Momentum in Pittsburgh. Interns were Paula Simon, Pankaj Aggarwal and Sabina Lemo.