Creating new young leaders, particularly for the nonprofit community, is what Public Allies in Pittsburgh is all about. Four years ago, that prompted the organization to start the
RISE ChangeMaker Awards
"The RISE ChangeMaker Awards are really to honor the community -- and are chosen by the community," says the Allies' Site Director Misti McKeehen. "It's the opportunity for us to celebrate who the community sees as the change makers here in Pittsburgh -- especially those who may not always receive the thanks or the recognition that they are certainly deserving of." Both organizations and individuals were nominated, and voting lasts Oct. 10-24 online. The awards will be given Nov. 13 at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side. Pop City is a media sponsor of the event.
Among the community organizations nominated for this year's awards:
- Girls on the Run of Magee Women’s Hospital
- Special Olympics
- North Hills Community Outreach
- Three Rivers Community Foundation
- Best Buddies
- Get Involved!
- Alliance for Police Accountability
- MGR Foundation
- Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse
- Saxifrage School
The individual awards will be chosen from among:
- Matt Arch: UPMC Center for Inclusion
- John Cheatwood: Cheatcodes Tutoring Service LLC
- Kristina Elias: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh
- Nicole Domanov: St. Margaret Foundation
- Haeshah Cooper: New Hill District Business Association
- Raeann Olander: Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania
- Erin Baker: Corporate and Institutional Banking Development Program, PNC
- Seth Corbin: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh
- Michael Bodis, Department of Veterans Affairs
- Aimee LeFevers, United Way of Allegheny County
- John Hagan: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh
- Alecia Shipman, August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Several veterans of Public Allies' program, which partners here with Coro Pittsburgh, are up for Alumni Award as well.
Last year's winners were Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh; New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice; Tom Baker (of BBBS) and alumna Bekezela Mguni. "They've been doing wonderful things in Pittsburgh," McKeehen says of the past winners.
Public Allies' main activity in Pittsburgh is an Americorps program that places young people, mostly 18-30, in a 10-month apprenticeship with local nonprofits. Overall, McKeehen says, the group hopes to help build the pool of talent in Pittsburgh through new Americorps participants: "We want them to stay, and we want them to be leaders in this community."
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Misti McKeehen, Public Allies Pittsburgh