(PITTSBURGH, PA) Feb. 5, 2013 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today launched his newest mentoring initiative, Promise Coaches, which equips adults with the skills needed to mentor young people through high school and on to higher education, while increasing the number of ‘Promise ready’ students eligible to receive $40,000 for college from The Pittsburgh Promise. Funded by a $100,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation and led by the Mayor’s servePGH initiative – with support from The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the United Way of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Public Schools and The Pittsburgh Promise – a series of mentoring workshops will be held throughout the City. By this summer, 500 volunteers will be trained to become Promise Coaches.
“We are extremely grateful to The Coca-Cola Foundation for their support of Pittsburgh's young people through our new Promise Coaches program,” Ravenstahl said. “By providing programs like Promise Coaches and The Pittsburgh Promise, we’re equipping residents with the tools necessary to ensure that our young people have successful careers and bright futures full of success and achievement.”
The Promise Coaches Campaign is designed to provide Pittsburgh’s adults with helpful tools, resources and skills to help navigate a young person through high school and on to higher education. Unlike traditional mentoring programs, this program does not match adults with young people. Instead, it offers a wealth of resources for mentoring relationships that already exist.
By participating in a 90-minute training session, volunteer “Promise Coaches” will learn how to have productive and engaging conversations with young people, how to act as a support system, and how to foster each individual’s unique qualities to help lead them to success. After today’s launch, the program’s first 35 volunteers participated in interactive exercises to learn what is required for students to graduate and how they can guide them through graduation to college.
“We wholeheartedly believe in the importance of helping each and every young person succeed,” said Colleen Fedor, executive director of The Mentoring Partnership. “This effort will better inform and equip caring adult volunteers to engage and help students navigate high-school and prepare for successful, fulfilling and productive careers. It is a win for students, a win for the volunteers and a win for our city. Joining with Mayor Ravenstahl, we are continuing to build on existing mentoring efforts to ensure that all young people know that we care about them and are here to help them reach their fullest potential.”
Promise Coaches mirrors the goals of The Pittsburgh Promise – both programs aim to increase both high school and college graduation rates among Pittsburgh residents while increasing the number of students eligible to receive the $40,000 scholarship available to all public and charter school students in the City that meet attendance and GPA requirements.
Residents can sign up to become a Promise Coach, or find more information about the program, at pittsburghpa.gov/promisecoaches or by contacting Mayor Ravenstahl’s servePGH office at 412-255-2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Future trainings will be held at: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh; Mount Ararat Community Activity Center; School 2 Career, a program of Oakland Planning and Development Corporation; Neighborhood Learning Alliance; and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Pittsburgh.
This new initiative is the latest of Mayor Ravenstahl’s efforts to support and encourage mentoring activities. The Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative has partnered with Everybody Wins! and Be a 6th Grade Mentor to successfully recruit nearly 60 City employees as mentors, and the City of Pittsburgh has become the largest local employer to participate in the United Way’s program.
By obtaining a Cities of Service grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Rockefeller Foundation, Mayor Ravenstahl launched servePGH in March 2011 to engage Pittsburgh’s citizens in service and to answer President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. Through 10 new and innovative servePGH initiatives, the Mayor has engaged citizens in volunteer-fueled solutions to revitalize more than 600 City blocks, restore vulnerable residents’ homes, help middle-school youth navigate life’s challenges, clean up over 29,000 pounds of litter, and more. Over 3,700 volunteers have committed over 30,000 hours of service through servePGH to date. Additional information is available at pittsburghpa.gov/servepgh.
About The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded more than $70 million to 263 community organizations around the world in 2011 to support sustainable community initiatives, including water stewardship, community recycling, active, healthy living, and education. For more information about The Coca-Cola Foundation, click here.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687