Since October 2015, a cohort of 13 Next Neighborhood Leaders have been working together in Wilkinsburg to build a strong community and incubate projects that improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. With a group like this, the community should quickly improve and become much better for everyone living in the area. Hopefully, these community members will be able to make positive improvements that will draw new people into the neighborhood. We believe that this area is perfect for first-time homeowners, so we need to make sure that the area reflects that. When people do decide to move here, they can read this article to make sure they know what to expect when moving into their first home. Hopefully, they’ll spend some time finding the best home insurance to make sure their home is covered. That is something that more people should do. Even though this group of people are trying to make the neighborhood safer, there are still some weather events that cannot be prevented. Overall, this area is great and will only get better with this group in charge.
Katie is a program coordinator for Jumpstart Pittsburgh, a national nonprofit that trains undergraduates to mentor low-income preschoolers in language and literacy skills. Although a native of Philadelphia, she has come to truly enjoy Pittsburgh. Katie is excited to emerge from the program a confident and versed leader to elicit positive change in all future endeavors, whether for the city or in my field of early education.
A resident of Wilkinsburg since 2005, Klara began her term as a member of the Wilkinsburg School District Board of Directors in December 2013, where she currently serves as Vice President and Treasurer. Klara also works as an Office Manager of a local Home Health Agency and serves as a board member of Hamnett Place Community Garden. In addition to leadership development, Next Neighborhood Leaders gives her the tools that I need to better understand herself: “This program has enabled me to confront my worst enemy…me!”
A Current resident of Wilkinsburg, Autumn serves as the executive director of Wilkinsburg Christian Housing, a ministry dedicated to restoring abandoned houses in Wilkinsburg. In addition, she is the administrator of Covenant Fellowship Church in Wilkinsburg. Autumn is excited to be a part of the Coro program as it seeks to bring community leaders together to discuss important community issues, and enjoys getting to know the other NEXT leaders and getting different perspectives on leadership and community development.
Evan is a relatively new resident of Wilkinsburg, has studied music, traveled quite a bit and learned a lot about rural and urban agriculture. He currently serves as the manager of the produce department at the East End Food Co-op. About Coro: “the program creates a constellation of people that would not naturally form, which breaks barriers and creates and combines the energy of a better represented community. This is critical for communities like mine where legacies exist and apathy persists.”
Cynthia is a Visionary/Dreamer with an eye for details… she manifests this through her photography and her ability to craft words into poetic sonnets and metaphors. About Coro: “the program is exciting to me because I get the opportunity to meet other leaders living and working in Wilkinsburg who are already doing great things for their communities. I look forward to collaborating with (them) on various projects in addition to using my current position to sharpen the skills that I desire to implement in my childhood neighborhood of Wilkinsburg.”
Jeffrey is passionate about youth development and have served as program manager for YouthWorks for over 9 years. An alumnus of Coro’s Community Problem Solving Fellowship, he is excited about participating in this second Coro program. Jeffrey’s future goals include plans to obtain both a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Law degree.
Alexandra moved to Pittsburgh from Canada to pursue a PhD in art history. After completing her degree, she decided to stay in Pittsburgh to continue working with the growing arts community. To Alex, Next Neighborhood Leaders represents an outstanding opportunity to connect with a diversity of neighborhood leaders who are committed to making Wilkinsburg a stronger community, and finds that it is also a great opportunity – and challenge – for personal and professional development.
A Pittsburgh native from Wilkinsburg and Homewood, Brazitte graduated from Coro’s Women in Leadership in 2014. Joining Next Leaders “gives me an opportunity to collaborate with an amazing cohort of people to make an impact on a neighborhood that means so much to me.”
Jaleah is passionate about education’s potential to empower our young women and men, is proud to serve as the assistant principal at the Environmental Charter School, and is eager to take on a new role as a board member of the Wilkinsburg Boys & Girls Club. Jaleah is excited about Next “because I get to engage with my community in a new and meaningful way. It is easy to get stuck in the land of what’s not going right, but real change can happen when we make the choice to work together to provide a purpose driven solution.”
A Wilkinsburg High School Alumni and resident, Latrice felt it was imperative that she join NEXT Neighborhood Leaders and make a positive impact on Wilkinsburg. A photographer who was looking to introduce an arts program to the Wilkinsburg schools, her focus is now developing a healing art nonprofit. Latrice recently accepted a position as a youth program coordinator working in the Hilltop neighborhoods. Through NEXT, Latrice identified her strengths as a transparent, strong, and passionate leader, and looks forward to continuing to provide resources to residents and create inclusive and impactful change in Wilkinsburg.
Teisha is a native of Pittsburgh and have been a Wilkinsburg resident for several years. Prior to becoming Director of Recruitment for Coro Pittsburgh, she served as a Code Enforcement Officer for the Borough of Wilkinsburg, ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all residents. She is a passionate, adaptive leader that enjoys helping others and is excited to expand her skills and development through Next Neighborhood Leaders.
Raised in Homewood and a resident of Wilkinsburg since 2007, Frank served Wilkinsburg School District for six years as a paraprofessional and four years tutoring in the afterschool program. Currently, he teaches in Pittsburgh Public Schools and directs two weekend youth programs. “I am dedicated to the education and safety of youth. It has been an honor to participate in the Coro program where I have learned valuable key aspects to leadership, and how to be more effective in my leadership role and service to my community.”
O.E. (Zoe) Zelmanovich
Zoe is a proud fifth generation Pittsburgher and has been a homeowner in Wilkinsburg for five years. “I am excited to participate in the Coro program because I love Wilkinsburg and believe that it is well-suited, as a typical inner city rustbelt neighborhood and a tiny independent municipality, to be a locus of experimentation and forward thinking policy-making that can create genuinely equitable development and build a diverse community that truly allows all of its residents to thrive.”