Gabrielle Antonicelli
Placement: PA Legal Aid Network
Hometown: Jersey Shore, PA
Recently graduated with Magna Cum Laude status from Duquesne University with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and a minor in Sociology, Gabrielle is excited to develop valuable leadership skills and gain specific legal knowledge and skills through her apprenticeship with the Neighborhood Legal Services Association. Gabrielle is considering attending law school in the future.


Chloe Deardorff
Placement: Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Chloe graduated from Carlow University in 2017 with a BA in Psychology with concentrations in counseling and human development. At Carlow, she worked as the Lead Peer Tutor in the Hopkins Communications lab and presented at the 2017 National Association of Communication Centers conference, she also served with KEYS Service Corps during the Summer 2016 term with the Braddock Playgrounds Program. Chloe is excited to learn about the nonprofit sector and work directly with the people who are creating change in Pittsburgh, and is also looking forward to developing herself as an Ally and hopefully make a difference in the world. Chloe’s long-term goals are to become a counselor and work with youth in underserved/underprivileged areas. She also hopes to work on community development and use her background in counseling to create resources for families and youth outside of the clinical counseling setting.


Khristina Gardner
Placement: Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
Hometown: Canonsburg, PA
Before Allies, Khristina was learning how to balance the multiple roles that life has given her so far; from being a moderator, roommate, friend, student, aunt, nurturer, daughter, sister, provider, server and so much more. She is excited to be in an educational environment with like-minded individuals, and hopes to gain insight about how non-profit organizations function in order to pursue my dream career as a professional caretaker of small children. After this Public Allies, Khristina would like to be more confident in physically making my dreams a reality, possibly  pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work in the near future as well as potentially doing another year of service.


Nacole Hough
Placement: Homewood Children’s Village
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Nacole brings her vast experience as a  volunteer and advocate for families and special-needs children in a social service setting to Public Allies Pittsburgh, and is excited by the opportunity to work with others to be able to impact the lives individuals and families, to be able to give back to the community, and to help others in their transitions through life. Nacole would one day like to start her own nonprofit, and stay connected to Public Allies and to continue to learn and to serve. Above all, she wants to be part of the change in her community, and grow along with those that she serves, helping them learn how to empower themselves.


Trevaun Jackson
Placement: UrbanKind Institute
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Prior to Public Allies, Trevaun graduated from Westinghouse High School, and attended Mercyhurst University. He hopes to develop an extensive network during his first year of service, and to hopefully parlay his connections into long-term employment within the nonprofit sector.


Jaclyn Janocsko
Placement: Reading is FUNdamental
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Jaclyn recently obtained her undergraduate BA degree in Psychology and has always had a drive to work with people, especially children. She finds joy in seeing others succeed and finding their purpose in life. What excites her most about becoming a Public Ally is the chance to connect with a diverse group of individuals, and hopes the experience will provide her with the leadership skills necessary to support herself and others in the community. After Allies, she hopes to find a job where she feels that she is contributing to the community. Jaclyn also plans to move into the city and start her career.


Frank Kamara
Placement: Consortium for Public Education
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Frank volunteered at the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless for a year, and  also worked at Purpose Built School Atlanta as an after school program mentor at Thomasville Heights Elementary school in Atlanta. He is excited about networking, meeting new people, being a leader, and the opportunity to make a difference in the Pittsburgh and Atlanta communitie. His long term goal is to move back home to Atlanta and start up a homeless shelter, and to work on policies that prevent gentrification.


Aarika Ransom
Placement: UrbanKind Institute
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Before Allies, Aarika has been promoting community engagement and activism through organizations like Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, and the Fund for the Public Interest. She hopes to utilize her prior experience and build upon it in the Pittsburgh community, and to combat gentrification in a sustainable way. Aarika would like to develop a longer-lasting relationship with the nonprofit community in Pittsburgh, and a secure a  position that will allow her to utilize the skills that she has gained.


Laylah Robinson
Placement: Bible Center Church
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Recently graduated from Carlow University with a Bachelor’s in Human Resource Management and Technology, and Management in Health Service, Laylah was the President of the Black Student Union, and a Council Member in the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, a Student Representative in the Student Conduct Board, and  the Assistant Director in the Department of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. She also volunteered with Strong Women Strong Girls, and she volunteers at her church, (Rapha Ministries), co-founding a movement called Homewood Cleanup. She is excited for opportunity to help out a community that is near and dear to her, and to learn about nonprofit organizations and their leadership. After Allies, Laylah plans on grad school at Duquesne University, or the University of Pittsburgh, eventually becoming the Human Resources Director of a healthcare institution focusing on Diversity and Inclusion.


DeVaughn Rodgers
Placement: Bike Pittsburgh
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Prior to Public Allies, DeVaughn was an event manager at Boom Concepts, and Lead Instructor for Bike Pittsburgh’s Youth Educational program Positive Spin, and an hourly kitchen manager at Mad Mex Oakland. He is excited to help expand the programming at his placement organization, BikePGH, And hopes to strengthen his program coordination skills and build a stronger professional network within the community. DeVaughn also aims to be well established with the inner workings of the Pittsburgh Public Schools after school programming, with a long term goal of gaining funding and run his own after school programs.


Kelsey Salerno
Placement: NeighborWorks of Western PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Kelsey graduated from Pitt Greensburg with a BS of Psychology and from Bucknell University with an MS in Psychology, with a research focus on human evolution. She is active in the Pittsburgh volunteer community, primarily working on issues around reproductive and environmental justice. Kelsey is a Volunteer Captain and serves on the Political Action and Advocacy Volunteer Board with Planned Parenthood, as well as participating in community outreach and lobbying coordinator with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. She also served as a “Big” for four years with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is excited to learn more about the ins and outs of nonprofits and to get more direct experience in the nonprofit world, gaining more knowledge, skills and talents that will enhance her not only professionally, but in all aspects of life. Kelsey looks forward to learning more about financial education and homeownership through her placement, and to continue to grow her network in the area. She hopes to stay in the advocacy/nonprofit sector, and is considering running for public office and would hope that the work that she does with Public Allies will enhance and inform any policies that she would want to implement.


Kyle Spangler
Placement: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Hometown: Greensburg, PA
Kyle interned at the U.S. House of Representatives under Rep. Tim Murphy and his office, and at the Westmoreland County Housing Authority. He has also worked as an assistant manager of a rental company and also as a line chef at Silky’s Pub. What excites him most about becoming an Ally is the amount of opportunities he will hopefully have to meet new and productive people and organizations throughout the city of Pittsburgh. Kyle hopes to gain a better understanding of what Pittsburgh has to offer and also gain contacts that will allow hi,m to work alongside them in combating serious social issues. Ultimately, Kyle wants to be able to work in the Housing and Homelessness Sector and make a serious change throughout the city.


Mercedes-Benz Taylor
 Homewood Children’s Village
Hometown: Palm Coast, FL
Mercedes-Benz grew up in a highly creative environment which led her explore all kinds of subjects, such as business administration, typography, web design, writing and film studies. She volunteered throughout high school with Girl Scouts and many local organizations such a Road to Success, Hope House and several parent support groups. She is excited to get better acquainted with Pittsburgh and learn more about the city’s culture. Mercedes-Benz  wants to find different ways to grow her professional skills and work in local communities. With the skills that she learns, Mercedes-Benz hopes to start her own business next year and continue to build upon her work with Public Allies.


Jude Waldo
Placement: Foundation of Hope
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Jude is the former emcee of The Red Dog Reading series based out of Carlow University. Jude Served at the second line editor for The Mad Women in the Attic annual anthology between 2013-2015. Jude has also written for the online magazine QueerPGH. He is excited to fine tune his leadership skills and widen his world perspective. Jude hopes to return to school to finish his undergraduate degree after his time with Public Allies. He hopes to empower the LGBTQIA community.


Lainey Yockey
Placement: City of Pittsburgh Office of Innovation and Performance
Hometown: Kittanning, PA
Before joining Public Allies, Lainey was a student at Carlow University majoring in Secondary Education and English. After completing her program, she hoped to take part in the non-profit sector, specifically to help Pittsburgh communities, and was directed towards Public Allies Pittsburgh. During this year, she plans to meet her challenges in a new environment head-on and to serve as an aid to Pittsburgh communities. After completing Public Allies, Lainey plans on continuing in her path towards teaching within the Pittsburgh area, getting hands-on teaching experience before going on to graduate school.


Koshin Yusuf
Placement: Hello Neighbor
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
During college, Koshin worked at Children’s Hospital, and later worked with youth through the KEYS Service Corps. What excites him about Public Allies the most is gaining the new friendships and connections as a result of the program. Koshin also hopes to improve and expand upon his leadership abilities, and to later continue a career within the nonprofit and public sectors.