Written by Alycia Butler
Created by the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Pittsburgh Promise focuses on providing and supporting high school students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. They are most known for their $5,000 a year (up to $20,000) scholarships to those extending their education to a college or university. The Pittsburgh Promise also strives to support those in Universities, like Carlow University. Located on the second floor of the University Commons, Pittsburgh Promise leaders are working to make life easier, fun, and more interesting for students at Carlow. During finals, they host and partner with other organizations to help students relax, like yoga programs and a mental health day. During the summer, they offer support to those in internships.
During their fall semester, students in the Pittsburgh Promise program receive emails informing them of the internship program opportunity. With $17 an hour and 2 free college credits, up to 10 students can be in the program. For the Summer of 2022, 8 students were accepted. With help from the Graduate Assistant, Chelsie Crate, The Promise prepared the accepted students with biweekly workshops throughout their spring semester. These workshops include learning about acceptable dress codes, email etiquette, and taxes. Working with Carlow’s Career Development office, students will also work to have a professional resume and padfolio. Students were required to pick 3 internship sites they would be interested in and had 2 mock interviews to prepare for them.
Many students in the 2022 program talked about how much they learned from the workshops. One student intern explained that the program helped boost her confidence and help her with social anxiety. Another stated, “The interviews helped me understand who I am.”
The Pittsburgh Promise partnered with non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh for their internship program. For the Summer of 2022, SLB Radio, Pittsburgh Mercy, The Neighborhood Resilience, Uptown Partners, and the Veterans Leadership Program offered internship positions. After interviews, all 8 student interns received internship offers from their first site choice.
An intern with SLB Radio called her experience interesting. She said, “It was a unique look into a small organization’s work. They all worked together yet independently, and always had so much to do. I was happy to help out any way I could.” The student intern describes having a new assignment every week, including editing audio for podcasts and writing her own commentary.
Getsemani Solis-Vasquez, a return student intern with the program, described her work with her site differently. While working with the Neighborhood Resilience Project as a clinic intern, she said, “I worked at NRP before as a community support specialist, and returning back was very exciting and allows me to work in a different area while around the same atmosphere back when I started… Since the clinic is starting up again there are many patients who need to be contacted, paperwork that needs to be inserted into the system, and many other tasks. Other than clinical tasks, I will go around different departments with permission to help with any other tasks.” She also stated that her experience in a clinic and serving people can help with her future plans.
The Pittsburgh Promise Internship Program for 2022 was called amazing, supportive, and fun by the students. All students said they would return the following year. The Pittsburgh Promise at Carlow has an office in the second floor of the University Common’s and includes all students in their Celtic groups who attended Pittsburgh Public High schools.
Categories: Carlow Culture