The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 10, 2013

Interns open Routes to community grant

JOHNSTOWN — A new community initiative seeks to link students, families and businesses for success.

Participants in the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies’ Youth Philanthropy Internship program announced Wednesday they are looking for nonprofit organizations or governmental entities from Cambria, Somerset and Bedford counties to develop a program that will guide and prepare students for career opportunities in the region.

The plan is to award one organization a $25,000 grant to fund a program that should benefit students in elementary through high school.

“We focused on getting into the community and noticing where the need is and where this program can make the most impact,” said Angie Berzonski, the Community Foundation’s program and communications officer.

“This an investment in our area’s young people and about creating a new generation of leaders.”

The youth philanthropy interns – Anthony Wagner V, Kylie Putman, Keith Hartman, Janae Staicer and Kendra Slis –  created a program they call Routes after traveling throughout the region taking note of where investments should be made.

The goal is to create a sustainable program that will benefit the region as a whole; teach students the necessary skills for lifelong success; engage local businesses with students; inform students about career, job and educational opportunities in the area; increase parent involvement in students’ education; and produce students capable of filling regional job opportunities in addition to careers that are projected to emerge in the area.

Staicer, a recent graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, said being a part of this project has helped her learn more about Johnstown.

“This is absolutely the best opportunity of my life so far,” she said. “I always thought once I graduated I’d leave, but now I want to be here and help rejuvenate the area.”

Staicer will be a freshmen this fall at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and plans to major in political science.

“It’s a great feeling to be a part of this, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we get,” she said.

The deadline to submitproposals is noon Aug. 1.

Submissions can be sent to the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Attn: 2013 Youth Philanthropy Internship Program, 116 Market St., Suite 4, Johnstown, Pa. 15901. Proposals also can be submitted electronically to aberzonski@cfalleghenies.org.

For more information, call 536-7741.

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