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Neighborhood Allies


429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219






Neighborhood Allies Fellowship Program: At Work On The Ground

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Summer 2015 082_edited

Neighborhood Allies Fellows (from left to right) Armando Yanez, Doni Crawford, Mary Taylor, Shikha Jerath

The Neighborhood Allies Community Development Fellowship Program fosters the attraction, acquisition and retention of minorities in the community development sector of greater Pittsburgh. It is a critical component of our commitment to increasing the local talent pipeline, creating succession and bench strength for community based organizations and ultimately, building communities equitably and ensuring that Pittsburgh is the most livable city for ALL.

“Our collective success in getting results- transforming communities, and creating new pathways of opportunity- will depend on our collective ability to attract and maintain the talent to achieve them.”

–Presley Gillespie

Neighborhood Allies Fellows commit to a one-year placement–either working here with us at Neighborhood Allies, or in placements at community based organizations in underserved neighborhoods. Our inaugural fellow, Doni Crawford‘s, year-long placement expired this summer, and we think our first fellowship placement was, and will continue to be a great success!

Doni spent the first two months of her fellowship familiarizing herself with data and sources for data, before co-developing and distributing a data needs assessment to over 250 organizations around the city. This survey comprehensively identified current data uses and data needs organizations throughout the city and neighboring boroughs so that we can better understand how best to provide funding, technical assistance, support and other services to CBOs, CDCs and citywide organizations. She presented her findings at UCSUR’s Sixth Annual Neighborhood Information Users’ Conference at the University of Pittsburgh. Doni has also worked on our internal Neighborhood Snapshots Project and Catalytic Grant Process, served as a grant writer and researcher, and provided support for projects such as Project HOPE.

Impressive, right? We think so, too. 

Doni did such great work during her placement that she was offered full-time employment with us and will be joining the Neighborhood Allies team as Program Coordinator for Research, Evaluation and Policy. First things on her to do list:  GET THE FUNDING and begin implementing the survey recommendations this fall.

“If you had asked me a year ago what I knew about community development, we would’ve had a very short conversation because community development was never on my radar. Neighborhood Allies’ Community Development Fellowship Program has introduced me to a whole new world and I’m immensely grateful that I was selected for this opportunity. The purpose of the program is to ‘foster the attraction, acquisition and retention of minorities in the community development sector of greater Pittsburgh.’ As the new Program Coordinator for Research, Evaluation & Policy at Neighborhood Allies, I can say with confidence that with me, the program has achieved all three goals.”

–Doni Crawford

We currently have 3 other diverse, passionate and extremely bright Fellows; Armando Yanez, Mary Taylor and Shikha Jerath, working in the areas of leadership, placemaking, research, outcome and impact evaluation, policy…and other challenges we present them with! Each of our Fellows hail from outside of our city – Los Angeles, California, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Augusta, Georgia, respectively and possess educational diversity and experience in areas including: Political Science, Spanish, Public & International Affairs, Public Policy & Management, Architecture, Instruction and Curriculum, and Business Administration.

Our Fellowship Program is made possible with the generous support of our foundation partners; Anonymous, The Heinz Endowments and McAuley Ministries. Thank you–your support is at work attracting new talent to the community development field in Pittsburgh!

Read more about our fellowship program here.

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