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Seven Nazareth Prep Students Selected to be Youth Fellows for Social Change  
The high schoolers will design and launch youth-driven social initiatives.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania  (April 4, 2019) – This month, seven students at Nazareth Prep were selected by 5A Elite Youth Empowerment to be Youth Fellows for Social Change. Destany Best, Diamond McGrady, Jade Leeper, Sharlie Dixon, Shayonia Johnson, Layla Holland and Leneece Joree Clark will be part of a cohort of 14 high school students designing and launching projects to benefit their communities.

The Youth Fellowship for Social Change, funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation and its Small and Mighty Grants program, engages the young people most affected by systemic inequities, providing a platform where students can gain access to the people, places, positions and processes that affect and govern their daily lives. 

“We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to partner with such an amazing group of students from Nazareth Prep,” says 5A President and CEO Nate Brown. “The skill sets, motivation, and expertise that they bring to the table greatly increase our ability to create tangible impact in the immediate future. In addition, it’s such a joy to work alongside young thought leaders who understand the need for creativity and innovation and are more than capable of designing and implementing sustainable solutions over time. My hope is that we have now forged the foundation for a long-term relationship with Nazareth Prep.”

The 14 high schoolers selected for the Fellowship will undertake seven months of workshops, trainings and real-world experiences that combine design thinking, political education, civic engagement, trauma-informed holistic wellness, and transformational leadership development. Each student will receive a $150 monthly stipend for the seven-month cohort, which totals $1,050; a free tablet; and other relevant technology. 

Over the course of their fellowships, the students will learn to organize and mobilize a unique power base of peer social-change agents. Working alongside peer and adult volunteers, they will design and launch youth-driven social change initiatives. 

“We’re proud and excited about the work our students will do in this program,” says Nazareth Prep Principal Joe Oliphant. “The fellowship will give them an opportunity to expand on the skills they’re developing through our curriculum, which emphasizes hands-on experiences, project-based learning, and the design and execution of creative solutions to the challenges faced by local communities.”