Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Youth in Mckeesport Area Get Mentoring, Outdoor Projects Youthcast Offers Mentoring, Outdoor Projects

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Youth in Mckeesport Area Get Mentoring, Outdoor Projects Youthcast Offers Mentoring, Outdoor Projects

Article excerpt

When a committee identified the top 10 issues facing the McKeesport area a couple of years ago, the first item on the list was a need for youth programming.

At just two years old, the YouthCAST program is now offering youth in the McKeesport area programs such as mentoring and outdoor projects.

YouthCAST - which stands for Youth, Communities And Schools Together - has been serving about 25 youth each year who are in grades 6-12 and attend school in the McKeesport Area School District.

The organization came about when Kenio Fitzpatrick was contacted by McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko and his select committee on crime and violence, which had placed youth programming at the top of the issues facing the McKeesport area.

"They felt they wanted to see something more being done in the city for youth," Mr. Fitzpatrick said of the committee members.

YouthCAST is run by a team that includes Mr. Fitzpatrick and Aaron Johnson, Harold Allen and Julie Fleckenstein, all from McKeesport.

Mr. Fitzpatrick secured $162,560 in private grants two years ago to start YouthCAST and recently was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments, which will be used to help fund its initiative, Bring Youth Outdoors.

With the Heinz grant, Mr. Fitzpatrick has created a youth philanthropy program in which the young people can participate in outdoor activities throughout McKeesport.

Participants are working on most of the nine ReClaim McKeesport sites, which are part of a project between GTECH Strategies of Pittsburgh and the city of McKeesport. …

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