During a casual conversation with her mother a few months back about Black History Ellis senior Jourdan Washington realized that not all schools have the same depth of programming on the subject.
Then she thought, maybe there’s a way to help. She wrote up a grant proposal and submitted it to McAuley Ministries, which not only liked the idea but agreed to fund it—to the tune of $25,000.
“I didn’t even ask for a specific amount of money. So, yeah, hearing that number that was pretty amazing,” she said. “It’s exciting. It’s cool to see an idea you have work out.”
As a result of her work, an eight-week series of sessions, two Saturdays a month, will begin Sept. 20 at the Bedford Hope Center in the Hill District and will include 20 high school juniors and seniors from Pittsburgh Public Schools and half from a mix of surrounding districts.
The Pittsburgh Black History and Culture Series program will be run through the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s Clean Slate E3 affiliate, which received the grant, and will be facilitated by an instructor from Unity Consultants. Jourdan’s mother, Michelle Jackson, is the communications director for the HACP.