Community Innovation Training for Youth (CITY)

Community Innovation Training for Youth (CITY)

The CITY program creates individualized pathways to life success for high school students in the Pittsburgh area, providing them with unique, engaging, out-of-classroom learning opportunities. The program’s goal is to help students develop the skills needed to succeed academically and achieve financial independence so that they may live a prosperous and rewarding life once they’ve graduated.

When compared to their peers, students who participate in the CITY program demonstrate a better understanding of their postsecondary education and career options including pursuing a bachelor’s or associate degree, enrolling in a technical school, exploring an entrepreneurial endeavor, or apprenticing with one of the more than 30 unions in the Pittsburgh region.

Engaging students with robust learning opportunities

During the academic year, CITY students meet for biweekly after-school sessions at Penn State Center Pittsburgh, where they engage in projects related to their goals and interests and develop personalized career preparation plans. Students also experience hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities, learn from a series of projects at the Citizen Science Lab, assist in cooking demonstrations, tour museums, participate in unique outdoor team-building experiences, and visit colleges, cultural centers, and live performances.

Individualized mentoring helps students succeed

Each student is paired with two local mentors from the Pittsburgh area to provide support throughout their time in the CITY program. Mentors are matched with students to help them define their personal interests, sharpen their skills, and expand their knowledge. Students and mentors discuss students’ future goals and assess their current development in the areas of communication, leadership, networking, and problem-solving.

CITY thrives on community support

There are many ways you can engage with the CITY program:

  • nominate a student to the program who could benefit from an alternative learning experience
  • share information about CITY with teachers and administrators at your school
  • offer an out-of-classroom learning experience to the CITY student group
  • volunteer to work with a promising student as a mentor

If you are unable to participate as a mentor or educator, but value the CITY mission, you can also make a financial contribution that will directly help Pittsburgh-area students successfully transition to adulthood.

For more information about the CITY program, please contact program manager Naomi Ritter at ndr8@psu.edu or 412-482-3460.