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School News

In an inspiring initiative aimed at opening doors for young minds from underinvested communities, the Will Allen Foundation, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Steelers, recently hosted an immersive workforce experience at the Steelers Southside practice facility designed to educate students in media and communications. The Student Media Blitz offered local youth insights and experiences that are seldom accessible to the general public.

*Photo credit Nate Smallwood

Nearly 20 students from Clairton High School and The Neighborhood Academy were chosen to tour the Steelers’ training areas, practice facilities, and even the iconic trophy room. The press areas, television studios, and media room were at the heart of the tour, showing students the ins and outs of the media and communications of the Steelers and giving them the opportunity to learn what it means to conduct media activities for a professional sports team.

Rooted in the idea to add student voices to their social media channels, the Will Allen Foundation and TrailBlaze Creative, the Foundation’s marketing team, designed this experience to give students the knowledge necessary to develop content for the channels while gaining insight into marketing, communications, and media professions. 

The visit was enriched with sessions led by industry professionals, including the Steelers social media team, PR staff, and Andrew Stockey, News Anchor/Sports Director at WTAE-TV.

"This event is a cornerstone of our mission to provide meaningful opportunities, especially workforce opportunities, to students from traditionally underinvested communities,” stated Rosemary Mendel, Executive Director of the Will Allen Foundation. “We believe that by exposing students to real-world settings in various industries, we can inspire them to explore and achieve any goal they can dream."

The day was carefully structured to cover critical aspects of media and communications, from understanding the ethical responsibility of wielding a public platform to mastering the art of interviewing. Students were encouraged to delve into the dynamics of digital storytelling, content creation, and reputation management, skills that are increasingly vital in today’s digital world.

"Collaborating with the Will Allen Foundation on this project has been incredibly rewarding,” shared Burt Lauten, Senior Director of Communications at Pittsburgh Steelers, “We are passionate about fostering community engagement and education, and it’s our hope that through experiences like these, we can inspire a new generation to consider careers in media, communications, and more."

Students developed interview questions and refined them throughout the Blitz experience. As the day concluded, the students were able to use these questions to conduct a press conference featuring former Steelers safety Will Allen fielding questions from the students.

The Will Allen Foundation, alongside partners like the Pittsburgh Steelers, is committed to supporting educational initiatives that engage youth, ensuring that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to explore, learn, and succeed.

For more information about the Will Allen Foundation and its impactful programs, please visit

About the Will Allen Foundation

The Will Allen Foundation is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth, fosters growth, and creates positive change in underinvested communities. Through innovative programs and partnerships, the foundation provides access to education, resources, and opportunities, enabling young individuals to realize their full potential and make a lasting impact on their communities.


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