Christa Brashier is the Development & Outreach intern for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund.
My name is Christa Brashier and I am a senior at the University of Pittsburgh (PITT), where I major in Media & Professional Communications. Prior to Pitt, I attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where I was in a collaborative program with Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) called their “Urban Track” of Education, hoping to teach elementary school students in underprivileged urban areas.
My desire to teach came from what I admired most when I was growing up. I grew up in section 8 housing on Pittsburgh’s North Side, one of three children being raised by a single mother. I attended public schools (most of which have since been shut down.) As a young child, I was no stranger to family struggles with incarceration, drug abuse, mental illness, and poverty. School provided stability, encouragement, positivity, and from time to time a meaningful connection to an inspiring adult who seemed to really care about me. Consequently, I excelled at academics from a young age – a fact which has opened many doors for me.
These experiences taught me the value of educational opportunities for at-risk youth, which led me to the CCAC/IUP teacher education collaborative. Unfortunately, my time at IUP taught me that I was just not cut out for elementary education. I left IUP to seek a different path. Eventually, my interest and skill in writing and communications coursework brought me to PITT, where an advanced undergraduate Grant Proposal writing seminar asked me to partner with a local nonprofit and write a full-length PA Common Grant application on their behalf.
I immediately thought of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, where I have occasionally volunteered for an old family friend, Susy Robison (HCEF’s Director of Outreach.) Though my grant application wasn’t needed to fund any of HCEF’s programs; it gave me a better understanding of the work that they do, earned me an A in an advanced writing seminar, and got my foot in the door with their new Director of Development, Angelica Perry. I love HCEF’s values and mission and I hope that I can help the organization reach their goals as I spend this summer getting hands-on experience in non-profit development, communications, and outreach.
For more information on internship opportunities with the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, please contact us at 412-562-0154 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.