We Believe in the Youth We Serve

Our Mission

YouthPlaces develops the skills of the youth we serve, and in doing so, we increase their opportunity for success. We focus our efforts on under served youth in high-risk communities where few other agencies operate. Our high-quality afterschool programs engage youth from within their community, and are responsive to input and feedback from youth leaders and the community as a whole.

Our Vision

We believe in the youth we serve. We commit ourselves daily to our mission because, in the end, our youth deserve a chance to succeed. To us, success takes no single form. Our steadfast hope is that through our help, youth find their own way in the world as they transition into happy, healthy, productive and responsible adults. And as they do, we firmly believe that they will lift their communities with them, helping to realize a better future for Pittsburgh as a whole.

Our Values and Beliefs

Through our mission and vision, we have set a direction for YouthPlaces. That direction is reinforced by the values and beliefs that are shared within our organization.

  • We embrace a positive youth development approach, which focuses on building key developmental assets as a means to achieving youth success
  • We provide safe, accessible sites where youth can engage in activities without physical or emotional barriers
  • We are responsive to youth, actively involving them in planning, implementing and governing the programs in which they participate and incorporating their needs, their interests and their abilities into our operational decisions, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or cultural background
  • We are a consistent and reliable presence in the communities we serve. • We collaborate with the communities we serve, engaging families, schools, other youth serving agencies, and grassroots organizations to provide the best possible services to youth.
  • We employ individuals who are comfortable with and respectful of the youth they serve.

Talk is cheap, so our adherence to these standards is crucial in order to demonstrate our commitment to our mission and vision. By embracing these values in all that we do, YouthPlaces earns the trust of our youth, the communities we serve and the partners who support our work.

Our History

YouthPlaces was founded as a community response to an overwhelming need for afterschool programs for teens in high-risk, under served communities. Established in 1997 through the Youth Crime Prevention Council comprised of civic, community and corporate leaders, YouthPlaces began with 5 sites and 500 youth, and has evolved to seventeen sites serving over 4,000 youth annually. In 2005, YouthPlaces incorporated as an independent not-for-profit, and in 2012, YouthPlaces established a hub center on Pittsburgh’s Northside that houses managerial offices and program opportunities.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Mike Denove
Ernst & Young

Immediate Past Chair
Diana A. Bucco
The Buhl Foundation

Juan Garrett
Executive Director
Riverside Center for Innovation

Dr. Quntinin B. Bullock, DDS
Community College of Allegheny County

Board Members

Dara Ware Allen, Ph.D
Assistant Superintendent
Pittsburgh Public Schools

William J. Sheridan, Esq.
Reed Smith, LLP

Debra L. Caplan
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Partner 4 Work

Deanna Sieberkrob
Carlow University

The Honorable Austin Davis
PA House of Representatives

William Thompkins
Executive Director (retired)
The Pittsburgh Project

Brandi Fisher
Founder & Executive Director
Alliance for Police Accountability

Mike Woychek
Operations Director
Alloy 26

Sabrina Saunders Mosby
President & CEO
Coro Center for Civic Leadership

Damon Young

Christopher Ragland
Commander, Zone 1
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

Honorary Directors

David J. Malone
President & CEO
Gateway Financial

Frederick W. Thieman
Chair for Civic Leadership
The Buhl Foundation

Our Team


Cynthia L. James
President & Chief Executive Officer
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Michael Bernarding
Managing Director – Operations
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JoAnn Pappas
Fiscal Assistant
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Eric Clark
Executive Team Administrator
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Workforce Development

Uwe Calloway
Managing Director – Workforce Development
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Desiree Johnson
Placement Coordinator
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Honoray Williams
Facilities Manager



Chad Williams
Chief Program Officer
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Kathryn Morreale
Director of Education
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Tammy Brown
Site Manager – Wilkinsburg

Raymont Conner
Site Manager – Belzhoover

Demetra Franklin
Site Coordinator – East Hills

Darrell “Baldy” Goodwine
Site Manager – Northview Heights

Xaviera Jeffrey
Site Manager – Glen Hazel

Natalie Jones
Site Manager – Duquesne

Natasha Kennedy
Site Manager – Pleasant Ridge

Michael Mott
Site Manager – Northside

Brenda Sawyer
Site Manager – McKeesport

Per’ron Shepard
Site Manager – Homewood

Weston White
Site Manager – Northside