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Testimonials

What Our Partners Say

"Thank you all so much for believing in the mission of our organization! It has been nothing but love when we partner with CETR--even the parents have noticed it, our staff feels it, and our kids just love being in a university atmosphere."

Tyian Battle
Founder & Executive Director, ACH Clear Pathways

"Duquesne's approach is creating a whole and humane student. That is different from what Pitt and CMU are doing."

Celeta Hickman
Founder, Ujamaa Collective

What Our Students Say

"Although I have done work in the community before, my work with CES has given me connections that have furthered my development and education as a partner in the community. Between the coursework and the conversations that I have had with my community partner, I have grown to understand that my own personal visions on what the community needs may be far from what the community actually needs. When I started working with Casa San Jose, I expected to be teaching English lessons and creating a youth program. I quickly learned from the workers, volunteers, and community members that the needs of the Hispanic community in Pittsburgh run much deeper to include areas such as housing, documentation, political outreach, and more.

Despite finishing the class, a year ago, I have continued to serve the needs of the Latinx community by providing transportation to students, training as a legal observer, offering free private tutoring, and more. A year ago, I never would have expected to find myself at so many protests for the rights of immigrants, women, and more. As I graduate this Spring and apply for jobs, I find myself becoming more invested in seeking opportunities that allow me to better serve the Pittsburgh community. More specifically, I am looking to work for an organization that focuses on hearing the voices of those who need assistance and responding to their calls. The CES program has paved the way for me to effectively practice community engagement in both my personal and professional life."

Kayla O'Donnell, CES Class of 2016

"My experience in the scholar's program was wonderful and eye-opening. From the weekly seminars to the real-world experience, my understanding and involvement of the work I always wanted to be a part of grew. Being able to apply our seminar lessons to real world practice not only offered a greater understanding of the work we were doing in the community, but also helped set the tone for my future. My eyes were open to the gaps, the needs and the social injustices of our community and the society as a whole. I sought out fellowships and jobs in the non-profit and local government world. I now work as the Program Data Specialist in the Bureau of Homeless Services for Allegheny County DHS. I work closely with case managers for the homeless programs in Allegheny County and always try to ensure I am using my lessons from my time as a scholar in those interactions. If I could tell you one thing I took away from my time as a scholar, it's remembering to work with people, not at or for them. You can't change someone's life/situation by imposing your own values on them. Listening is the key to learning and making an impact."

Jessica McKown, CES Class of 2014
Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Program Data Specialist Bureau of Homeless Services


"The community engagement scholars program was a unique and vital experience for me. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and while I was in undergrad all I ever wanted to do was get out of Pittsburgh and work with an international NGO. So, while I was hesitant to engage in the scholars program because it did not involve leaving Pittsburgh, I still went on to do it and it was the best decision I have ever made. I fell in love with this city all over again. I learned about community organizations doing exactly what I wanted to do, right here in my hometown. I met amazing people and made lifelong friendships through the program. After leaving shortly for my MA in DC, I quickly returned to Pittsburgh and started working alongside some of the same people and organizations I met during the program. It was an eye-opening experience and it shed light on incredible people and their tenacity to improve the city I love. It also opened my eyes to the amount of work that still needs done, and that is why I am still here in Pittsburgh, happily pursuing more education on nonprofit management to better serve Pittsburgh... and it all started in a little conference room at Duquesne."

Marissa Escajeda, CES Class of 2013
Student, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

"Participation in the Scholars in Service to PA program provided meaningful opportunities for me to connect concepts being taught in the classroom to local issues affecting the community. Participation in the Scholars in Service to PA program provided a foundation of experiential learning opportunities which greatly helped in launching of my career in Pittsburgh's non-profit sector post-graduation."

Dora Walmsley, CES Class of 2007
Communications and Outreach Manager, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
Co-Owner, 52nd Street Market