Alumna secured funding for technology to help struggling Pittsburgh youth find services
Passionate about helping those in need, Monica Small Hershberger '11 has been active in the nonprofit world since graduating from Malone and, specifically, has developed a knack for grant writing. Using this particular skill set, Small Hershberger helped to spearhead an initiative through the Homeless Children’s Education Fund in Pittsburgh that sought to make services more accessible to homeless youth across the city.
The problem was that while the organization had resources to help these individuals, it required internet access, a commodity much of this population did not have. And even when individuals were able to access the organization’s website, many found it complex and difficult to navigate.
Small Hershberger was part of an effort to remove these obstacles by overhauling the website, making it easy as possible to navigate. This effort also equipped other institutions like the local police with access to this tool, giving them the ability to more easily connect citizens in need with resources for the particular needs. Small Hershberger managed the fundraising aspect of this effort, raising $25,000 to make the project a success.
Looking back, Small Hershberger gives credit to her days at Malone for fostering her passion for nonprofit work.
“I used to be involved in be:justice, a social justice organization at Malone," she said. "There were seven of us and we were a supergroup. I think that’s where I realized that this was the kind of thing I really wanted to do.”
Explore the app at: https://www.bigburgh.com/app.html