Focusing on youth: Penn State’s Amanda Ravsten joins MRCDC as intern

Welcome, Amanda!

Penn State University senior Amanda Ravsten has joined the team at MRCDC for the summer of 2020. 

Her internship work with the nonprofit focuses on designing a platform for the creation of a supplemental Youth Advisory Board to MRCDC.   

Amanda has a deep love for youth programming and is especially interested in lessening negative outcomes for children in the foster care system. She will graduate with a degree in Human Development/Family Studies this December and in June joined the team in working remotely because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. 

Amanda Ravsten

“I feel so blessed to have landed here and been given the reigns to create something that I know will eventually have an impact on our youth’s perception of hope and expectations of empowerment. I’m incredibly grateful and so excited to be working with some really amazing community leaders here,” said Amanda. 

A mother of two, the Pittsburgh resident first became interested in the McKees Rocks area when her daughters Tatum, now 15, and Piper, now 10, attended Gemini Children’s Theater camp programming over a few summers. 

“Being in this community was exhilarating. I was so impressed with the acceptance and compassionate spirit that we witnessed here,” said Amanda. “It’s a unique vibe that I have not felt anywhere else.”  

Amanda’s future goals involve the creation of foster youth programs that focus on bonding excursions, talent-recognition, family archetypes and communication training. She’s hopeful these types of experiences will “create families among adolescent foster children so that they have each other for forever families for support, encouragement, and for holidays.” 

The creation of a Youth Advisory Board Program for MRCDC has been incredibly special and empowering for Amanda, as she hopes it is for Sto-Rox area youth. The program is expected to have a soft launch during the 2020-21 school year and will be open to all Stowe Township and McKees Rocks youth regardless of school affiliation.

  “The program is intended to be community-supported, but youth-led. Something that is so important to all of us here at MRCDC,” said Amanda.

A free Ice Cream Social to introduce the youth program is tentatively set for 7 p.m. on Aug. 6 at Faithbridge Community Church, 101 Broadway Ave. Ice Cream is from Shell’s Sweets & Treats. Check our Facebook events page for updates.