“I just love where we live; it is very family friendly."
Amiena Mahsoob is a passionate educator, advocate and mentor for children and young adults.
Before embarking on a journey to explore the world, Amiena taught 10th grade English for three years in the suburbs of Pittsburgh after earning degrees in English and Secondary English Education. She then landed a competitive position teaching conversational English, writing, speech and debate at the Fujishima Senior High School in Japan. Though she didn't speak Japanese, she seized the opportunity to learn the language while teaching and embedded herself within the community.
That experience prompted her to work for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh upon her return to the U.S., designing and organizing nearly 100 global education events for middle and high school students. In summer 2017 she became the director of alumni relations at the Winchester Thurston School, an independent K-12 preparatory school in Shadyside. Amiena gets the opportunity to connect to thousands of alumni who champion the school's credo, "Think also of the comfort and the rights of others." About half of the alumni remain in the Pittsburgh region; they and their counterparts throughout the country are doing important work in social justice and community service.
"I feel proud to be here and to engage with an amazing network of alumni," she says. "Without a doubt, the school has left an indelible mark on their lives. The faculty and staff's commitment to innovative work is nationally recognized."
Outside of work, Amiena stays active balancing community and life with her husband and their three-year-old. She enjoys relaxing in the home that they bought in Swissvale and visiting nearby Frick Park, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the Carnegie Museums. The family enjoys grabbing a meal at The Porch at Schenley, located near the 456-acre Schenley Park in Oakland or the Mediterranean kitchen and wine bar Casbah in Shadyside, as well as taking in performances at the many theaters throughout the city.
"I love the area we live in; it's very family-friendly," she says. "Plus, Swissvale is convenient to Oakland, Shadyside and Downtown. It takes about 10 minutes to get to Phipps and we just love living close to Frick Park."
A committed marathon runner - completing the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2010, 2013 and the past three years - Amiena also blazes the trail in service as a member of the YWCA Race and Gender Equity Community Advisory Committee, and in conducting a peer-to-peer group for working moms.
"My husband and I chose to live in Pittsburgh because of the opportunities to make an impact here. We love it!"