In Pittsburgh, there is this interesting mix of historical legacy and future potential. It’s one of the oldest metros in the U.S. yet, in many ways, represents the future. There aren’t many places that can say that.”
Josiah’s “quintessential boomerang story” began in the Coverdale neighborhood of Bethel Park, a suburb in the South Hills, just 10 miles outside of the city’s urban core. Though he moved around a lot as a kid, his parents --native Pittsburghers-- always considered the city home and they moved back during Josiah’s sophomore year of high school.
Josiah left Pittsburgh for college, but moved back to the city with the hopes of finding the sense of community he’d searched for while away. What he found was that and more: potential, access, and opportunities for growth and impact unlike other places. “If you want to come to a city and make an impact and grow, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place than Pittsburgh just based on pure potential.”
Working in the nonprofit sector for the past six years, he takes full advantage of the access the city offers by channeling his passion for connecting with people, communities, and networks. He leads the charge for Pittsburgh’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK) – a national initiative focused on identifying ways to narrow opportunity gaps for boys and young men of color and their respective communities and recently stepped back from his position as the web and digital communications manager at the Homewood Children’s Village to focus on MBK and related projects. One such project is running a consulting group that Josiah recently founded called Run2Win, for design, communications and branding support across for-profit and non-profit spaces. He is proud of the opportunity Pittsburgh affords him as a young professional to put down roots, make a mark, and thrive. Josiah is actively engaged on various community boards, is a mentor with the YMCA Y Achievers Program, and sits on the Young Leaders Outreach Team for the local ACLU.
Josiah’s current top priorities are self-care and the work he does. He really enjoys finding and building a sense of community with friends interested in building a better Pittsburgh. Throughout the week, you’ll find him out and about all across the city attending various work and community events. He appreciates the accessibility of the city: “I love that I can get around easily using public transit. I use the Monongahela Incline and MLK Jr East Busway just about every day, but I also walk, take advantage of Healthy Ride and grab the occasional Uber or Lyft.”
As busy as the week can be, Josiah takes Sundays to center himself and spend time with family. He also enjoys basketball and is an enthusiastic participant in Pittsburgh’s ever-changing food scene. He loves to eat at Noodlehead in the East End and Aiello’s Pizza in Squirrel Hill. He also recommends Bigham Tavern for a quick bite and cocktail in his neighborhood of Mount Washington – an area whose adored city views are complimented nicely by its parks and trails.
When he’s not working or eating, Josiah is an eager learner of the storied legacies of culture, music, arts and community he finds in places like Homewood and the Hill District. Though Pittsburgh shares a bold city-wide identity, he often ponders about “the really old bones of the city,” its history and its transformation resonating in and through the unique communities he works in. “Some of the best artists, most successful titans of industry, and greatest philanthropists that ever lived walked these streets. There is no shortage of cultural assets to check out in Pittsburgh and yet there’s a sense today that we can build more culture into our experience for ourselves in real time” He enjoys visiting places like the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh’s thriving East Liberty neighborhood, catching a play or modern dance performance at the August Wilson Center in downtown Pittsburgh, or stopping by the Mexican War Streets on the Northside to explore the city’s arts and culture hidden treasures.
“Pittsburgh’s a rather intimate place. If you want to get involved, you can, and you may find ways to make an impact quicker than you may think. Pittsburgh is still in many ways a frontier town and so a pioneering spirit will always be rewarded here.”