Chief Donates to Pittsburgh Public Schools for Gang Prevention and Mentoring Program
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (May 28, 2009) - Chief Oil & Gas today donated $134,000 to fund the expansion of a mentoring program for at-risk youth in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The company committed a total of $402,000 in the next three years to the Learning and Mentoring Partnership (LAMP), which is operated by Pittsburgh Public Schools; Family Guidance, Inc., and area churches.
"The students in the LAMP program face many challenges at home and in their neighborhoods," said Kristi Gittins, Vice President of Chief Oil & Gas. "We are pleased to be able to help the Pittsburgh Public Schools expand this vital mentoring program and give students an opportunity to succeed."
"There is an overwhelming need for caring adult role models in the lives of these youth," said Errika Fearbry Jones, Director of Gang Free Schools and Communities. "We're grateful to Chief Oil & Gas for their generous donation. We'll now be able to help even more Pittsburgh kids make their way to a brighter future, overcoming obstacles like negative peer pressure and neighborhood gang activity."
Currently, the LAMP program serves approximately 130 students in 4ththrough 8th grade. The Chief Oil & Gas donation would allow the Pittsburgh Public Schools to offer the program to another 150 students. LAMP's aim is to make a positive impact on Pittsburgh's school children by matching area churches with public schools. The churches provide mentors to the students, helping them through the academic, social and environmental barriers to learning and growth.
LAMP gives priority selection to children struggling with academic achievement, school attendance and social interaction. The program carefully screens and trains volunteers, then matches them with a child in an effort to create relationships that will strengthen the youth's ability to make good decisions for life.
"These caring adults spend a great deal of time with the students who I consider to be the most at-risk in my classes," said Lauren Freeman, a teacher with students in the LAMP program. "The kids seem to always talk about their mentors and the activities that they do. The activities really give the kids something positive to look forward to at school every week."
Helping communities grow and prosper is important to Chief Oil & Gas, as it expands its operations in Pennsylvania. In January, the company donated $50,000 to help families struggling to pay their home heating bills. The donation was distributed to nonprofit organizations responsible for home heating assistance in Bradford, Cambria, Clearfield, Fayette, Lycoming, Somerset and Susquehanna counties. In addition, Chief has funded scholarships and made donations to local fire departments and emergency providers in Pennsylvania.
Through economic development, new jobs and giving back to the community, Chief Oil & Gas is committed to helping the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania realize the tremendous economic benefits of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale.
kgittins (at) chiefog.com