Breanna Ewell is a senior at a 94 percent African American school called Urban Pathways Charter School located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Breanna serves in many organizations to help in her school community. At Urban Pathways most students view their school as boring and stressful, with no events and strict policies such as wearing uniforms and tight budgets. Students feel there isn't anything to look forward to. However, as a student who attended the charter school for seven years, Breanna became involved with both faculty and other students at her school to improve events. She found ways to establish new ideas so students could have events to look forward to outside of their school work. For instance, as president of the high school's Black Student Union, Breanna worked with the group's advisor to establish a Black Student Union for the middle school as a way for younger African American students to have the opportunity to learn more about their culture. The middle school Black Student Union’s events have become popular and the students have been inspired by their fellow students' talent. Breanna's class was the last that was able to have a Homecoming dance before the pandemic, so Breanna also helped plan a Homecoming event for the younger students. Because of behavior issues in the middle school, Urban Pathways instituted a mentoring program that connected middle school students with high school "brothers" or "sisters" for guidance. During the pandemic, the program was suspended. Breanna recognized the need for the program to be reinstituted and worked with the program's previous advisor to bring it back for the following year. Although Urban Pathways Charter School is a small school with no gym, football team or dances, Breanna works to develop new ways to create engagement and meaningful experiences for her fellow students, and will always seek ideas for new programs that should be considered for youth in the community.
2023 - PITTSBURGH