After tracking attendance patterns at several local low-income elementary schools, workers at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank discovered that many students who arrived late had not eaten at home and missed cafeteria breakfast at school. To prevent the consequences of inadequate food intake, such as learning and development issues, the organization established a breakfast-bags program that provides students who miss their school’s cafeteria breakfast with healthy, protein-laden food. Each breakfast bag contains at least four stomach-filling items, such as a cereal box, fruit cup, applesauce, and peanut butter and crackers.
At age 8, Cassie Corsaro fell victim to the Hollywood bug. Its bite transformed her into a triple-threat, inspiring her to dance, sing, and act, and she soon made her way into drama classrooms and onto sets in New York City and Los Angeles. At Hollywood Bootcamp, Cassie combines her skills and knowledge with those of fellow working actors to introduce kids to acting fundamentals and potentially propel them to stardom. During camps, performers aged 7–25 sharpen their TV and film acting skills so as to one day avoid the paparazzi when walking their gerbils.
Dominique Ponko sits at the head of the class, leading yogis through muscle-lengthening postures with the steady flow of her deep, rhythmic inhales and exhales. It’s been a long journey for Dominique. She first sought out yoga at the age of 26 to help her cope with life-threatening seizures and a slow-growing brain tumor. Yoga comforted her through three difficult years, welcoming her into a space for healing spiritually before she was able to find the proper medicine to help her heal physically. Though still a little shaky, Dominique has triumphed and opened four yoga studios—voted Best of the ‘Burgh in 2010—to inspire her students to ease their ailments, build strength, and find inner peace.
During her studio's heated Vinyasa-flow classes, an enthusiastic and supportive instructor guides students through a series of strengthening postures that work to increase flexibility and build muscles. Warm, balmy air courses through the studio, pricking beads of sweat on brows to help detox bodies and loosen stiff muscles into deep, soothing stretches.
The Nesbit family has run its namesake bowling alley for more than 65 years, welcoming generations of customers into its friendly environment. Eight lanes of lightly stained wood welcome casual bowlers or committed summer league competition, and the lane's gray alleys accommodate bumpers for novice bowlers or bumper-car drivers gone off course.
The Nesbits also use their business to bring people together for community fundraising events, as well as their annual, hotly contested Nesbit's Lanes Open. The 30-year-old tourney puts combatants through a treacherous gauntlet of qualifiers, match play, and finals as they vie for a cash prize.