Saleem Ghubril

Executive Director

Saleem is a passionate advocate for children and for the City of Pittsburgh.  An ordained Presbyterian minister, he has devoted his life to serving the people of his community through outreach and education programs. In 1985, Saleem founded The Pittsburgh Project, a community development organization that provides free home renovations to hundreds of vulnerable seniors each year and deploys thousands of youth in meaningful volunteer community service. He is currently the volunteer co-pastor of Mosaic Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. In addition, Saleem is a member of the boards of The Buhl Foundation, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.


Shelley Scherer, Ph.D.

Associate Executive Director

Shelley graduated from Carleton College with a degree in Economics and concentration in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. She earned her Master’s of Public Administration and Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Before returning to graduate school, she worked in the private sector as a management consultant, helping Fortune 500 employers design and implement complex organizational change and human resources initiatives.


Marsha Kolbe

Director of Development

Marsha graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Urban Studies. Marsha began her career in fundraising when she volunteered to co-chair the Super Playground Project in Highland Park, one of the first community-built and community-funded playgrounds in the region. The success of that project took her to the CCO, a regional college ministry organization, where she worked as the Associate Director of Development before coming to The Promise.

Brett Bolden

Development Data Manager

Brett graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. After graduation, she wanted to give back to her hometown community and joined City Year Greater Philadelphia where she tutored and mentored elementary students for two years and found a passion for working for mission-driven organizations. Brett has worked in various roles in Education, Finance, and Development departments over the course of 10 years including La Salle University as Graduation Coordinator before joining The Promise.

Katina Lee

Donor Relations and Operations Manager

Katina is a certified administrative professional who has worked in the public and private sectors for over 25 years in the fields of finance, administration, and social services. Katina obtained her undergraduate education in human services at Geneva College. To further her focus on advocacy, strength based counseling, and intensive group therapy, she attained continued education and training from 2014-2015 in trauma and abuse counseling at The Allender Center, Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.

Betsy Magley

Major Gifts Officer

Building on a career of nearly 20 years in Pittsburgh’s nonprofit sector raising money for worthy causes, Betsy is a fundraising consultant who supports the development efforts at The Promise. Betsy received her BA in Communications from Allegheny College. She’s a member of the Allegheny County Human Relations Commission, serves on the Carnegie Museum’s Women’s Committee and Planned Parenthood’s Action Council, in addition to being a parent-volunteer at Pittsburgh CAPA.

Julie Shepard

Senior Manager of Development and Events

The University of Pittsburgh was the source of both of Julie’s degrees: a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Rhetoric, and a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. After a 20-year career in higher education, she joined The Pittsburgh Promise in 2012 because of its mission and the ability to work closely with young people. As a complement to her work at The Promise, Julie tutors adults through the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

Scholarship and Programs

Amy Yearwood

Director of College and Career Success

Amy comes to The Promise with 23 years of experience in higher education at University of Virginia, University of Texas at Austin and Carnegie Mellon University. Throughout her vast higher education experience, Amy was driven to prioritize equitability and accessibility for students. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from The University of Pennsylvania.

Danny Jackson

Outreach Coordinator

Danny joins The Promise team after working with Pittsburgh Public Schools seniors on college and career preparation through the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from the University of Notre Dame, the latter of which was completed while teaching 5th-grade students for two years in South Central Los Angeles, California.  He is driven to provide all students with the resources needed for post-secondary success and beyond.

Janay Coleman

Scholarship Program Manager

Janay graduated from Pittsburgh Perry High School in 2008 and is proud to have been a member of the first graduating class to receive The Promise scholarship. She went on to study business management and social service administration at Chatham University, graduating in 2012. Building on her lifelong interest in urban youth and the non-profit sector, Janay joined The Pittsburgh Promise in 2013 to help make postsecondary education more accessible for PPS graduates. Janay is a co-founder of The Pittsburgh Promise Alumni group, Promise Legacy.

Sydney Penn

Accounting Coordinator

Sydney is a Promise scholarship recipient who graduated from Pittsburgh Allderdice in 2014. She went on to attend Chatham University to receive her bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture in 2017. She is currently attending Chatham University to receive her MBA with a concentration in project management. Sydney is a member of the Project Management Institute and a volunteer with the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse.

Lyndsey Rozzi

Partnership Program Manager

Lyndsey graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a sociology degree. She began her career in the nonprofit education field working in a therapeutic setting at Wesley Spectrum Highland School, assisting students with mental and emotional disabilities. After spending time in Eastern Europe as a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps, Lyndsey returned to her work with Pittsburgh students and youths. Prior to joining The Promise, she coordinated a College and Career Readiness Program for Pittsburgh Public School students at the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation.


Lauren Bachorski

Director of Communications

Lauren comes to The Promise with a background in communications, strategic planning, and grassroots development. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Business and French. Previously, Lauren led legislative, electoral, and advocacy campaigns for SEIU, the country’s second-largest labor union. She also worked as a consultant for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s sustainable funding initiative. She currently serves as Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

Kristin Koerner

Communications Manager

Kristin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Public Service and a certificate in Nonprofit Management. She has an extensive background in fundraising and communications and was previously the Manager of Annual Giving at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. She joined The Promise as the Development Administrative Assistant in 2016 and in December of 2019 took the position as Communications Manager.

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