Special Initiatives

McAuley Ministries occasionally funds special initiatives that support or otherwise advance our grant-making priorities.

Sister Susan Welsh Good Neighbor Award

Susan Welsh RSM
Sister Susan Welsh, RSM (Photo by Don Scandinaro Photography)

McAuley Ministries invites nominations for the Sister Susan Welsh Good Neighbor Award. Named in honor of Sister Susan Welsh, RSM, former president and CEO of Pittsburgh Mercy, and a founding board member and the current board chairperson of the McAuley Ministries Foundation this award recognizes a resident of the Hill District, Uptown, or West Oakland who exemplifies the ideals of a “good neighbor” – compassionate; friendly; helpful; a willing volunteer; an organizer of neighborhood events; willing to devote time, talents, and resources to make his or her neighborhood a better place to live.

“Sr. Susan is an excellent example of valuing community, demonstrating our connectedness to each other through inclusive and compassionate relationships, and being a good neighbor. She regularly shops for an elderly neighbor. She offers transportation to neighbors who can no longer walk the distance to Mass or to doctor appointments. She rescues stranded motorists. Consistent with the Works of Mercy, she delivers food, clothing, and other essential supplies to our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness. Sr. Susan gives of herself to improve the lives of her neighbors and her community.”-Michele Rone Cooper, Executive Director, McAuley Ministries

The Sister Susan Welsh Good Neighbor Award and a cash prize will be presented on an annual basis. McAuley Ministries will recognize the recipient during a community event. With the recipient’s permission, the award will be publicized through a news release, on the McAuley Ministries website, and through Pittsburgh Mercy social media.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The nominee must have a proven track record of devoting his or her time, talents, and resources to make their neighborhood a better place to live.
  • The purpose of the award is to recognize an individual resident who is working at the grassroots level to make a positive difference for his or her neighbors and community, beyond their day-to-day work responsibilities. The award is not intended for businesses or organizations.
  • Pittsburgh Mercy, Bethlehem Haven, and McAuley Ministries board and staff members are ineligible for the award and are not permitted to nominate family members.
  • Presidents, CEOs, and executive directors of community-based organizations are ineligible for the award and are not permitted to nominate family members.
  • The Sister Susan Welsh Good Neighbor Award and a cash prize will be awarded on an annual basis during the month of June.  Any tax liabilities associated with the award must be assessed and borne by the award recipient.

McAuley Ministries Foundation reserves the right to refuse entries that do not meet the eligibility criteria and nomination instructions. Entrants giving false or misleading information will be excluded or the award forfeited (if known post award).

How to Enter

1. The letter of nomination should not exceed three pages:

  • Please describe your relationship to the nominee. Include the personal knowledge that you have of the nominee’s qualifications for the award.
  • Using specific examples, describe how the nominee has had a positive impact on his or her neighbors and community.  Describe any actions this person has taken that go above and beyond his or her work responsibilities and other efforts in the community.
  • Include at least one additional support letter from a member of the community.

2. Nominations for residents under the age of 18 must include documentation of parental approval (document where indicated on the nomination form).

3. The nomination must include a completed nomination form.

Download the Good Neighbor Award Nomination Form

Please submit the completed nomination form via email or U.S. mail by March 29, 2019 to:

Michele Rone Cooper
Executive Director
McAuley Ministries Foundation
McAuley Hall
3333 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3109

If you have questions about the Sister Susan Welsh Good Neighbor Award, please contact Michele Rone Cooper at 412-578-6223 or Tina Harper at 412-578-6675.


Workforce Development 

In 2016, McAuley Ministries convened organizations that provide workforce development services to residents of the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland. Our partners include: A. Philip Randolph Institute, Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC), Community Kitchen Pittsburgh, Energy Innovation Center, FOCUS Pittsburgh, Hill House Association, and Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh. We identified several strategies to improve outcomes for training, employment, and retention. Those strategies include addressing transportation needs, case management, and marketing.

The first collaborative project involves transportation. McAuley Ministries has awarded a grant to Traveler’s Aid to provide bus passes and gasoline debit cards for clients enrolled in one of the above workforce training programs. The partners will report on the number of clients served and whether those clients completed training, gained employment, and retained employment after six months. McAuley Ministries has also awarded mini-grants to several of the partners to assist their clients in securing drivers’ licenses. Each partner receiving a grant will track the number of clients earning drivers’ licenses, the number of clients earning drivers’ licenses who gain employment, and the number of clients retaining employment after six months.


Future Makers: Build a Bright Future – Career Awareness & College Access

McAuley Ministries is partnering with Oakland Planning and Development Corporation’s School2Career program to engage Hill District and Oakland youth via monthly career-focused workshops for students in grades 7 through 12. These interactive events will focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), business, the arts, health care, and liberal arts careers. Youth will be able to experience and develop new skills, connect with area programs, meet professionals, and expand their college and career options. The college access component will engage students and parents, providing guidance regarding college preparation, application, and financing. Students will have the opportunity to participate in SAT preparation and college fairs; families will have access to financial literacy workshops, paying for college workshops, and support in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

McAuley Ministries and School2Career will track the number of students participating; the number and percentage of graduating students who enroll in college; college majors of these students; and the financial aid packages of graduating students.