Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

40 Under 40: 2016

Meet our 2016 class of 40 Pittsburghers Under 40 who are changing our region – and the world – for the better.



(page 8 of 11)


 

Elena LaQuatra   [24]
Digital Media Reporter, WTAE; Miss PA USA, Miss Universe Organization


It’s a new world of journalism out there, and Elena LaQuatra is confronting it with an effervescence that all but jumps out of the computer screen.

She’s a model — Miss Pennsylvania USA in fact  — and she doubles as a digital media creator-reporter for WTAE-TV’s online lifestyle and entertainment channel.

What makes this accomplishment remarkable is that she lost her hearing at age 4 due to bacterial meningitis. She spent four years learning how to speak and how to listen with the use of a cochlear implant.

“It was a ‘hiccup’ in my life,” she says. “But I genuinely believe I’m a much stronger, better, more empathetic and compassionate person because of it.”

Part of that compassion is demonstrated in her charity work, starting with DePaul School for Hearing and Speech in Shadyside, where she regained both the gifts of speech and listening.  

You’d be interested to know ... I don’t have a Pittsburghese accent, but I just love when people do. I love everything about this city.
 

Ryan Scott   [32]
Director of Education Initiatives, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh


Ryan Scott is the Director of Education Initiatives at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and co-director of the Black Male and Female Leadership Development Institute.

The latter is a program of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and Robert Morris University.

He’s working to encourage youth academically and socially. He also has served with Amachi Pittsburgh, working with children and families confronting the difficulty of having a parent incarcerated.

His appointment as a delegate from 2012-15 to the annual One Young World Summit has taken him to Johannesburg, Dublin and Bangkok to research global change.

His community work includes being active with Word and Worship Church in North Braddock and serving as a lead mentor at Pittsburgh Obama 6-12 in East Liberty.

You’d be surprised to know ... that my celebrity cousin is Pharrell Williams.
 

Emiola J. Oriola   [27]
Associate Director, Investing Now Program, University Of Pittsburgh


How’s this for a greeting: “I secretly carry a cannon in my throat.”

Emiola Oriola describes himself as a “traveling poet and spoken word artist” — and that’s not even what got him on this list.

Oriola, called “Jay” by his friends, is associate director of the Investing Now Program at Pitt. At age 27, that should suffice. But there’s more.

After graduating from Pitt with a Bachelor’s of Science in psychology, he became a leader of the Urban League of Pittsburgh’s Black Male Leadership Program Institute. His work involved mentoring high school students.

Since 2014 he has been working with Investing Now, where he functions as an advisor for high school student scholars. And, about that cannon. It’s fairly high-caliber stuff. He’s a seven-time Spoken Word Champion for the City of Pittsburgh.  

If I had a second chance ... I would learn more languages in my youth. I’ve come to realize how true this Nelson Mandela quote is, “If you speak to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. If you speak to a man in his language, it goes to his heart.”
 

Amanda J. Laichak   [38]
Director of Education, Junior Achievement of Western PA; Part-time Ph.D. student, University of Pittsburgh


Amanda Laichak grew up in near-poverty in Johnstown.

She lives in awe of her mother, who raised her and Amanda’s severely handicapped sister, constantly encouraging Amanda to get ahead in life.

Laichak attended college and graduate school while taking on the task of helping to resettle refugees in the Pittsburgh area. Working with Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh, she helped refugee youth to find career opportunities in their new country.

Later, she accepted a board post at another refugee-assistance agency, Children of Shangri-Lost.

In her latest job, she works for Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, again promoting initiatives for children. She expects to complete her Ph.D. in social and comparative analysis in education by 2019.

Over the course of her work and studies she’s travelled to 25 countries as she focuses on the importance of building a bridge between the Pittsburgh community and its newest citizens.  

My favorite Pittsburgh thing is ... Take a group of friends and an empty stomach on the second Friday of every month to eat a big, homemade Hungarian meal (and sometimes hear the owner sing in Hungarian and dance) at Jozsa’s Corner in Hazelwood.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Watch This

40 Under 40: 2016

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
8 Places You'll Want to Discover Not Far From Pittsburgh

8 Places You'll Want to Discover Not Far From Pittsburgh

Point a compass north, south, east, west and everywhere in between. We chose eight destinations, each within a few hours' drive of Pittsburgh, with lots to explore at every step.
From PIT: 5 Easy Destinations for International Travelers

From PIT: 5 Easy Destinations for International Travelers

This year, the city’s vacation horizons are wider than ever, thanks to an array of easy new flights from Pittsburgh International Airport.
Restaurant Review: Acorn is Ready to Grow

Restaurant Review: Acorn is Ready to Grow

Scott Walton's restaurant plants a much-needed seed on Walnut Street in Shadyside.
Pittsburgh Drag Queen Doesn't Care What You Think

Pittsburgh Drag Queen Doesn't Care What You Think

Jezebel Bebbington D’Opulence discovered her place in the world through taking to the stage in drag.
Competitive Obsession is The Standard For Sid

Competitive Obsession is The Standard For Sid

The Penguins’ late-season advantages spring from a seemingly unquenchable desire to compete that begins with the captain.
Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in March

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in March

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Dig In: The Next Wave of Pizza in Pittsburgh

Now is the time to be eating pizza in Pittsburgh. Pizza makers are crafting pies in a variety of styles from New York to Old World. We round up our nine favorite destinations.
Can Anthony Hamlet Fix Pittsburgh Public Schools?

Can Anthony Hamlet Fix Pittsburgh Public Schools?

The superintendent, and former NFL player, is using a new school of thought to change legacy problems.
5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

5 Pittsburgh Craft Distilleries Earning a Place on the Shelf

Uncovering the hidden gems of western Pennsylvania’s craft spirit world.
Edit Module

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags


Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

The 18-year-old singer from Munhall wowed the “American Idol” judges once again.

Comments

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

Take a trip back to a very different Pittsburgh.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Soju in Garfield

First Look: Soju in Garfield

Simon Chough’s Korean restaurant is six years in the making.

Comments

New Chefs Coming to Smallman Galley

New Chefs Coming to Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley will rotate its third class of chef/owners this June … but this time there’s a twist.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's back! From the dog mom to the working mom, we've got you covered with these locally made must-haves.

Comments

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Comments


Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Notes on the busy new bar and restaurant near Grandview Avenue.

Comments

Smallman Galley Goes 3D With Its New Cocktail Menu

Smallman Galley Goes 3D With Its New Cocktail Menu

The bar team at the Strip District restaurant incubator continues its flights of fancy with Flashback Flavors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

James Harrison intimidated opposing players in a way not seen since the days of Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene.

Comments

Penguins Seeking 3-Peat With The Swagger of a Champion

Penguins Seeking 3-Peat With The Swagger of a Champion

The power play, star power and goaltending are among the primary weapons the Penguins have at their disposal in their quest for another championship. But so, too, is an unshakable belief they can hoist Lord Stanley's Cup three times in a row.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

Reviews of "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2," plus a rundown of events at the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival.

Comments

Despite The Rock, Rampage Is a Wild Misfire

Despite The Rock, Rampage Is a Wild Misfire

A review of "Rampage," plus an update on the former Friends of the Hollywood Theater and other local movie news.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

Find out why these couples ditched the traditional guestbook and instead chose a drum head, a giant wooden letter and a dictionary for their guests to sign.

Comments

The Best Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Wedding Decor

The Best Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Wedding Decor

From new decor in the home to donations to charity, check out these ways to repurpose leftover wedding decor.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Junior League of Pittsburgh's Show House is a 112-year-old mansion featuring 28 rooms decorated by a different local design professionals.

Comments

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Owner Jeff Lenchner says a Discount Tire store will open in place of the store’s current location along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Comments