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

Waste Not: Kelly Lane's Fashion Designs are Eco-Chic

Waste Not: Kelly Lane's Fashion Designs are Eco-Chic

After noting how much fabric ends up in landfills, Pittsburgh designer Kelly Simpson-Scupelli found a way to incorporate the unused scraps into her fashion line.
10 Real Pittsburgh Weddings

10 Real Pittsburgh Weddings

Picture-Perfect in every way, these real Pittsburgh wedding couples were chosen from nearly 100 submissions.
The Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in August

The Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in August

This month's best bets in the 'Burgh.
Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Richard DeShantz steps it up with a move from Downtown to Lawrenceville and shows Pittsburgh how to make French dining fun.
Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Pittsburgh is no longer a smoky city, but that doesn’t mean it has cleaned up its act. Pittsburgh's air quality still ranks among the worst in the nation. What steps are being taken to reduce Pittsburgh's ongoing dependence on fossil fuels?
Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.
Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.
The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialties, as determined by topDENTISTS.
Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. For those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.
The Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

The Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in July

This month's best bets in the 'Burgh.
Edit Module

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags


Come and Explore Wilkinsburg’s Divine History

Come and Explore Wilkinsburg’s Divine History

The Sacred Spaces Tour takes visitors to the borough’s churches, mosques and historic buildings.

Comments

“Night of the Living Dead” to Appear on the Big Screen Again

“Night of the Living Dead” to Appear on the Big Screen Again

The cult classic will be screened at the Byham Theater in honor of the 50th anniversary of its debut.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Enix Brewing Company Set to Open in Homestead

Enix Brewing Company Set to Open in Homestead

Owners David and Victor Rodriguez also operate two breweries in Madrid, Spain.

Comments

Apteka’s Roasted Sunflower: Summer's Most Interesting (and Instagramable) Dish?

Apteka’s Roasted Sunflower: Summer's Most Interesting (and Instagramable) Dish?

The owners of the Bloomfield vegan eatery introduce a limited run of whole sunflower heads that you can eat like corn.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Places to Get Your Nostalgia Fix in Pittsburgh

6 Best Places to Get Your Nostalgia Fix in Pittsburgh

Ah, the good old days. They may be gone, but there are still a few places where you can get a blast from the past.

Comments

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

The Eight Best Frozen Treats in Pittsburgh

Our dining critic picks his favorite ice cream, ice pop, frozen custard, vegan delight and more.

Comments


Revisiting Fat Head's

Revisiting Fat Head's

The South Side stalwart punches above its weight thanks to good beer and gigantic sandwiches.

Comments

TopGolf is Big, Ridiculous, Still Fun

TopGolf is Big, Ridiculous, Still Fun

The new driving-range game is way over the top, but the game it's offering is fun and they'll ensure you have a good time.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
In Ben They Trust

In Ben They Trust

Going into his 15th professional season, Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remains the key to a successful season.

Comments

Steelers’ Saint Vincent Saga Even More Inspiring This Summer

Steelers’ Saint Vincent Saga Even More Inspiring This Summer

Ryan Shazier's battle back from a paralyzing injury last season and his subsequent rehabilitation from spinal stabilization surgery is a more compelling saga than the Steelers’ quest to reach Super Bowl LIII.​

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Alpha

The 400-Word Review: Alpha

The prehistoric drama is here to answer a question no one asked about the world's first-ever dog.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Crazy Rich Asians

The 400-Word Review: Crazy Rich Asians

The light romcom is made for pleasing audiences — and in that respect, it succeeds.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Vintage Details Give Weddings Classic Feel

Vintage Details Give Weddings Classic Feel

Combining the old and the new, these couples used their vintage details to create a modern-yet-elegant wedding day.

Comments

When Asking for Their Hand Doesn’t Go As Planned

When Asking for Their Hand Doesn’t Go As Planned

These proposal faux pas serve as a reminder that sometimes things have to go wrong to end up right.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Painting Made Simple: Paintzen Launches in Pittsburgh

Painting Made Simple: Paintzen Launches in Pittsburgh

Partnering with PPG Paints, the company uses an online platform to match customers with professional painters and provide supplies.

Comments

Make Your Mark by Entering Pittsburgh’s Handmade Arcade

Make Your Mark by Entering Pittsburgh’s Handmade Arcade

Artists have until Sunday to submit their applications to the independent craft fair held annually in December.

Comments