Marisa Bartley  [28]

Citizens Bank

Marisa Bartley [28] Citizens Bank

Since Pittsburgh normally ranks high on “most livable” lists, Marisa Bartley would like to make sure it becomes even more ethnically diverse and thriving. To put it plainly, her goal is make it “the most livable city for all.” As president of the Urban League’s Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh (YPs), she focuses on four “empowerment goals” for underserved neighborhoods: education, health, housing and jobs. One of the goals of the YPs is to change the perception of what a “young professional” is. “It’s not necessarily someone who works in corporate America, wearing a suit,” Bartley says. “It’s someone, 21 to 39, who’s proficient in their trade or craft — and who’s accountable to the community in which they live and work. This breaks down barriers for people who might have thought they didn’t qualify.” As a business development officer at Citizens Bank, she provides companies with financial-literacy tools to educate their employees about better money management. As a mentor to disadvantaged grade-schoolers, Bartley exposes them to professional career opportunities they’re unlikely to encounter on their own. “Children can’t aspire to things they can’t see,” she says. “And you need to plant those seeds early.”

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