The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has welcomed a new group of summer interns to its Youth Philanthropy Internship program.

The eight interns, all 2014 high school graduates, will be led by senior interns Kendra Slis and Anthony Wagner V, who were participants in the inaugural program last year.

During the eight-week program, the interns learn about philanthropy, community needs and the effective use of media.

As one of their duties, the group will make available two grants of up to $25,000 each.

Those grants will be for projects yet to be determined.

The interns will announce requests for proposals in early July based on their own observations and assessments of community needs.

“We are very excited about the Youth Philanthropy Internship and can’t wait to see what these highly motivated young adults accomplish,” said Angie Berzonski, the Community Foundation’s program and communications officer. “They have an abundance of ideas on how to improve their community.”

This year’s interns are:

* Mikella Buncich, a graduate of Conemaugh Township Area High School, who plans to major in marketing at Duquesne University.

* Ryan King, a graduate of Bishop McCort Catholic High School, who plans to attend Chapman University and major in creative producing to pursue a career in film.

* Dan Klein, a graduate of Richland High School, who will attend Pitt-Johns-town on a full scholarship to major in mechanical engineering.

* Nathan Madison, a graduate of Forest Hills High School, who plans to attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania and major in communications.

* Abi Paonessa, a graduate of  Conemaugh Valley High School, who will plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh to major in chemistry and pre-med.

* Jonathan Skufca, a graduate of Greater Johnstown High School, who plans to attend American University in Washington, D.C., to study business and entertainment.

* Liz Stiffler, a graduate of Conemaugh Valley High School, who plans to attend St. Francis University as a student in the physical therapy program.

* Kaitlyn Thomas, a graduate of Richland High School, who will plans to attend St. Vincent College and major in biochemistry.

The internship program has doubled in size this year thanks to funding from The Heinz Endowments, which supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at

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