Southwestern PA Teacher Fellowship

Southwestern PA Teacher Fellowship

Southwestern PA Teacher Fellowship

Earn a $1,000 Stipend as a BUILD.org Teacher Fellow!

With support from BNY Mellon, BUILD.org is launching the Southwestern PA Teacher Fellowship to bring together educators from across Pittsburgh who are excited to learn more about Project-Based, Experiential Learning tools to increase Student Engagement.

Fellowship Details

The Southwestern PA Teacher Fellowship is for 7th-12th grade teachers of all subjects in the Greater Pittsburgh area who are interested in helping their students develop 21st-century skills.

All BUILD.org Teacher Fellows will receive a $1,000 stipend for participating in six, 90-minute virtual learning sessions. Fellows have the opportunity to receive an additional stipend for participating in the spring 2024 Southwestern PA Youth Pitch Competition.

By the end of the Fellowship, you will:

Implement Project-Based, Experiential Learning through Human-Centered Design, and Entrepreneurship in your classroom.

Encourage regular Social-Emotional Learning and 21st-century skill development for your students.

Earn a Professional Development certificate in Project-Based Learning to enhance your educator credentials.

Fellowship Timeline

  • Applications are accepted until Friday, August 18th, 2023 at 6pm EST.

  • Fellows will be notified of their acceptance by Friday, August 25th, 2023.

  • A Kick-Off mixer will take place in person on Wednesday, August 31st, 2023, from 4:30 – 6:30 pm EST (location TBD).

  • Fellows will meet for professional development on the first Wednesday of each month, virtually via ZOOM for 90 minutes from 4:30 – 6:00 pm EST. PD sessions run from September to November 2023 and January to March 2024. Fellows will receive a DoorDash gift card to purchase dinner during PD sessions.

Fellowship Components

BUILD.org Teacher Fellows will engage in learning opportunities with other educators in the greater Pittsburgh area. The Professional Development and support model includes: 

Training on Critical Topics – BUILD will provide training on tools and educational subjects to help teachers deliver real-world learning experiences. During each session, fellows will receive resources that can be used in their classrooms. Topics covered include:

– Project-Based Learning
– Experiential Learning through Entrepreneurship
– Social-Emotional Learning
– Student Engagement
– Design Thinking

Office Hours – BUILD staff will hold monthly office hours to provide technical assistance, coaching, and feedback for teachers’ individualized needs. Fellows may also use office hours to share resources and takeaways from implementing fellowship topics in their classrooms.


Professional Learning Community (PLC) – Fellows will become a part of a PLC of local, like-minded educators who are interested in incorporating more Project-Based Learning opportunities in their classrooms. This community will serve as a brave space for Fellows to receive support from their peers and BUILD.org with the intent to create a community of educators dedicated to preparing their students for post-secondary success.


Professional Development Made By Teachers, For Teachers

Mo Foster: “The most rewarding part of BUILD is seeing students’ end product and the pride on their faces when they realize their accomplishments.” 

Kim Vinh: “I was a high school teacher myself for 12 years…that’s why I love working at BUILD now, getting to work with teachers on a curriculum that students find really exciting.” 

Have Questions?

To learn more, please contact Rashaida Melvin (she/her) at rmelvin@build.org. 


BUILD.org is a nonprofit organization serving youth in under-resourced communities to build Career success, Entrepreneurial mindsets, and Opportunity (CEO). BUILD utilizes entrepreneurship to teach these youth how to build their own business while becoming the CEO of their own lives.

All Fellowship meetings will take place once a month, virtually for 90 minutes from 4:30-6:00pm EST. Meeting links will be provided. Every meeting will occur on the first Wednesday of each month, from September to November 2023 and January to March 2024. Each meeting will cover a different topic. 


Dinner will be provided in the form of DoorDash gift cards for each 90 minute fellowship meeting. Optional office hours are available on the third Wednesday of each fellowship meeting month, virtually from 4:30-5:30pm EST. 

The Southwestern PA Youth Pitch Competition or SWPA is a competition amongst youth business teams from schools and community-based organizations across Greater Pittsburgh.

These teams will compete in BUILD’s Design Challenge to create a product, service, or campaign to support a thriving community. This entrepreneurship competition highlights BUILD’s mission to arm youth with real-world experiences and skills. Each youth team will create a pitch, alongside an educator sponsor, and submit a video to enter the competition. Prize money and stipends are available as rewards. To learn more, please visit BUILD.org/SWPAyouthpitch.

The Design Challenge empowers students to take action as they work to develop innovative solutions for their communities. Students are guided through the entire Design Thinking process on our new digital platform. The Challenge is delivered by a trained educator. BUILD provides all training and materials for students and schools.

The content was created to empower students nationwide and give them a sense of self-agency. They explore stories of diverse people living in our communities then work collaboratively in teams to propose innovative solutions.

The design thinking journey takes students through the following process:

  • Empathize – Walk in a client’s shoes and document the experience
  • Define – State your client’s needs and problems
  • Ideate – Dream up solutions to your client’s challenges
  • Prototype – Create a model of your solution
  • Test – Try your solution with others
  • Pitch – Present your idea for potential cash prizes and bragging rights

To learn more, please visit BUILD.org/Challenges.

Since 1999, BUILD has worked with educators to develop empowering curricula for both students and educators alike. Now, BUILD has reached over 2,550 educators through digital, hybrid, and in-person programs.

Thank you to BNY Mellon for this Fellowship opportunity!

Thank you to BNY Mellon for supporting this Fellowship opportunity! 



1. iPhone, iPad, Zoom and Loom are all choices of recording tools for their video presentation 
2. Record with both students and their presentation in view
3. Record horizontally for the best view of the students and their presentation
4. Follow Presentation Diagram to the Right


- Make eye contact with the camera
- Notecards may be used as cue cards
•Pro Tip: Notecards should avoid having a full script
- Even when you are not speaking, don’t forget the camera is still recording!
•Be aware of your body language while you and your business partners are speaking
- Everyone has an opportunity to speak
- Professional dress is encouraged
- Practice makes perfect
•Practice how you will transition from each speaker
•Project your voice when you speak​

Follow positioning format Above

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