TB2PIT: Stories from the Trip

Torchbearers recently embarked on a trip to Pittsburgh to discover how changemakers were working to improve the state of their community.  We asked some of our fellow Torchbearer members to share their experiences! Here are some of their stories:

Tyisha Riley, RN
We visited the Pittsburgh Project which is a great idea that could be brought back to Akron. They manage to provide the community with so many resources like the summer camp, pool, and home repairs. What inspired me the most was how they completely fund home repairs for the ederly. They help keep the community together by keeping people in their homes and safe.


Randa Nemer, Educator
The entire trip was very meaningful getting to grow and learn with other Torchbearers. The most impactful moment was having the opportunity to meet distinguished leaders, such as former NFL football player turned artist, Baron Batch. He taught us to be simple and to bring it back to what you’re passionate about. A quote that resonated with me from his wall in his studio was, ‘Let good thoughts manifest accordingly.’


Evan Panell, Commercial Real Estate Broker
I’m a commercial real estate broker, so learning about East Liberty Development, Inc. intrigued me. They are a non-profit that is also an instrumental part of investing in housing and stimulating their areas regrowth is a challenging feat that I admire. It’s accomplishments like theirs that I want to take back to Akron. Investors buying buildings can be detrimental if they don’t put the care and community-centered vision that this organization did for East Liberty. Having a mission-centered focus in real estate and land development can really change the culture of a community, and I think it can make a big difference for us.

Meghan Meeker, Social Media Specialist
When I was planning this trip, I wanted to make sure there were lots of arts options because Pittsburgh has an incredible array of art museums and arts and culture, points of interest. So I made sure to get the Mattress Factory on our agenda, because it’s a really incredible Contemporary Art Museum and I wanted to have our members see it, and I’d actually never been. It was really moving and I could have spent quite a few more hours there. I was most intrigued by Greer Lankton’s work, her work was really emotional and raw, and was an entire floor so it engrosses you in her entire exhibition art, yet it was very personal, so you felt like you were kind of in her brain.

Have you made an impactful change after going to any TB trip? Let us know by tagging us on social media at #tbakron