Mercedes is a rising junior at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing concentrations in Global Studies and Dramaturgy as part of the BXA Intercollege Program. Given her academic focus on the intersection between politics and the arts, she is interested in the stories humans tell and how these stories shape our experience and perceptions of the world. In 2018, she will serve as a National Parks Service Artist-in-Residence at Manassas National Battlefield Park.
Willy James, as he’s known, is a proud product of Pittsburgh’s North Side. Rarely seen without camera and tripod, he has shot, edited and produced several mini-docs focusing on the city’s one-of-a-kind personality. Check out his YouTube for films from his North Side series. William has produced video and web pieces for several local non-profit organizations is excited to bring his own unique outlook to his work as a Next Generation Fellow.
Photo by Peter Leeman for The Sprout Fund
Shakirah enjoys all things creative. She’s an actor, a writer for radio and worked as a Leader in Training for the Pittsburgh Project. Shakirah has a degree in radio, film and television from Howard University and is enthusiastic about learning the skills it takes to become a documentary filmmaker. Originally from Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood, she is looking forward to bringing the insights and knowledge learned from friends and family, to her work as a Next Generation Fellow.
DeVaughn Robinson is a creative native of Pittsburgh’s East Side, beginning his career when he was 12 years old. His first original play “Backstage Stories” was performed twice in 2008 - once during Carnegie Mellon University’s “Playground” series and again by the Alumni Theatre Company starring Bill Nunn at the Kelly Strayhorn. Later he went on to win first place in the local Pittsburgh Public Theater’s Shakespeare Monologue Competition and placed third in the national August Wilson Monologue Competition. DeVaughn is currently serving as an Administrative Assistant for Manchester Academic Charter School while taking classes part time at the Community College of Allegheny County. DeVaughn hopes this opportunity will allow him to use his artistic interest to present the city in its best light.
Project: Dylamatos Market
Project: Food and Community
Jillian Nelson currently lives in Squirrel Hill and is pursuing a degree in Communication Design with an emphasis in Film Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Jillian also works as an assistant director and editor at Falling October Productions. Their short film, “Inner Demons”, won awards for Audience Choice, Best Use of Prop and Best Directing at Pittsburgh’s 48 Hour Horror Film Project. Jillian loves going for walks as well as listening to and searching for cassette tapes.
Project: Jada House
Raven Cordice grew up on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Raven graduated from Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, where she studied as a visual arts major. Raven is currently obtaining a Bachelor's degree in television/film production at Hofstra University.
London Reese-Scaife grew in the East Liberty and Garfield areas of Pittsburgh. She is studying broadcast reporting at Point Park University. Prior to this, London attended the Creative and Performing Arts school in Downtown Pittsburgh as a musical theater major. Her background consists of hosting a weekly radio show and she is also working on a new fashion line. London hopes to use the NextGeneration fellowship program to display a different side of Garfield and learn to perfect her craft.
Andrew Klein grew up in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He attended Shady Side Academy and received his high school diploma from The University School. He attended the University of Colorado Boulder and is a graduate of the Film Intensive Program at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. He enjoys cameras and dogs, and his favorite movie is Boogie Nights.
Kevin McCoy grew up in Garfield in the east end section of Pittsburgh. He attended Peabody High School, which is now known as Barack Obama Academy of International Studies. Kevin received his B.S. / B.A. in Business Management / Administration from Slippery Rock University. He also earned an M.B.A. in Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management from Point Park University. As an artist and aspiring filmmaker, Kevin enjoys the opportunity to learn and create.
Project: Refresh PGH
Project: Garfield Gators
C. Lucas Mickens
C. Lucas Mickens grew up in the Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He is a graduate of Central Catholic High School. He attended Albright College and majored in Political Science - Philosophy.
Lyn Starr grew up in the Hill District and in the North Side neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. Lyn is a proud 2015 graduate of Pittsburgh Capa 6-12. He is currently attending Seton Hill University as a Vocal Performance Major.