Over the past few years, The Shyne Awards Foundation has advanced its service to teenagers through engaging in year-round programming. The initial start to this was found through engaging idle youth in Downtown Pittsburgh. To address the issue, The Shyne Awards Foundation became a catalyst in several conversations by convening such groups as law enforcement, in attempt to better serve our youth. While we believe that law enforcement plays an important role, The Shyne Awards Foundation felt the need to add balance to the law enforcement approach. Through the support of stakeholders such as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Highmark Health, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District Pennsylvania of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Police a critical balance has been realized.
As a result, The Shyne Awards Foundation created the Downtown Youth Initiative. This strategic youth initiative was started through collaboration with three high schools located in Downtown Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts), Pittsburgh Urban Pathways and City Charter High School. To promote participation, each school identified students to serve on its Student Advisory Board.
The Student Advisory Board, which has met monthly since November 2016, drives conversations on important topics such as creating strategies to improve relationships, career goal planning, and improving the perception between students, law enforcement, businesses and residents.