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Meet Jessica (Szramowski) Monahan '10

Job Title & Employer
Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Director, The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh
Major
Journalism
Hometown
Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School
Shaler Area High School
Hobbies & Interests
Fitness, music, podcasts, foodie, themed parties

"Point Park provided a multitude of hands-on experiences, intimate class settings and guidance from faculty with exceptional backgrounds in their respective fields. Point Park showed me what could be possible and provided the tools to achieve it."

Jessica (Szramowski) Monahan '10

Tell us about your career path since graduating from Point Park University.

I am a dedicated nonprofit professional with more than 10 years of experience in fundraising, advocacy, database management, event planning, marketing and volunteer supervision.

I have been fortunate to work for various local, regional and global nonprofits that create an impact in the areas of health, child services, housing, domestic violence, disabilities, social services and more.

I have enjoyed building awareness and developing positive community relations for causes that elevate the quality of life and well-being of others.

What does your role at The Children's Institute entail?

I am responsible for generating revenue from corporations, foundations and government sources by developing and implementing an appropriate strategic plan. This is accomplished by identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding funders for philanthropic support of The Children’s Institute.

Our organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and their families by providing a specialized continuum of services that enables them to reach their potential through outpatient physical and behavioral health services, education services and family support services.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

My fundraising philosophy has always been focused on authenticity and relationship building to enhance the lives of the individuals, families and communities that need help most. I have always had a passion for nonprofit and a need to serve.

Being able to continue that journey with The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh is an honor. I have the opportunity to use my experience, skills and network to make a positive impact on families regionally. What can be better than that!

In what ways did your Point Park undergraduate experience prepare you for this role?

Point Park really opened my eyes to the world of journalism and mass communication. It sparked my creativity and built a foundation that bridged the gap between my interest into my passion.

Specifically, I had taken a PR theory class with Camille Downing which introduced the world of nonprofit/fundraising, and I remember immediately asking how I could learn more.

Shortly after, I interned a semester with the Innocence Institute under Professor Bill Moushey where I got to plan and execute a fundraising event that included keynote speaker John Grisham (this also started my love of true crime).

From there, I continued that hands-on experience interning for various nonprofits like the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and the Arthritis Foundation helping children with juvenile arthritis find services and a community of other children just like them.

The more I developed my skills in fundraising, philanthropy and marketing/communication, the more my passion grew around working on social causes I believed in or believed others deserved to have access to. This is what continues to fuel me today!

Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?

From the moment I toured the campus, I knew Point Park was for me! I was surrounded by other creative and diverse individuals that pushed and challenged my learning forward. Point Park provided a multitude of hands-on experiences, intimate class settings and guidance from faculty with exceptional backgrounds in their respective fields. Point Park showed me what could be possible and provided the tools to achieve it.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Someone early in my career used the phrase “Passion with a purpose.” Passion is about “what” and purpose is about “why.”

To find happiness in your career, determine what you love doing and why you love doing it. This will help your job feel less like work but ensures you stay driven to be the best you can be in your field.


More About: journalism, School of Communication, success story, Shaler Area High School, faculty, alumni