PennDOT Seeking High School Students for Young Ambassadors Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful are inviting 10th -12th grade students to help keep Pennsylvania clean and beautiful through the Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania program.

The program, now in its third year, builds community stewards and civic leaders by empowering young Pennsylvanians to become ambassadors in their community for a shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Applicants should be passionate about the environment and committed to restoring and protecting Pennsylvania’s ecological landscape through volunteerism and leadership.

Ambassadors will train and network with industry leaders, state agencies, local media and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful network to prepare them to be be difference-makers in their communities by building their leadership and problem-solving skills.

“Pennsylvania needs leaders. Like many other crises that require long-term change, we’re looking to the youngest of us to help lead environmental sustainability into the future,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “I’m heartened to see the attention and diligence of the next generation of Pennsylvania’s environmental caretakers”

“It has been enlightening to work with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures through our Young Ambassador program. They each bring their own experiences and aspirations that have helped shape the program. We know the students of today hold the key to a sustainable future and we’re excited to work with and guide this new group of Young Ambassadors to implement change in their communities and the Commonwealth. We’re grateful to continue to partner with PennDOT to provide even more opportuntites for students to develop necessary skills for them to succeed,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Chosen candidates will commit to serve as an Ambassador from September 2024 through May 2025 and represent and uphold the mission and values of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.  

Other responsibilities include:  

  • attending 6 mandatory virtual education sessions; 
  • conducting a community assessment and creating a summary presentation; 
  • organizing and participating in at least one community cleanup event through pick up Pennsylvania and conducting one community education event or activity.

There will also be non-mandatory education sessions from a variety of topics.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will provide education and training to program participants on such topics related to the impact of litter on roadways, litter prevention, waste management and recycling, civic engagement and related public policy, volunteer management, and social media marketing. The program will provide networking opportunities to not only build a sense of community within the program but also to promote professional development of the individual students. In addition, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has partnered with Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania funded by the NiSource Charitable Foundation to provide Job Shadow Days to select Ambassadors.

The Young Ambassadors program was recommended in the commonwealth’s Litter Action Plan announced by the Governor’s Office in November 2021 and is funded by PennDOT.

Applications are being accepted April 1 through June 10. Students will be chosen through a competitive application process. Students interested in applying should visit and choose Programs, Education then Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania or contact Kylie McCutcheon at 724-836-4121 x114 or

Subscribe to statewide PennDOT news and traffic alerts at or choose a region under “Regional Offices.” Information about the state’s infrastructure and results the department is delivering for Pennsylvanians can be found at Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at

Now Accepting Letters of Intent for Fall 2022 Innovative Impact Grants

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is now accepting grant applications for Fall 2022 Innovative Impact Grants, and invites charitable organizations working to address the needs of people living in the Lackawanna County region to complete a Letter of Intent by Friday, September 30th.

Innovative Impact Grants(up to $25,000) seek to provide resources for a nonprofit, or collaboration of nonprofits and other partners, to make a measurable improvement in the region.

These competitive grants are made to those applying organizations that are committed to new, innovative, transformational, and/or collaborative efforts to:

  • Carry out an important goal or address a specific challenge;
  • Become more impactful, effective, and sustainable in their work;
  • Achieve a greater impact in the community they serve;
  • Meet their organizational missions.

Applications must meet the following requirements:

  • Impact: Applicants must demonstrate how this program/project will make the community better, what data will be collected in order to measure success, and what goals have been set for the program/project to achieve
  • Budget: Applicants must supply a detailed program/project budget, which includes the uses and sources of funds. The organization’s budget must also be included.
  • Sustainability: Applicants must demonstrate how the program/project will continue after grant funds are expended and what the plan is to build sustainability for the future.
  • Timeline and Evaluation: Applicants must describe when the desired impact might be realized and which populations will benefit from the program/project. Additionally, applicants need to detail how the program/project will be evaluated both during the course of the program/project, and also following the program/project’s completion.
  • Applicants are also strongly encouraged to establish collaborative partnerships
  Interested applicants must complete a Letter of Intent (LOI) by Friday, September 30th through SAF’s online grant management portal.

If invited to apply, applications will be due Tuesday, November 1st.
  All grants must be used for a charitable purpose and be granted to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Complete an LOI for Fall 2022 Innovative Impact Grants

Ready to apply? As part of our ongoing commitment to building the capacity of our nonprofit professionals and to better serve our grant seekers, our grant application process is now streamlined through our online grant management portal. All grant requests are handled through the online portal.

No paper or emailed applications will be accepted.

The grant application process generally begins with submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) through the online portal. To submit an LOI, you will need to log on to your organization’s account in our online grant management portal. If your organization does not have an account established, you will need to create an account. If you are unsure of your organization’s account credentials, please contact your organization’s leadership to inquire or email us at for further instruction. 


1. At the login page, please follow the appropriate next step:
a. If you have already created a login: you must login using the credentials you’ve utilized for previous grant applications. NOTE: username is always an email.
b. If someone else in your organization has already created a login: please email to have a new user added to your organization.
c. If your organization has never accessed our online grant portal, create your account using the following information:

  • A username that is an email address
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization’s information, including the EIN/Tax ID number (required)
  • Contact information for the organization’s Executive Officer

2. On the applicant dashboard, select “Apply” along the top menu to view available grants.
We have provided additional resources, including a written tutorial, to help you with our new grant application process. To access the written applicant tutorial, visit the Applicant Tutorial – Grants

All submitted LOIs will be reviewed and select organizations will be invited to submit a full grant application through the online portal before the grant application deadline.

If you have any questions about our grant application process, please contact us via email at

Wright Center Accepting Applications for Medical Assistant Training Program

A Wright Center for Community Health and National Institute for Medical Assistant Advancement (NIMAA) initiative that was formed to address a critical national shortage of professionals is accepting applications beginning March 14 for its fall 2022 cohort of students.

The collaboration educates and trains students over 29 weeks to become certified clinical medical assistants. The program combines flexible online learning with a paid internship at one of The Wright Center for Community Health’s primary health practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne or Wayne counties. Federal financial aid is available for students who qualify.

Students who are accepted into the program receive personalized training with experienced medical professionals at The Wright Center for Community Health during the clinical portion of their education. After completing the education component, students will be eligible to take the National Healthcareer Association Medical Assistant examination to receive their certified clinical medical assistant credential. Graduates from the NIMAA program have an 85% graduate rate on the exam.

A medical assistant is responsible for assisting doctors and nurses in providing care to patients in hospitals, doctor’s offices and other health care facilities. Duties include recording and updating medical histories and contact information in patient files, scheduling patient appointments and performing standard care procedures, such as taking blood samples, measuring and recording vital signs, and more.

The employment outlook for medical assistants is projected to grow 18% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 104,400 openings are projected annually on average, over the decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Applications are being accepted through Sunday, May 29, but space is limited. For more information, contact Carla Blakeslee, coordinator of clerkships at The Wright Center, at 570-591-1511 or or apply directly at

University of Success Now Accepting Applications

The University of Scranton’s University of Success, a four-year pre-college mentorship program, is now accepting applications for the upcoming 2022 academic year that begins this summer.

The University of Success is an academic and enrichment program funded entirely by corporate and foundations grants, so there is no charge to students and their families. The program’s goal is to assist first generation bound students to successfully complete high school and gain entrance into a college or university.

Students who are currently in the eighth grade are eligible to apply.

Accepted students will begin the program with a two-week residential summer academy which will be held on the campus of The University of Scranton from July 10, to July 22. Upon completion of the summer program, the students will continue to meet for enrichment sessions during their high school career.

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, April 1, 2022.

Applications may be obtained by emailing Margaret Loughney, University of Success program director, at Applications may also be obtained online the University of Success web site.

The University of Scranton Offers New Online Master’s Degree Specialization

The University of Scranton’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics degree will offer a specialization in data analytics, beginning in the fall 2021 semester. Applications are currently being accepted for the program.

The curriculum for the master’s degree in health informatics was designed by Scranton faculty, who are active leaders and experts in this burgeoning field. The health informatics program’s mission is to “promote excellence in the Jesuit tradition by preparing graduates in the interdisciplinary field of health informatics to use data, information, knowledge and wisdom to improve health.”

Health informatics, data analytics and their associated tools have seen a rapid increase in importance in healthcare due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. This increase comes after a period of amplified interest in big data analysis in healthcare, in an effort to improve patient outcomes and efficiency. A 2019 Leadership survey conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) shows that executive-level leaders at both health information technology vendors and hospitals are now seeing clinical and business analytics as a higher priority than in the past. As a result, the demand for health informaticians who have data analytics, data mining and data visualization skills is increasing. Another HIMSS analysis shows one of the top five job growth areas for health informatics was found to be analytics consultant.

Burning Glass Technologies, a job market analysis company, projects positions for health information managers and directors will grow 20.5 percent through 2029, which is more than four times the national average. Master’s-educated professionals in this position earn up to $106,000 annually.

The online program with a data analytics specialization includes three courses that are offered by Scranton’s Operations and Information Management Department, requiring the completion of a total of 39-41 credits for the master’s degree in health informatics with this specialization. Two one-credit modules in statistics and management science are also required, but may be waived depending on the student’s background.

The additional courses students will take for data analytics specialization will provide an overview of descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics, data mining and data visualization. Graduates will be prepared to turn health data into actionable information.

Applicants to the graduate program must meet admission requirements. For additional information, visit the Master of Science degree in Health Informatics webpage or contact Margarete L. Zalon, Ph.D., professor of nursing and director of the University’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics Program at or 570-941-7655.