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CNX Foundation Celebrates 2024 Mentorship Academy Graduating Class

CNX leaders, program mentors, organizational partners and family members honored 43 students who graduated from CNX Foundation’s flagship mentorship program


By Mentorship Academy Staff

Don’t be afraid.

Ask questions.

You’ve got this.

We are here for you.

Mentorship Academy leaders, partners and mentors shared words of advice and encouragement throughout this year’s graduation ceremony, and the one thing they wanted every student to know: we are still here for you, even as you start your career, or the next steps in your education.

Whether it’s a career in nursing, the energy field, education or building trades, 43 graduates from this year’s Mentorship Academy are exploring a diverse range of opportunities for the future, putting into practice the lessons and advice they gleaned from the program over the last year.

“I think without the Mentorship Academy, I would have been a little lost upon graduation,” said Steel Valley High School senior Jada Pleasant. “This program gave me the structure I needed to feel secure about my future, and the steps to pursue it.”

The Mentorship Academy prepares 11th and 12th graders from communities throughout the region to become impactful citizens, workers and family members through transformative learning, community engagement and leadership development. Students accepted into the program develop relationships with peers and business leaders across Western Pennsylvania, as well as an understanding of the region’s career opportunities and how to pursue them. In October, the Mentorship Academy was recognized at the “Magic of Mentoring” dinner – alongside the Heyward House and the Consortium for Public Education – as an organization deeply committed to championing the region’s youth.

“Three years ago, we launched this program with thirty students. Since then, this program has grown to over eighty high school juniors and seniors. We’ve expanded our number of mentors, increased our organizational partners,” said Nick Deiuliis, Mentorship Academy founder and President and Chief Executive Officer at CNX Resources. “What’s really incredible is the fact that the same mentors and partners who started the program are still with us. The continuity they have helped provide the students is a huge part of the program’s success. Moving into year four, their commitment bolsters our conviction that this work is critical to our region’s youth.”

From emergency medicine preparedness to opportunities in energy, Mentorship Academy students explored myriad career paths, including in-person, hands-on visits with partners like UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, Deep Well Services, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, and West Virginia University Medicine.

“We are here to help our students further their opportunities in the workforce and in education,” said Shani Yeldell, Psy.D, Community Relations Manager for the Mentorship Academy. “Our mentors and our partners are a tremendous part of that work. The seniors graduating from this program put in incredible effort, showing up month after month, working with their mentors, establishing goals and overcoming obstacles. Just because the students are graduating doesn’t mean their time with us is over – we are here for each and every one of them as they take the next steps into their future.”


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A CNX news hub highlighting all aspects of our Appalachia First vision. Subscribe for insights on energy innovation, advocacy, and community engagement across the region.