Crossroads Foundation

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Message from the Executive Director


Today more than ever before, a bachelor’s degree provides a foundation for continued achievement, yet many young people leave high school without the skills needed to complete their degree. Data show that the young people most in danger of not being prepared for college success are often poor, educated in low performing schools, first generation college students and people of color.


Crossroads Foundation is a college preparatory program designed to meet the needs of these young people.  Core to our work is the belief that educational opportunity matters, that all students should be able to access a solid academic foundation, broad career and college experiences, and social supports on their pathway to college and beyond.  


All students – regardless of household income, zip code, ethnicity, or family structure – deserve the chance to achieve to their fullest potentials, and a quality high school experience gives them that chance.  We partner with Catholic high schools in Pittsburgh that offer outstanding academic instruction, and we supplement that education with tutoring support, enrichment experiences and summer programing.  These rigorous educational experiences establish the foundation for success at the college level.


We know a college degree opens doors for our young people, that as college graduates they are likely to earn nearly a million dollars more over their careers than their peers with a high school diploma.  College graduates are much less likely to live in poverty or be unemployed than high school grads.[1]  


But it is not all about the monetary pay off.  The college experience itself leads to civic engagement and service; college graduates are 2.3 times more likely to volunteer and they make philanthropic donations worth 3.4 times more than those without a degree.  College graduates are also more likely to vote as well as participate in and fill leadership roles in community, school and faith-based organizations.[2]  In short, not only does a college degree provide benefits to the student, it also impacts the larger community. 


In this way, Crossroads Foundation works every day to make Pittsburgh a stronger city. We prepare our scholars not only to be college students, but also to be leaders and to give back to their communities.  Everyone who is part of the Crossroads community – our scholars, parents, staff, board members, funders and friends – plays an important role in fulfilling our mission and broadening our impact.


We welcome you to join this Crossroads community by connecting with us on social media, contacting us by phone or email, or making a financial contribution.  Thank you for visiting our website and supporting educational opportunities for all young people. 


Esther Mellinger Stief

Executive Director