Emmai Alaquiva of Ya Momz House in Pittsburgh is up for another Emmy Award.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences nominated Alaquiva’s show “Game Changers” as an Outstanding Children’s Series for the 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards.

Hosted by “The Insider’s” Kevin Frazier, “Game Changers” takes an inspiring look at the ways in which star athletes positively impact the lives of struggling children and their communities. The series,  produced by EA sports, airs on CBS Saturday mornings.

This is for all those children who have grown up, like myself, not knowing how to dream, says the award-winning producer, entrepreneur, composer and mentor who grew up in Wilkinsburg where he began his career at the ripe age of 13.

Once homeless himself, Alaquiva overcame the odds and went on to found the multimedia studio Ya Momz House on the East End, which he named in honor of his mother. He has since become an award-winning force in the music and film industry.

His productions include videos of the Roots Picnics and work for Kenye West, Lamarr Woodley and Oprah Winfrey. Alaquiva is also the executive director of Hip Hop On L.O.C.K., an arts education program in Pittsburgh for youth K-12.

“Being from Pittsburgh, they (CBS) could have gone anywhere (to produce the show),” he says. “The fact they chose this director out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was humbling for me. They found me on Facebook of all places.”

Alaquiva won his first regional Emmy in 2008 for the film score of “Flyboys: Western Pennsylvania’s Tuskagee Airmen.” He was nominated in 2006 for another Emmy for his PBS sound work on “Torchbearers.”

The 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel on June 22. Of course Alaquiva will be there “taking selfies from beginning to end,” he says.

In celebration of the award, Ya Momz House will hold a benefit reception this month June with all proceeds benefiting the Josh Gibson Foundation. Follow Alaguiva’s journey on Instagram and Twitter at @Emmai_Alaquiva

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared...