Chaz Kellem and friend.

Chaz Kellem just started his position as Senior Director of Advocacy for Race and Gender Equity with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. Despite suffering many broken bones, 10 operations and facing lifetime challenges due to being born with a rare bone disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Chaz has the passion and energy to make a difference in the community and inspire all of us.

Monday, October 12

It’s Monday, and at first glance, it looks like it is going to be an exciting week. As I enter my sixth day in my new role at the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, I look forward to continuing to learn about the position and organization. I will begin the morning with a hot cup of tea (lots of sugar of course) and some papers to review.

Chaz Kellem and friends.
Chaz with Amanda Rae Kuhl & Kelsey Criner at a Pittsburgh Pirates’ Miracle League Fantasy Camp.
Chaz with Amanda Rae Kuhl & Kelsey Criner at a Pittsburgh Pirates’ Miracle League Fantasy Camp.

My goal for the week? Each day select a “win” personally and a “win” professionally.

In the afternoon, I’m heading to the Fun with the Force event at the YWCA’s Homewood Brushton Community Center. I am excited to see the interactions between youth and law enforcement (local and state), along with first responders.

I just finished leading a master’s level course on marketing as a lead instructor at Seton Hill University. In my second year as an adjunct faculty member, one of the things I enjoy is reading final papers and seeing all of the knowledge come together.

Of course I will be watching the Steelers as they battle the Chargers tonight.

Tuesday, October 13

7 a.m. comes early and the challenge of getting up on time is hard on certain days. At the forefront today is a morning event at Community College of Allegheny County. The YWCA and Prime Stage Theatre are collaborating with CCAC to present a performance for local high school students. The play highlights the warning signs of dating violence and I’m sure this is going to be a powerful production.

I hope to do my weekly check-in call with family. The mystery of how busy our schedules can get amazes me, but it is important to make time to connect with those we love and care about.

I will finish the evening by celebrating the achievements of Saleem Ghubril at The Pittsburgh Project’s 30th Anniversary Roast (honoring Saleem) taking place at Heinz Field. The electricity in the air will be wonderful as so many people have eagerly awaited this event.

Wednesday, October 14

Chaz Kellem at Heinz Field.
Cheering on the Steelers during a cold regular season game.

The morning features a YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Week Without Violence event bringing domestic violence awareness and prevention to the attention of the community. Discussions around safety strategies, legalities and statistics about domestic violence in our community will be shared.

It’s an exciting afternoon as I will have lunch with former co-workers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, maybe somewhere in Market Square. I’m sure the conversation will be deep and the group will demonstrate passion for a variety of topics.

The remaining part of the business day will be to reach out to some YWCA partners and clients and moving forward with programs and collaborations, as I convey my eagerness to advance current alignments with our partners.

Off to shoot some hoops and get a cardio workout in. Wish I could say I was in shape but hoping to work harder at making time to exercise. Hey . . . we have to start somewhere, right!

Head home to mentally prepare for the day ahead. Hopefully all those papers for my graduate class are graded and I can submit final grades (due by midnight).

Thursday, October 15

To strengthen my organization skills, I will look ahead at my schedule and at the high points for the upcoming week. I want to be authentic with my actions and intentional with everything I do so planning ahead to avoid procrastination is a pleasing concept.

I am going to pop into the Town Hall Meeting presented by Black Women for Positive Change. Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay and other leaders will lead a dialogue about youth violence and ways to change the culture of violence in our region.

I’m not a huge reader of books for pleasure, but to lead for a lifetime, it is important to keep knowledge flowing and have an open mind. Tonight I will try to make progress on the book, Rebound, by author Lynette Mae, who is a good friend.

Friday, October 16

It is FRIDAY! 🙂

My morning will start with a deep sigh and remaining in bed for a few extra minutes. I have to make sure I wear something purple in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (at the office, I will get my purple pin to match my purple shirt).

Chaz & his mom attending the 2014 NCAA Final Four.
Chaz & his mom attending the 2014 NCAA Final Four.

Our team is gearing up for the 24th annual YWCA Racial Justice Awards on November 12th, and the execution of a flawless event requires teamwork.

I’m off to my graduate alma mater which is Robert Morris University, to participate in the 2015 Robert Morris University Sport Management Student Career Conference. Following the panel, I will work one-on-one with local students to help navigate their careers in the business.

I’m ready to enjoy the weekend. Evening plans are not yet determined but will hopefully consist of being surrounded by friends.

Saturday, October 17th

I will hit the outdoor basketball court for another session (trying to master my shot!).

I am going to Kennywood for Phantom Fright Nights to partake in Halloween festivities. Between the rides, the food and the frights, it assures to be a spooky good time. Wish me luck!

The evening will conclude with some music and spirits surrounded by good people at Perrytowne tavern.

Sunday, October 18th

Heading down to Heinz Field to cheer on the Steelers and hoping for a win. Go Steelers! May head down early for some pre-game festivities and food at either Rivertowne or McFadden’s.

My evening will consist of sitting on the couch and a night full of Nexflix to catch up on some shows!

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.