Vanessa Thompson is a Pittsburgh native whose desire is to support the education system and encourage women empowerment. Shortly after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chatham University in 2012, Vanessa served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the city of Pittsburgh Mayor’s office. Since that time, Vanessa has served on several boards, including The Pittsburgh Promise, Women & Girls Foundation, Chatham University Alumni Association, and Urban League Young Professional to fulfil her passion to support several important causes.

Vanessa also has a heart to serve youth. Shortly after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA, she worked for Girl Scouts Western PA. While there, she provided hundreds of girls with leadership skills necessary to serve their communities and schools, primarily through managing grant funded programs in three major counties in Western Pennsylvania.

In 2016, Vanessa was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine’s – Give Pittsburgh as a Young Philanthropist for her work in prison ministry. In addition to her work in prison ministry, Vanessa served as the Youth Director while at Living Way Christian Fellowship. During that time, Vanessa also co-founded Promise Legacy, The Alumni Association of The Pittsburgh Promise, which serves as a place for alums of the scholarship to receive mentorship, volunteer, and networking opportunities.

In Vanessa’s current role as Project Lead, Strategic Initiatives and Outreach for Trying Together, she manages many of the organization’s projects, which includes child literacy and community engagement. She also leads the organization’s health and wellness committee. In addition to her work at Trying Together, Vanessa is the Quality Advisor for Allegheny Partners for Out-of- School Time (APOST), assisting dedicated out of school time providers in continuing their work to provide quality programming to youth in Allegheny County. Vanessa is also the Research Lead on various projects for Pursuant, a community consulting service. Furthermore, Vanessa is a trainer for The Mentoring Partnership and APOST, specially training youth practitioners and those who are looking to be mentors for programs such as Be a Middle School Mentor.

In Vanessa’s free time she loves to travel and enjoys going to the movies.