Success Stories



Terrance Montgomery

Terrance Montgomery – is a Wilkinsburg native and East Allegheny High School graduate. He had background issues that were barriers to work. Breaking the Chains of Poverty provided Terrance with training in family sustaining careers that focused on his present, not his past. Terrance credits the program with reinforcing in him determination, commitment, and effort. He graduated from the program in June of 2017 with his work skills refreshed. Terrance is now employed with the Allegheny County Department of Public Works.

Heather McDonald

Heather McDonald – Heather grew up in Morgantown, WV and moved to Pittsburgh in 1999. Heather entered Breaking the Chains of Poverty unsure about her future. The program gave her a better perspective on her career goals, and she felt the curriculum taught empowered her, affirming that her original career choice suited her. BTCP mentoring and leadership reinforced her passion for the legal field. After graduation from Breaking the Chains of Poverty in 2015, Heather continued her career as a paralegal in Pittsburgh.


Tyronn King

Tyronn King is enthusiastic, a quick study and is driven to succeed. King was referred to the BTCP program from the Labor – Management Clearinghouse. After graduating from the program in 2013, he was accepted into the International Brotherhood of Carpenters – Pile Driver’s apprenticeship. Tyronn credits the BTCP program with not only providing the technical training skills he needed to get into the construction trades but also providing the life skills needed in order to make wise and informed decisions for achieving his dreams.

Charlene Jones

Charlene Jones completed her GED at Pittsburgh Connelly Trade School. A resident of public housing, Charlene credits Pittsburgh APRI for “giving me my life back.” Initially she did not meet the BTCP program entry requirements, so she utilized the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s (HCAP) internal program, built her skill sets, and then reapplied to the BTCP program and was accepted. She was one of our most committed participants―always willing to take the extra step to learn and build her skills.


Chris S. and Shawn T. are employed as crew leaders at the Mt. Washington Emerald Trail Project; these young men now interview Breaking the Chains graduates for positions at the Mt, Washington Community Development Corporation.


Yvonne J. is a war veteran who could not find work after coming home and is now in the final stages of joining the Pittsburgh Police Academy as new recruit.