The following is excerpted from the November 17, 2010 edition of the New Pittsburgh Courier.

By Genea Webb, Photo by J.L. Martello

Eric McIntosh is on an urban mission to enrich the lives of Wilkinsburg teen­agers through the creative and performing arts.

As the new executive director of Neighborhood Youth Outreach Program in Wilkinsburg, McIntosh,44, will be able to retool the after-school program to do just that.

"There's a lot of violence happening in Wilkinsburg, but there are a lot of services out there for youth. There's still a chasm and we want to bridge that and give them good choices to keep them moving forward," McIntosh said.

The Neighborhood Youth Outreach Program's mission is to provide a vehicle and opportunity for mentoring children by instilling life skills, self confidence, self efficiency team building, cooperation, en­tre­­pre­neur­ship and project planning and presentation.

"Eric is a visionary," said NYOP Program Director, Anthony Jackson who recommended McIntosh as executive director. "He has a great repertoire with the kids and I knew he would be a great person to have on our team. Since he has been here, he has brought a sense of excitement and nostalgia. He's trying to detail and formulate a good direction for the program.

"Many executive directors don't have a repertoire with the community and the parents in the community, but Eric does. The staff has a sense of family now when we come to work," Jackson said.

The program currently has 20-25 kids ages 7-13 in the after school program, which meets Monday-Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 600 Pitt Street in Wilkinsburg.

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To find out more about NYOP, contact Eric McIntosh, Parish Administrator & NYOP Executive Director, at 412-243-6100. Eric can suggest ways that parishes and individuals can help the youth in WIlkinsburg.