Virginia Alvino Young


Virginia reports on identity and justice for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people see themselves in the community, and how the community makes them feel. Her reporting examines things like race, policing, and housing to tell the stories of folks we often don't hear from. 

A native of Las Vegas, NV, Virginia has slowly been making her way eastward, reporting for NPR stations across the country. She started her reporting career at the statehouse in Oregon, and has had stints in Indiana and Texas before moving to Pittsburgh in 2016. 

Virginia lives in Brookline with her husband, baby boy and fat cat Bean. They enjoy exploring Pittsburgh's neighborhoods, and hiking throughout the region, although they usually leave Bean at home. 

Contact Virginia at

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In the North Side neighborhood of Brighton Heights, tucked into a corner on Richardson Street, is a two-story home with yellow siding. Natalie Perko, 33, moved in earlier this month.

Andrew Rush / AP

The first of five parish mergers in the Pittsburgh Catholic Dioceses’ reorganization plan will go into effect July 1. 


An open-air music venue, food hall, hotel and playground are among the elements included in the master plan for the redeveloped Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District, which will be named “Centre District.” Detailed renderings of the $750 million project were unveiled to residents at a community meeting Wednesday evening.

Colleen Long / AP

Community leaders and representatives from law enforcement agencies throughout the region gathered Thursday to discuss and learn more about civil rights. 

90.5 WESA

Developer LG Realty has a new anchor tenant for the former site of Penn Plaza in East Liberty. It’s the same retailer first proposed several years ago – Whole Foods Market.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Fair housing advocates presented the City of Pittsburgh with an extensive list of policy recommendations this week. It’s the latest step for the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Task Force.

This is the first document of its kind produced by the task force, which represents dozens of organizations across all sectors. Members spent several years examining the policies of other cities, historical practices in Pittsburgh, and gathering feedback from the community.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Some riders on the Port Authority’s route 91 bus were met by their state representative on Wednesday morning. 

Ashley Constantine / Fox Chapel Area School District

One of the best ways to learn a new language is to be immersed in it. Starting this fall, 25 kindergartners in Fox Chapel Area School District will be doing just that.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA


Jim Brunton pulled his boxy delivery truck into the loading dock of his family’s milk plant after wrapping up his weekly door-to-door route, which starts around 4 a.m.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Fences covered with blue tarps still surround the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, where 11 Jewish worshipers were killed last October.

But the three congregations which once worshipped there want to change that aesthetic.

Google Earth

The ribbon has been cut on a mixed-use development in Squirrel Hill. Krause Commons was developed on the former site of Poli’s Restaurant, which closed in 2005.

Kate Hagerty

health and wellness fair in downtown Pittsburgh this weekend aims to connect the immigrant and refugee communities with service providers.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds of high school and college students walked out of classrooms Monday morning demanding justice for Antwon Rose, the teen who was shot and killed in June by an East Pittsburgh police officer.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

This is one of two parts of our hour-long special, airing at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 1, looking at translation services in western Pennsylvania school districts. The other part is available here

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

School districts are federally required to provide translation services for all families. But they're also becoming increasingly diverse. WESA reporters Sarah Schneider and Virginia Alvino Young look at how well school districts in western Pennsylvania are doing and what's at stake. 

Hear our hour-long education special Friday, March 1 at 9 a.m. 

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The Catholic Diocese of Erie launched its victims’ compensation fund Friday for people who were sexually abused by clergy and others associated with the church. Plans for the fund were announced in December.

The Independent Survivors’ Reparation Program will be open until August 15, 2019, and the website to file claims is now live.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Hundreds more affordable housing units stand to benefit from the Housing Opportunity Fund following Thursday’s advisory board vote.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Some Pittsburgh Public Schools students were turned away for rides by Port Authority bus drivers last month, after a mix-up involving their student ID cards which also function as transit passes.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Millions of dollars to support the Jewish community have been donated since October’s Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

The fourth annual Pittsburgh Humanities Festival will feature artists, academics, and influencers this spring.

Kelli Freeman

A leader, an old soul and a “laid-back kid” are how Jonathan Freeman’s family remembers him. The 16-year-old was fatally shot at a friend’s house in Homewood earlier this month. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Survivors of clergy sex abuse within the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh can now apply for compensation. A website for the voluntary program where claims can be submitted went live Tuesday.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

If it continues until March, the partial government shutdown could have a big impact on Allegheny County’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, commonly called Section 8.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A crowd of people filled the block in front of the City-County Building, as well as the parking lot across from it on Saturday for the third annual Women's March. 

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In light of the #MeToo movement, a new initiative in western Pennsylvania will offer free and confidential services for students and low-wage workers facing sexual harassment and assault.

While there has been a lot of attention given to high-profile cases, sexual harassment is pervasive in workplaces, K-12 schools and colleges, according to the Women’s Law Project, which launched #MeTooPA to help individuals who are traditionally underserved by the legal system.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

In conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington, crowds are expected to flood Downtown on Saturday for Pittsburgh's march. 

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is making a significant investment to improve security at all of its locations.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County residents generally perceive that the quality of life in the region has improved in recent years, according to a new University of Pittsburgh survey. But that perception differs based on who was asked.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

For mothers who have lost children to gun violence, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time. An event in Pittsburgh will bring some of these grieving women together.


The first major allocation of money from the Housing Opportunity Fund was approved Thursday. The loans will go towards more than 200 affordable housing units.