More than 230,000 former military personnel call the Pittsburgh region ranging from World War II veterans to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Community Leadership Course for Veterans is a Leadership Pittsburgh initiative that exposes post-9/11 veterans to networks and opportunities for service and enhancement of leadership skills through a six-month long course.
In this first-of-its-kind program, Pittsburgh-area veterans partnered with four southwestern Pennsylvania nonprofits, including 90.5 WESA, to complete a community impact project.
WESA has partnered with the Community Leadership Course for Veterans to tell stories of local veterans in addition to giving CLCV team members a platform to develop leadership skills to engage the community in a multimedia approach. The CLCV team members interviewed 30 Pittsburgh-area veterans for "Veterans' Stories: Project 412." Tune in Tuesday, Oct. 7 for the first of their interviews.
Participating CLCV team members include:
To better connect himself in Pittsburgh and learn what the city has to offer the veteran community, James Yauger joined the CLCV program. Yauger served in with the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division from 2002 to 2005. He rose to the rank of an E-5 sergeant and was responsible for leading a squad of infantry soldiers. Yauger received a bachelor’s degree in business with a specialization in entrepreneurial studies from Seton Hill University. The Connellsville native now lives in Trafford. He plans to start his own business while continuing to serve veterans.
To raise veteran awareness in the Pittsburgh region, Rachel Kovach joined the CLCV program. Kovach has served with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard since 2004. She is now a staff sergeant and is in her third year of pursuing a bachelor’s degree in logistics management from American Military University. The Burgettstown native hopes to also obtain a master’s degree in logistics management while making her way through the ranks to sergeant major.
Ariana Pourmonir Mohnke
Ariana Pourmonir Mohnke saw CLCV as a tool to broaden her knowledge as a leader while growing networks in the Pittsburgh area. She said her involvement in the program has resulted in greater productivity in several missions. Pourmonir Mohnke has served with the U.S. Coast Guard since 2006. She is now an active duty lieutenant. In 2010 received a bachelor’s of science degree from the United States Coast Guard Academy where she was stationed for four years. The Pittston native is now a marine inspector and waterways division chief at the Marine Safety Unit Pittsburgh.
Benjamin Stahl is an alumnus of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.’s inaugural CLCV class. Stahl joined the U.S. Navy after Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He served on the USS Gladiator, Avenger and Dextrous. He received a bachelor of arts degree in social science and a master of science degree in organizational leadership from Robert Morris University. The Pittsburgh native lives in Forest Hills with his fiancé and their two children. He is a doctoral student at RMU and a housing case manager for the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania.
Joseph Cooper participated in the CLCV program to connect with his community and fellow veterans. Cooper served in the U.S. Marine Corps from Sept. 24, 2001 until 2005. The Lake Villa, Ill. native has lived in Pittsburgh since 2006.