Now accepting organization applications: Chris Groark Student Engagement Award

Text reading Applications Now Open Chris Groark Student Engagement Award


The Office of Child Development at Pitt is honored to offer organizations the opportunity to apply for the first Chris Groark Student Engagement Award. The award is an opportunity to have a Pitt student (undergrad, master's, or doctoral level) work for your organization in Summer 2020. Our intention is to offer this extra support to an organization who, like us, aims to help children thrive, to give students an opportunity to engage in real world learning, and to honor the legacy of one of our former directors, Dr. Chris Groark.

To apply, organizations should do the following:

– Complete this online questionnaire before March 11, 2020.
– The Office of Child Development review will select an organization with a viable and mission-aligned opportunity for student learning.
– After selecting and notifying an organization, we will open a call for Pitt students to apply for the awarded organization's opportunity.
– The Office of Child Development will select the top student applicants, and the organization can select one student from that group to work for their organization.

Please reach out to Priscilla Jarrett at if you have any questions about this process. We look forward to your applications and hearing more about your project ideas.


Does my organization qualify?
Any community organization that works with or for young children qualifies for this award. The organization can be of any size, any geographic location, and can engage in a range of activities. Examples include, but are not limited to, topics like advocacy, direct service, and research. Our hope is that the project that the organization proposes to do with their Groark Student Awardee will align with the Office of Child Development's mission to help children thrive and advance social justice and equity.

How do I apply?
Fill out this application.

When are applications due?
Applications from organizations are due March 10th, 2020 at midnight. The Office of Child Development review committee will then review these applications within one week and select one organization that will be awarded a Groark Student for summer 2020.

How are students selected?
After selecting an organization, we will draft a job description for that student based on the organization's application and advertise it to Pitt students. By April 10, we will have chosen 3 viable student candidates and the organization may choose to interview these candidates and select the finalist. The selected student will be notified by April 20th and may work for the organization anytime between May 1 and August 15, 2020.

How many hours will the student work?
The student can work approximately 40 hours for your organization over the summer, which can be concentrated in a short time frame or spread out over the course of the summer at the discretion of the winning organization.

What age do you mean by young children?
Although we often think of young children as pregnancy through 8 years old, this is not a rigid range. We are open to organizations that focus on slightly older ages. 

What type of Pitt students are available?
The Pitt student that you seek to work with can be from any school and discipline, and at any level of education – undergraduate, masters, or doctoral. 

There could be many student skillsets and backgrounds that would help support the organization to help children thrive and advance social justice and equity. For example, a nursing student might help to establish a new health protocol or consult with staff on wellness. A student with technology skills might help the organization to develop a website or social media platform to communicate with parents or policy makers. 

Will students be paid?
The chosen student will be paid by the Chris Groark Student Engagement Fund to work for the awarded organization, and that payment will come directly from Pitt. Organizations selected are not responsible for paying the student and will not receive any money from Pitt.