Name: Ashley Varrato
What years have you lived in Lawrenceville? 11
Why did you move to Lawrenceville? I moved here with friends over a decade ago because of the unique homes, proximity to so many businesses, and desire to live in a walkable neighborhood with easy access to public transit and eventually bought a home here for the same reasons.
Current job title (if employed): Analytics Manager for Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Why do you want to be on the LU Board? I’ve lived in Lawrenceville for over a decade and believe I can help further LU’s mission and vision for the neighborhood.
Volunteer, Non-Profit, or Board Experience: Work: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh 2007-2009; Pittsburgh Public Schools 2011-2017; Allegheny County Department of Human Services 2019-present; Volunteer: I became an LU Buddy during COVID and participating in Reading is Fundamental at Weil Elementary from 2016-2018.
What makes Lawrenceville unique? Why? The age and architecture of the homes, all the alleyways, the history of the neighborhood, the cemetery and proximity to the river, the variety of small businesses, and most importantly the people – I live between two lifetime residents, both named Virginia, which is definitely a highlight.
What is one thing you would like to work on within the neighborhood? Why? Support Pep Rally and deepen connections between families and neighborhood schools, and support LUs approach to community-centered public safety.
How are you involved in the Lawrenceville community?I volunteer as a COVID buddy to a neighbor, and I’ve been a member of the Community Garden on Sherrod St. for the last 4 years.
What would you bring to the LU Board (e.g. experience, skills, perspective, network, etc.)? Most of my work experience here in Pittsburgh has been in some of our larger pubic institutions that serve kids and families. I’ve worked in public education for over a decade in a number of roles, implementing programs with Pittsburgh Public Schools in partnership with teachers, principals, and district leaders. In my current role at Allegheny County DHS I work with the Office of Community Services that supports many programs serving families here in Lawrenceville (like the Community Learning Hub at the Boys and Girls Club that operated during COVID). My background is in design and public policy, and I have experience grant writing, developing program evaluation models, and leading strategic planning processes.
What’s one fun fact that others might be surprised to know about you? I’m left-handed, and often can’t read my own handwriting.