Flashback Friday: Izzy


By: Teresa Dietrich

Izzy Tetino has been an important member of the Connecting Champions team since her sophomore year of college when she and her roommate found the Pitt Connecting Champions Club (CCC). For some people, joining this club would have been just a resume booster–but Izzy and Nicole, her roommate, saw the opportunity to affect real change through their participation. Eventually they began running CCC themselves, and through their strong leadership were able to pull together fundraising events, craft nights, and fun outings for some of the kids. They threw a birthday party, went to the zoo, and went pumpkin picking in the fall.

Over the three years she was involved with CCC, Izzy got to know the Connecting Champions employees and founder Sidney. She even became a friendship mentor, and for her capstone graduation project she helped develop novel aspects of Night of Inspiration, creating the Wall of Stories. So when she graduated in December of her senior year, no one was surprised when she became a Connecting Champions intern. Over the sixth months of her internship, Izzy worked tirelessly for the organization, calling it “one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Even though she’s since graduated University of Pittsburgh and has moved on to graduate school, studying to become a physician’s assistant, Izzy continues to assist the organization in any way she can. This month she began meeting with Connecting Champions to discuss the year’s Night of Inspiration. We know that with Izzy to help us, Night of Inspiration will continue to be one of the best nights of the year!

Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

Reach Out to Us

Or contact Friendship@ConnectingChampions.org / 412.376.3755