We help individuals attain ownership and design their future.

Providing entrepreneurial education, training, and workshops.

Owning and operating a business or enterprise

Developing life and leadership skills

Exposing youth to technology and innovation

About Us

Advancing Youth Initiative

The Advancing Youth Initiative (AYI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship (PHCSE) and Dominus High School to help students discover pathways for lifelong success. As the philanthropic arm of PHCSE and Dominus, AYI operates exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, and seeks to provide free and affordable opportunities to families.

Our mission is to support the health, welfare, and educational interests of PHCSE, Dominus, and other organizations that share our educational values. We believe that every student deserves access to quality education and resources, and our work is crucial to ensure that no student is left behind.

By accepting donations and resources, we can help students reach their full potential and discover the pathways for lifelong success. Your support can make a significant difference in the lives of students and families throughout the Pittsburgh region.

Join us in our mission to create a better future for our community. With your help, we can provide the necessary support for our students to succeed and thrive.

What We Do

Program and Initiatives

Meet Our Team

Our Board of Directors

Lisa Palmeri, PhD

Global leader for Co-Creation & Human Centered Design Enablement, Kyndryl Vital

Derrick Tillman

Vice President
Founder & President, Bridging the Gap Development, LLC

Charles Thomas

Retired Engineer, Philips Respironics

Debbie Hickman

Retired Franchise Owner, Giant Eagle

Joshua Pollak, Esquire

Legal Counsel
McKenna Snyder LLC

Leon Ford

Leon Ford Speaks

Wayne Jones, EdD

Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship

Allen Zeolla, AAMS

President & Owner
AZ Financial INC

500+ Students


2 Schools

Helping youth attain ownership and design their future.

Your contribution will benefit our mission by providing real-world experiences for our scholars. AYI seeks to generate sponsorships and donations to support the future growth and sustainability of Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship and Dominus High School. For information about partnership opportunities, visit: https://phcharter.org/partnership-opportunities/.

Your gift supports:


Supplies to support the launch of one student business markup


A half of a year of intern and consulting services offered


A year of adult financial literacy programs


Development of prototypes and business sustainability efforts for five student business startups

Other ways to give

Make Checks Payable to:
Advancing Youth Initiative

Mail to:
Advancing Youth Initiative
7336 Saltsburg Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
Phone: 412-793-6471

Advancing Youth Initiative is an approved to receive Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC) as an approved Educational Improvement Organization.  EITC-EIO contributions support our youth entrepreneurship programs.

We are also approved to receive Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credits to provide need-based tuition scholarships to graduates from Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship and Dominus High School.

Dr. Wayne Jones

P: 412-793-6471 ext. 238

Corporate Community Partner Impact Opportunities are available.  Learn how your corporation can make a difference at Advancing Youth Initiative here.

Many companies or corporations will match employees’ philanthropic contributions. Check with your employer to see if they offer matching gifts.  It is as simple as filling out the company’s matching gift form and sending it to us with your gift.  For information on corporate support and partnerships please contact Dr. Wayne Jones, at 412-793-6471 ext. 238 or 

If you have a donor advised fund, DAF Direct enables you to recommend grants to Advancing Youth Initiative, directly from your DAF (as long as your DAF’s sponsoring organization is participating).

Mentors offer guidance and support to our youth business owners and employees as they develop and grow their life changing ideas.  Being a mentor to our scholars is crucial to helping them succeed in the real world.  We encourage entrepreneurs and business leaders to visit our school and share their story and career path as a means to inspire.

If you would like to be a mentor or guest speaker please contact:

Dr. Wayne Jones

P: 412-793-6471 ext. 238

You can support Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship by shopping at smile.amazon.com.

When you do your back to school shopping or any shopping at smile.amazon.com/ch/27-3920298, Amazon donates to Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship.

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An outstanding education. A good investment.

About Us

The national leader in turning around public schools.

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Make Checks Payable to: 
Advancing Youth Initiative

Mail to:  AYI 7336 Saltsburg Road Pittsburgh, PA 15235