August 30, 2021
Jean and Henry (Hal) Haller
In 2006, Jean and Henry (Hal) Haller were introduced to TNA co-founder Jodie Moore by their mutual friend, Dave Hunter, who was passionate about providing opportunities for children who attended low performing schools. Jean and Hal toured the school, met students, and quickly joined the TNA community.
Jean began her involvement by attending girls basketball games and assisting with carpooling. The Haller’s dedication grew, and they joined the “Over the Bridge Society” which supports a student’s tuition for three years. Student Shannon Prentiss was the beneficiary of the Haller’s generosity, and she is now TNA’s Director of Admissions and College and Career Counseling!
“Having Shannon as one of our “Over the Bridge” students really solidified for us the potential of The Neighborhood Academy,” said Hal.
Shannon enjoyed her time with the Hallers and credits her success in part to their support.
“During my senior year, the Hallers and I began going to Panera’s regularly so we could catch up!” Shannon reflected. “They have always been extremely welcoming and supportive of my dreams, personally and professionally.”
Beyond high school, the Hallers supported Shannon’s journey through higher education – from purchasing her first laptop to tuition assistance – helping her to earn two master’s degrees from Carlow University.
“They displayed a level of compassion that I always appreciated. I was able to confide in them my aspirations, fears, and anxieties,” said Shannon. “They helped me build confidence in myself.”
On November 13, 2011, Journeys of Life in Shadyside was destroyed by an electrical fire. Her store specialized in self-help books, inspirational gifts, and spiritual guidance. The store also served as a resource for people battling addiction and for the professionals who work with them, providing an inspiring gathering place for the Pittsburgh community.
“When Jodie heard about the fire,” Jean mentioned, “she rounded up volunteers to assist us with the cleanup and relocation of her store to a temporary location. Students also created artwork to display in the new location,” said Jean warmly.
The store was a member of the American Booksellers Association and the Hallers furthered the relationship with TNA students by having them distribute books throughout the Pittsburgh community.
“TNA students broke into small groups and traveled to different neighborhoods, dropping off books as donations. We even had Mayor Peduto speak to the students regarding their impact.”
The Haller family continues to be purposefully involved with the school in many ways. Jean helped to obtain a 20th Anniversary Proclamation from the City of Pittsburgh which Mayor Peduto presented to the school at Convocation on September 8. Jean’s and Hal’s son, Ed Haller has been involved with TNA for many years and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
For more information on how to become a member of the “Over the Bridge Society”, contact Sheila Rawlings, Director of Development at The Neighborhood Academy at 412.626.6851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 17, 2021
TNA Class of 2022
Jocelyn Hargrove a TNA senior and newly-elected President of Student Government, looks forward to the long-awaited day in May 2022: when she can finally call herself a TNA graduate.
Determined to leave her mark as President, Jocelyn looks to make a few changes including plans for more school dances, ‘fun-raising activities,’ and other social functions. Jocelyn even plans to survey the student body to come up with menus for their school meals, and aims to have a designated day where the student body chooses lunch!
“I bring a lot of ambition toward anything that I go after… I have a good amount of determination and a lot of grit,” said Joceyln.
Aside from Student Government, Jocelyn is active on TNA’s volleyball, basketball, and track teams.
TNA definitely runs in her DNA. Jocelyn’s brother, Desmond graduated from the school in 2018, and her younger brother, Nate, is slated to graduate in 2023, and has also been elected as the Vice President of Student Government. She finds herself in the middle of her siblings, soaking up knowledge and lessons from her older brother, while being the example for her younger brother.
Upon graduating from TNA, Jocelyn aspires to become a surgeon. She recently completed a 2-week “Healthcare Career Academy” program with The Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC.) Through this program, Jocelyn traveled between the West Mifflin and CCAC Boyce (Monroeville) campuses as well as Jefferson Hospital, where she had the opportunity to shadow professionals in the healthcare industry.
“It was fun! And I learned a lot about the different jobs that exist within the medical industry surrounding surgeons,” she said.
Jocelyn currently has some colleges in mind that she is considering like Temple University, Howard University, and North Carolina A&T University.
Jocelyn credits TNA’s community as one of the reasons why continues to aim so high.
“What I like most about The Neighborhood Academy is the support system from the staff and faculty as well as the student body,” said Jocelyn. “It really feels like a home away from home… TNA is a great opportunity for a young person who is serious about their goals. Whatever you want to pursue in life, The Neighborhood Academy helps give you the skills to attack whatever is you are pursuing fearlessly.”
August 04, 2021
TNA CLASS OF 2014
Kennedy Randall is a person who has many interests, but her current career mirrors what interested her when she was young. When Kennedy was little, she wanted to be a pediatrician. When she was in high school, she was interested in pursuing the performing arts.
She is now Production Assistant for two children’s television shows for Fred Rogers Productions.
“I have to read a lot and I feel confident about tackling that because of the amount of reading I had at TNA. I would also say critical thinking because a lot of the time I need to think about things from multiple perspectives,” said Kennedy. “Learning how other people think or other ways of thinking was stressed in many of the classes I enjoyed at TNA.”
The classes Kennedy enjoyed most at TNA were Modern Thought with Ms. Jen, Reverend Tom’s Ethics class, and Psychology class with Dr. Means.
“I liked that I could take classes in subjects besides just Math, English, History, and Science. There is a lot of random information I hold on to and use and I know it is stuff I learned at TNA,” said Kennedy.
Her message for current students would be: “Do what makes you happy no matter what it looks like to anyone else. And you do not have to have it all figured out in high school or right after high school.”
July 30, 2021
TNA CLASS OF 2009
DOUG HOLLAMAN II
“It pretty much made sense for me to join The Neighborhood Academy,” said Doug Hollaman, a graduate from the class of 2009 as he recalled how he first crossed paths with the school.
“I heard about the school on a radio commercial initially, and I also had a cousin who had attended TNA’s summer school program – which is actually how I began my journey!”
Coming from Penn Hills School District in Middle School and transitioning into TNA in Grade 10, Doug admits that there were some challenges for him along the way, such as adjusting to the school’s rigorous curriculum and forming proper study habits.
“I was always a smart kid, but I only knew the necessary things to do academically to just get by,” Doug explained. “It was once I embarked on my journey here at TNA that I realized that I could rely on my peers, faculty and staff to give me the proper tools to succeed,” Doug adds. “I didn't just feel like a number, like in my previous situation. Here at TNA, it felt more like family.”
Nonetheless, it was TNA's family-oriented environment, unique curriculum, and undying support system from the staff and faculty that sold Doug on TNA and grew a love for the school that continues to last.
“It was TNA that taught me how to study and impressed upon me the proper work ethic to succeed – not only in college but in my future endeavors in life as well,” said Doug.
Doug attended Edinboro University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Finance. After graduating, Doug landed his first job as a financial advisor for First Investments, an investment firm in Pittsburgh. In 2017, Doug transitioned into the banking world where he landed a financial analyst job at BNY Mellon. Within four years he was promoted to a Securities Master Specialist, and he currently holds that position at the bank. As a Securities Master Specialist, Doug and his investment team are part of the decision making process of what financial securities are worth adding to investment portfolios. If a security meets BNY Mellon’s qualifications, Doug manages the execution of adding the securities to portfolios, and then oversees the accounting process on the back end.
Doug is also the owner of his own real estate and property wholesaling company, called B&H Acres LLC, which operates here in PA. With his company he buys, sells, rents and refurbishes residential and commercial properties.
“I really enjoy my job at BNY Mellon, and I’m excited to share that I recently earned my Master of Business Administration degree… Honestly, the sky is not the limit, the limit is beyond the sky,” said Doug.
These words could not echo truer to describe TNA’s aspirations for its students and alumni. Doug truly embodies the vision of TNA through his diligence, passion, and dedication he displays throughout all his endeavors.