Who We Are

Catapult Greater Pittsburgh engages in emergency resource distribution, peer-to-peer support, wealth building, trauma-informed financial counseling, and policy advocacy to ensure systematically disenfranchised communities can meaningfully achieve economic justice and lead dignified and equitable lives. 

Meet the Team

Tammy Thompson

Executive Director

Brettney Duck

Director of Homeownership

Keisha Young

Enrollment Coordinator

Latasia Rich

Gallery Manager

Jodi Salant

Innovation and Growth Manager

Lachelle Binion

Director of Entrepreneurship

Board of Directors

Portrait of Ted Melnyk

Ted Melnyk

Ted Melnyk is Director of Development & Research at ELDI and joined the staff in 2012. Ted has over 30 years of experience in both the faith and nonprofit community with both youth and affordable housing programs. Ted has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Westminster College, a Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Management from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters of Arts & Religion from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Portrait of Rachel Amankulor

Rachel Amankulor

Vice President
Rachel Amankulor was born and raised in Northern California, however she migrated east to attend Princeton University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in History. After college, she moved to New York City and had a brief stint as a teacher at a Catholic girl’s school in Harlem before she ventured into the world of documentary filmmaking. She earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. After practicing as a litigator for several years in the private sector, Rachel found her way back to education when she became Assistant General Counsel for Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City.
Portrait of Skip Schwab

Skip Schwab

Secretary - Skip Schwab is the director of operations for ELDI. Mr. Schwab has been with ELDI since 2007 and is responsible for grants management and partner relationships, and helped formulate ELDI’s investment strategy. Skip has over thirty years of community development experience from being a program director with Local Initiative Support Corporation, director of real estate with North Side Civic Development Council, and assistant to the director of housing for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Mr. Schwab has a bachelor of liberal studies from Bowling Green State University and a master’s of public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Portrait of Maelene Myers

Maelene Myers

Maelene Myers has been the executive director of ELDI since 1996. Ms. Myers has nearly thirty years of experience in community development, management, and administration. She is responsible for the overall operation of the corporation, and was instrumental in creating a comprehensive community plan for East Liberty. Prior to her work at ELDI, Ms. Myers was the executive director of Hough Area Partners in Progress in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree and an Associate of Applied Business degree from the University of Akron.
Portrait of Lisa Simon

Lisa Simon

Lisa Simon is an educator, writer, artist, and activist. For over 15 years, she has focused her energies on helping learners, families, and under-resourced educational organizations obtain increased access to high quality, engaging literacy experiences. Lisa has a Ph.D. in Literacy Education from New York University, and was an Associate Professor of Transformative Literacy for the City College of New York. In her writing and research, Lisa works to challenge biases—particularly in relation to ethnicity, language, gender, gender orientation, health, and age.
Portrait of Ashley Comans

Ashley Comans

Ashley Comans recently joined APOST (Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time) as the HYPE (Hill Youth Partnership for Enrichment) Project Coordinator. Ashley brings a diverse set of skills and experience to the board. Prior to joining the team, Ashley worked at Highmark as a Sales Support Analyst in the Senior Markets department. Prior to working with Highmark, Ashley was a production specialist with WPXI-TV Pittsburgh. There, she worked with the Emmy-award-winning morning newscast in production, and carried out voice caption duties for local and national programming. Ashley is also a freelance writer and blogger. Most recently, Ashley was elected School Board Director of the Wilkinsburg School District. Ashley obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and Communication Studies from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Potrtait of Khamil Scantling

Khamil Scantling

Khamil Scantling is an expert in Leadership & Business Development, Public Speaking, Fundraising, Software Management, and Corporate Social Responsibility. Khamil achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology and a concentration in Africana Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Khamil previously worked at BNY Mellon as a senior analyst, and is currently the CEO of Cocoapreneur PGH, LLC. Khamil founded Cocoapreneur to assist black entrepreneurs in overcoming the societal barriers to success that are unique to their experience.

Mission Breakdown

Mission Statement

Catapult Greater Pittsburgh engages in connecting families to emergency resources, peer-to-peer support, wealth building, trauma-informed financial counseling, and policy advocacy to ensure that systematically disenfranchised communities can meaningfully achieve economic justice and lead dignified and equitable lives.

Values Statement

Pursuing economic justice one individual at a time through compassion, flexibility, innovation, dignity, and creating opportunities for personal growth in fair and equitable communities.

Who We Serve

Individuals or families who live at or below the poverty line or otherwise feel disenfranchised by a system that perpetuates economic injustice. Our participants choose programs that are the best fit for them and work with the team at Catapult Greater Pittsburgh for support and guidance throughout the experience.

Into the Future


After six wonderful years of partnership with Circles USA, Catapult Greater Pittsburgh, formally Circles Greater Pittsburgh, launched as an independent organization on January 4th, 2021. Although the leadership, professionals, and many of the programs remain the same, our mission changed slightly from “ending generational poverty” to “economic justice opportunities for individuals seeking generational stability”. The program offerings will be more robust and more suited for the urban clientele that we serve. Additionally, this separation will allow us to move from a chapter of a national model into an independent and scalable non-profit organization.


> 1 %

in many Pittsburgh neighborhoods

1 %

live at or below the income limit for federal poverty guidelines

In many Pittsburgh neighborhoods the poverty rate is well over 30%. In total 20.3% of Pittsburghers live at or below the income limit for the Federal Poverty Guidelines, according to the 2017 U.S. Census estimates. To give you an idea of how much that is, the official poverty line for a family of four is $25,100 per year or less.

The divide between lower-income populations and the middle-to-upper income populations is growing and not just in numbers. We desire a smart, and personal solution to these problems, which is why Catapult works great in this very relational community. Here, neighborly connection and innovation are key components of what makes Pittsburgh the great place that it is.

Connect with Us

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Soul Food Cooking Camp

The Reconstruction Food Education course will be held July 12-16 from 4-6pm each day, with options for virtual and in-person participation. Presented by Catapult Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, and The Grable Foundation.