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   DHS News July 2013  

Independent Living Youth Get a Lesson in History 

About 25 youth in the DHS Independent Living program and nine staff members traveled to Gettysburg for a tour of the battlefield and museums, participating in the 150th anniversary of the key Civil War battle.  

Organized by Independent Living Transition Program Manager JoAnn Hannah and her staff, the trip on June 21 to the national park featured a stop at the Visitor Center, including the Civil War Museum and Cyclorama, a guided tour of the battlefield, and dinner.  

On the spot where Pickett’s Charge began, the tour guide involved the youth, ages 16 to 21, in the steps of firing a cannon, bringing history a bit more alive for them.  

Both JoAnn and trip chaperone Karen Clark, Independent Living Supervisor at Hill House in the Hill District, said that the youth were well behaved, attentive and seemed to enjoy the trip.  

“They were really on the money when it came to asking questions,” Karen said.  

“I knew a little bit about the Civil War but I didn’t know how important the Gettysburg battle was,” said Ebony Turner, 19, of Penn Hills, an Independent Living client who went on the trip.  

Ebony, a CCAC student in psychology who plans on attending Hampton University in Virginia, said she particularly enjoyed see the interactive “The Battle of Gettysburg” Cyclorama painting. 

About 1,000 youth in Allegheny County are eligible for DHS’s Independent Living program, which provides support for transition-age youngsters in foster care.  


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