DHS News August 2013
Alta Moquette, Fellow
in Local Government
Alta Moquette likes Pittsburgh.
“It’s not too big of a city. You don’t get overwhelmed,” she
It’s also more diverse than she expected, finding in moving
to the West End that she is near some Bhutanese families.
Alta is adding to the diversity. Of Latina background, the April
graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania brings to DHS not only the
viewpoint of her family’s culture, but a view from a brief stay with her family
in a homeless shelter when she was young.
Alta is the Department’s first Fellow in Local Government, a
position supported by the Human Services Integration Fund. The
Fellows program grew out of the DHS Scholars in Local Government program, said
Sheila Bell, Administrator, Integration Project Management. Sheila administers
the program with JoAnn Hannah, Administrator in the Executive Office. “The
Fellows program provides the perspective of someone who has ‘been there.’ That
sort of insight, coupled with a bachelor’s degree, helps us in our goal to deliver
quality, on-point programs,” JoAnn said.
Alta learned of the yearlong Fellows program while at IUP,
where she participated in a program called Caring about Latino Student
“I was really excited when DHS called me,” said Alta, 25,
who is originally from San Antonio, Texas. Having started at DHS in June, Alta
is currently working with Chuck Keenan, Housing Coordinator at the DHS Bureau
of Homeless Services, learning about various programs and providers. “It’s
really an eye-opening experience. I always wanted a job where I can give back
to people. That’s what I see me doing with my life.”
In the long term, Alta says she is dedicated to furthering
her education. She has been accepted for a master’s degree at IUP but deferred
that to take the DHS Fellowship. She has set her sights on a doctorate in the
sociology of education because she enjoys being involved with college students
and is interested in college retention and achievement.
“Alta has jumped right in in our office,” Chuck said. “She has
helped out with data collection and analysis on our homeless programs so that
we are ready to submit reports to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development, our primary funder. She is
bright, very hard working, and truly interested in helping others. She
has volunteered on a few projects outside of her work schedule already to help
those in need.”
For more information on the Fellows in Local Government
program, go to http://www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/fellows.aspx.
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