• Passion and Collaboration in Team Tassy

    Photo Courtesy of Team Tassy


    This weekend, July 14th and 15th, marks the fifth year for the Deutschtown Music Festival, a North Side celebration with 2-days of free music and activities. In addition to the festivities, this year The Deutschtown Music Festival is teaming up with Team Tassy, an Alloy 26 Fellow.


    This inclusive partnership between the DMF and Team Tassy is an opportunity to spread awareness of Team Tassy’s mission, and raise money for the cause. Not only did the DMF send personalized shirts to one of Team Tassy’s communities in Port-au-Prince, but also, $1 of every festival shirt purchased at the festival with be donated to Team Tassy to benefit job training programs.


    To learn more about how you can help out Team Tassy at the 5th Deutschtown Music Festival, visit their website. And to learn more about what Team Tassy is all about, check out our interview with Christina Marsico, Director of Engagement.


    Q: Talk about your startup journey – how did you get to where you are today?


    A: I’m born and raised here in Pittsburgh and always had a love for the city.  I attended Duquesne University, graduated with a degree in Marketing and started working for a startup company, Aquion Energy, shortly after graduation.   This was my first real job and I loved everything about it.   The culture of a startup company is something I’ve always enjoyed.  The ability to be creative, start new processes and wear many hats is a culture I thrive in.  While working for four years in their HR department, I volunteered for a nonprofit organization, Team Tassy, who now I work for full time.

    Q: What is your product/business?


    A: Team Tassy is a nonprofit organization working in Haiti to end poverty one dignified job at a time.  We work in one community in Port-au-Prince, called Menelas, where about 3,000 families reside.  Our goal is simple: to place two heads of households into good, dignified jobs so that each family and in turn, their community can pull themselves out of poverty forever.  We start by getting to know our families and learning about their needs.  Often times it begins with addressing health concerns, as illness can stand in the way of all other goals.  Next, we ensure all school-aged children have access to an education and address basic needs such as debt and housing with their parents.  Once family members are work-ready, they participate in our job preparation program and are trained and placed into dignified work.  They receive follow up services such as professional development and household budgeting workshops while we maintain our commitment to accompany them until they no longer need us.

    Q: Tell us a little more about yourself, your background, and team (if applicable)


    A: I’ve worked for Team Tassy for two years as their Director of Engagement.  We have an office in Pittsburgh as well as in LA where our Executive Director, Vivien Luk, Director of Job Strategy, Owen Mattison, and Manager of Culture, Sasha Ross work.  We also have an office in Haiti where Jules John, Country Manager and Escane Joseph, Education Manager reside and work.  Each month I take guests to Haiti with us to visit the community we serve, showcase Haiti’s beautiful and put our guests to work!

    Q: What’s next for Team Tassy?


    A: Our work is supported by a movement of individuals who also believe jobs end poverty.  Learn more about our 230-mile adventure run, the Run Across Haiti; connect with a family member through our 1:1 Campaign or travel to Haiti to meet our families and get to know our work first hand.  We welcome you to join us!


    Our next big adventure is our 7 day 200+ mile Run Across Haiti. The course begins at the northern coast in Cap Haitian and winds south through steep mountains, rolling rice fields, vibrant marketplaces and stunning coastlines. No two days are the same and each day brings a new adventure; participants experience Haiti and interact with the people and culture in a fun and unique way.


    The Run Across Haiti is an annual adventure run to raise funds to support Team Tassy’s mission of accompanying families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. We run to show the world that Haiti is not a place to be pitied or feared, and to showcase the country’s natural beauty. This past February we raised $168,995 and our goal for 2018 is to raise $200,000. The funding will go towards our continued effort to expand our services, one family at a time, starting with access to medical care and education, and following through with job training and placement.

    To apply for the run as a 200-mile runner or relay runner (3 days of the run), visit www.teamtassy.org/run-across-haiti or contact Christina at Christina@teamtassy.org.  Application deadline is Friday, July 14th.  Check out the mini documentary, Further, produced by The North Face and Coast to Coast to get a better idea of what it’s like!


    Q: What excites you most about working in Pittsburgh?


    A: What excites me most about Pittsburgh is the culture, spirit and neighborhood vibes you can feel and see while you walk through each community.  There is something special about this place and I’m proud to be a part of it all.


    Be Social:

    Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – @TeamTassy


    Alloy 26 Fellowship Program


    Our fellowship program grants accepted companies the chance to join our inspiring space for a FREE six-months stay, with ZERO equity fees, and no obligation to stay after the program ends.


    Check out more information at alloy26.com. And check back to learn more about our other 2017 Winter Fellows!