Photo via Sam Tobiczyk
Junior Adrianna Grande’s favorite part of volunteering at her mother’s school, Urban Academy in Pittsburgh, is getting to help kids with special needs.
“I usually help out the kids with special needs there. It always brings happiness to my day, especially meeting with and talking to them,” she said.
For her volunteer work there and with other organizations, Grande was recently featured on an episode of the 93.7 The Fan podcast “This Hits Different.” The podcast showcases outstanding high school student athletes throughout the Pittsburgh area, like Grande, who is a goalkeeper for the Baldwin soccer team.
Specifically, Grande was highlighted because of her volunteer work throughout the community, particularly with Baldwin’s Mini-THON childhood cancer fundraiser, at her mother’s school, and The Friendship Circle in Squirrel Hill, which aims to spread diversity and inclusion throughout the community.
“I love helping people and getting to work throughout my community and spreading inclusion throughout Pittsburgh,” Grande said.
Nominated by her soccer coach, Christine Chiodo, Grande was surprised when she found out she was going to be featured on the popular radio show.
“It was shocking at first. I was shocked when I got the email,” she said.
The interview was conducted over Zoom, and covered Grande’s contributions to the community and her athletic participation.
Shelby Cassesse, who puts together the “This Hits Different” podcast, said she instantly noticed the compassion that Grande has.
“She is clearly incredibly compassionate, selfless and wants to make a difference. I got the sense from her that if she isn’t helping someone, she doesn’t feel fulfilled,’’ Cassesse said.
Cassesse said Grande is a role model for teens and others.
“She stood out as an athlete who is not only doing incredible things in her community now, but who has very clear long-term goals about how she can help as an adult,” she said. “She was honestly inspiring to talk to, and inspired me to find more ways to help in my community.”
Grande said one of her favorite parts of volunteering is getting to meet new people.
“I love getting to meet new people every day through the programs I’m involved in,” Grande said.