Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund

 The Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF) is a non-profit educational foundation committed to enriching and investing in the experiences of the Pine-Richland student community through staff grants, student scholarships and community partnerships. 


When Hack the Ram organizers came to the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund with a grant request to purchase technology for their 24-hour invention marathon, the decision to say yes was easy and unanimous. The PROF grant covers the cost of two Sphero Bolt Starter Kits (each including 15 Sphero Bolt programmable robots) and five Arduino Starter Classroom Packs (each containing six Arduino Uno Rev starter boards), which will be used by participants in the second annual hackathon.

This Pine-Richland student-driven event, slated for January 31 and February 1, is free and open to all Pittsburgh-area students from grades 7 to 12. In a nutshell, participants with any level of computer programming or hardware experience collaborate in teams of four to create a technology project from scratch aided by mentor volunteers and a series of seminars scheduled throughout the event.

The technology also will be used throughout the school year and beyond by PR’s Programming Club during educational events for elementary, upper elementary and middle school students, and by teachers in various classroom projects.

“This grant really illustrates what PROF is all about – funding projects that encourage and fuel the intellectual curiosity of our students,” says Deborah Lund, PROF’s executive director. “We are thrilled to be directly investing in the educational enrichment not only of Hack the Ram participants, but the student leaders organizing and running it, as well as our Pine-Richland students at all levels who will benefit from the technology in years to come.”

The Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund is a non-profit educational foundation committed to enriching and investing in the experiences of the Pine-Richland student community through staff grants, student scholarships and community partnerships. PROF’s fast grants program funds teacher and staff grant requests of $1,000 or less outside of its normal grant funding cycles. To help fund grants such as these, consider donating at


It was a grants cycle with wide-ranging student impact for the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund this fall. The non-profit education foundation, which directly benefits students in the Pine-Richland school district, funded teacher and staff grant projects totaling nearly $47,000 so far this year.

“We were surprised and delighted by the number and quality of grant submissions we received,” said Deborah Lund, PROF’s executive director. “It was clear that the teachers and staff who submitted applications are extremely passionate about their projects, and PROF’s board was pleased to feed that passion.”

PROF fully or partially funded the following projects:

  • Collaboration Room (partially funded)– A specially designed space within the Pine-Richland Middle School to include interactive technology and flexible seating to more fully stimulate real-world collaboration, problem-solving and communication.
  • Hackathon (fully funded)– Purchasing Sphero bolt programmable robots and Arduino open-source electronics platform classroom starter kits for use in the annual “hackathon” event at Pine-Richland High School attended by elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Hance Habitat (fully funded)– Revival of the Hance Habitat outdoor learning space and educational area at Hance Elementary School to include updated seating and a gazebo to provide much-needed protection from the elements.
  • Multi-Sensory Environment (partially funded) – Creating a state-of-the-art multi-sensory room for use primarily by the life skills and autism support students and those that work with them at Pine-Richland High School as an upgrade to an existing space.

The decision on which grants were fully funded versus partially funded was not a reflection of their worthiness, according to Lund. With a limited amount of grant dollars to allocate for the year, the decision was made to fully fund those grants that required the entire amount to be activated. The remaining projects can be implemented in stages, with PROF’s goal to provide additional money in future grant award cycles.

In addition to these larger projects, PROF activated its new “fast grants” program for requests under $1,000. The foundation was able to fund nine such mini-grants this year as part of the $47,000 total.

Parents, local businesses and community members are urged to help PROF’s initiative to fund innovative grant projects such as these.  Please donate here:

Thank you for making our Sip & Savor Event so successful

We are so grateful to our sponsors, vendors, and all of our attendees for helping PROF fulfill their mission. The evening was filled with fun conversation, food sampling, and many delicious cocktails. It was a huge success and we are so excited to share all the ways that this event helped make a difference in our school community. 

If you were not able to attend but still want to support our important work, please consider donating. Or sign up to get information about future events and programs




GOLD SPONSOR:                                       SILVER SPONSOR:



Bak’n, Soergels, Market District, Treesdale Country Club, Sweet B Bake Shop, Boyd & Blair, Ustianochka Vodka, Arsenal Cider House, Oil & Vinegar, The Terrace, Cala Lily, and more!

PROF and Community Partners Award $46,500 in Scholarships in 2019

In 2019, PROF, in partnership with our generous community members and sponsors, awarded 20 scholarships totaling approximately $46,500 to Pine-Richland High School seniors. The various winners were recognized in a multitude of areas, including: service and volunteering; leadership; interest in STEM, veterinary science, and fields that help others; resiliency; performing arts; musical talents and kindness; financial need, and more.

For descriptions of our scholarships and for a complete list of scholarship winners, please see our scholarship web page. 

PROF launches FAST GRANTS Program

PROF’s Outstanding Ideas Grants Program helps fund innovative projects dreamed up by Pine-Richland teachers and staff to enrich the educational experiences of their students either inside or outside of the classroom. The FAST APPLICATION serves to streamline the grant request and approval processes for applicants. If a grant request is $1,000 or less, PROF will consider a FAST application to evaluate and respond quickly. See the FAST GRANT page to learn how to apply.                       

Share Your Pine-Richland Pride Story - #PROF_FUND

ProudToBePR.jpgPROF’s mission is to enrich and invest in the educational experiences of the Pine-Richland Community. We provide financial grants to innovative staff members. We award scholarships to deserving students. We build partnerships to create great experiences for our students and community. It starts with being ProudtobePR. Share your story and join us in our mission.

Follow us and post your Pine-Richland pride photo, video or story:

Twitter & Instagram: @PROF_FUND

YouTube:  Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund 


PROF is a member of the Steering Committee for the Association of Pennsylvania Education Foundations (APEF) and an affiliate member of the National School Foundation Association (NSFA). 


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