A 21st Century Journalism Project

Author Archive

Making Ends Meet

In People on May 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm

By: Josh Petruska

For Sheila Roberts, a working single mother, life has not always been easy.  Roberts knows firsthand the hardships it takes to raise a child while working a 40-hour a week job.  Roberts is one of millions of single mothers who has had to deal with or is dealing with the adversities of working to provide for herself and her daughter on very little income.

According to National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (NACCRRA), there are over a quarter million single mothers in Pennsylvania.  According to The United States Department of Agriculture there are  close to 14 million in the entire United States.  Approximately 84 percent of single parents are woman, which accounts for nearly 10 million single mothers.  Working a full-time job while raising a child is stressful especially when there is no one to lean on for support.  Often time’s single parents, mothers especially are left with low-paying, high stress jobs. Read the rest of this entry »


Finding a Balance

In Organizations on April 3, 2012 at 1:53 pm

By: Josh Petruska

Organizations across the nation have instituted programs and projects aimed at providing fresh and sustainable alternatives to fast food and convenience stores.  According to a study conducted in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nearly 6 percent of U.S. households did not have the food they wanted or needed.  Food deserts, a name given to those areas where residents have no access to fresh food are increasingly common.  Two reasons for this are a lack of supermarkets in urban areas and limited or no access to these places.  Instead residents of low-income communities are left with inadequate and unhealthy alternatives.  Read the rest of this entry »

Health Care Woes

In Defining The Problem on March 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

By: Josh Petruska

Unforeseen medical expenses can have long-term consequences.  Zach Petruska, a 2008 college grad, took a job in Stowe, VT as a seasonal worker when he couldn’t find work in Pittsburgh.  In December of 2009 Petruska landed on his wrist while attempting to land a trick on his snowboard.  After a few days of excruciating pain he saw a doctor who told him he needed surgery for a broken bone in his wrist.  He could not afford the high cost of surgery on top of his recurring living expenses.  He was barely getting by as it was. Read the rest of this entry »