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Mara Kelosky
Research and Operations Manager

I often say, be thankful because things could be worse. By working at Allies for Children, my research serves as a voice for youth who are experiencing the worse. When these children grow up and tell stories that start with ‘When I was a kid,’ I want to have helped write their happy endings.

A Beaver County native, Mara Kelosky always knew she wanted to become a researcher or project manager. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Slippery Rock University, her Master’s of Public Administration in Policy Research and Analysis from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and an Accounting Specialist Certificate from the Community College of Beaver County. While pursuing her education, she studied United Nation’s millennium development goals in Costa Rica.

At Allies for Children, Mara continues her research analysis work and wears multiple hats, also serving as office and project manager. Mara conducts and translates research aimed at improving the lives of children, one practice change at a time.

Crossing Guards Study Conference

Recently, Mara played a pivotal part in the creation of the Crossing Guards Study and School Breakfast Report, managing both collaborative projects. She oversaw a team conducting an analysis of City of Pittsburgh crossing guards and their positive roles for child safety and mentoring. The study’s recommendations led to significant system changes in city government, including  improved connections between crossing guards and the Department of Public Safety and increased professional development opportunities. In addition, the study forged a partnership between the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools to depict potentially hazardous routes and determine better deployment strategies for crossing guards.

Additionally, Mara served as a research analyst in the creation of Breakfast Basics: A Comprehensive Look at School Breakfast Participation in Allegheny County. She observed school breakfast models, compiled case studies and, using state data, illustrated student consumption in the county. Guided by this data, Mara educates school districts on the importance of school breakfast, how to increase the number of students eating at school and how to implement alternative breakfast models.

Before taking a position at Allies for Children, Mara interned in the Pennsylvania Department of Planning and Policy under Governor Ed Rendell’s Administration. She later served as a research intern for Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto during his time as a City Councilman and a data analyst intern at Child Watch of Pittsburgh, Allies for Children’s predecessor organization.

Mara currently resides in Beaver Falls with her husband Andrew, son Everett and two Golden-doodles. While not at work, Mara enjoys spending time with family and volunteering in her community.