Lynn Knezevich

As a Pittsburgh police beat officer starting in the 1970s, Gwen Elliott witnessed many horrors poverty, violence, drug abuse, sexual assault. Women and girls doing whatever they needed to do to survive. Their circumstances weighed heavily on Gwen's heart and mind. She realized there was a need for an organization that focused on bringing together community resources for women and girls. That goal was realized in 2002 when the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families funded the creation of the nonprofit Gwen's Girls. Lynn Knezevich will discuss the practices of Gwen's Girls and how they offer holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences for Allegheny County's at-risk children and young adults: as well as a safe space where girls and young women can form relationships, build self-esteem and gain resiliency.


  1. Identify the elements of gender responsive programming.
  2. Distinguish the differences of working with girls versus boys.
  3. Discuss the importance of staff selection and supervision.
  4. Formulate community partnering techniques.
Target Audience: Counselors, educators. Intermediate level. CE credits offered = 1.5 contact hours