Latrobe and the Young Engineers

Colin Bonar, Writer

An engineer is thought to think most of the future. Future successes, future designs, future obstacles, and how they are going to achieve everything they want to achieve. When it is time for them to step up to the table, they are already prepared and willing to go for the top.


The 18 students of the Young Engineers of Greater Latrobe are brilliant, yet don’t believe themselves to be above the task of moving couches around, or pulling staples out of a board, or even sorting through a ton of laundry. They think of the future, and the brightest future begins with brightening the present. That’s why their work at the Union Mission was just as important to them as it was the tenants. The Young Engineers program will surely go on to brighten the world as it did that day in the small world of Union Mission.


This atypical is a class taught by Mrs. Pompelia and Mr. Glamp in cooperation with Kennametal and provides students with the task of bettering the school for future students. Each year, groups of students imagine, design, and build ingenious inventions that are presented to a board of Kennametal and GLSD representatives. The hope is to have their prototypes one day be a part of the real world. The inventions this year include a foldable desk and chair, a large wheelable backpack, a unique iPhone 6 case, and an elevated laptop stand for school desk use.


“The class itself is fun” said senior Austin Baisden. “The cooperation needed in the groups really keeps us focused on what needs done and how we could go about doing it.”


With Kennametal carrying on the tradition of giving back to the community, the Young Engineers program visited the Union Mission of Latrobe to give a little bit back to the community. This is the first year the engineers have volunteered at the shelter. This shelter is the only one in the county for men, so they take residents from all over Westmoreland county and areas beyond.


Unlike what most people think of a shelter, the Union Mission is quite unlike any other in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Instead of simply giving those down on their luck a room for a night, they are entered into an entire program to help them get their lives back on track in a community minded experience. The shelter offers more typical recovery options, but also delves into the more eccentric practices such as Rhythm Therapy and weekly progress report cards. While those living there have a lot of time to recuperate, their interaction with the community as a whole is low.


To help this, the Kennametal sponsored class of 18 students gave them their time and their voices. The Young Engineers were the ones to volunteer not because they were the only ones that could, but because they are the ones that desire the change and improvement of our world.