CCAC Student Mark Steidl Receives ACHIEVA’s Cecil and David Rosenthal Community Award
PITTSBURGH—Community College of Allegheny County student Mark Steidl has been named a 2019 ACHIEVA Awards of Excellence honoree. Steidl, of Highland Park, received the 2nd annual Cecil and David Rosenthal Community Award on December 9 during a ceremony held at the Sheraton Station Square. Named in memory of Cecil and David Rosenthal who lived their lives as an integral part of the community, the award, along with a $1,000 gift, is given to a person with an intellectual or developmental disability who, like the brothers, has embraced being a part of their community.
“I am humbled to receive the Cecil and David Rosenthal Award for Community Awareness,” Steidl remarked upon receiving the award. “While I never got the opportunity to meet Cecil and David, I know that they had a love for their community and their community loved them back. Whether they were worshipping at Tree of Life, having fun with their friends at Best Buddies, or participating in many other activities, Cecil and David were always making their community stronger and closer. I consider them my brothers, and they will always be in my heart.”
Steidl’s bio in the awards program notes that he is a respected leader in the disability community and that “his strength of spirit is evidenced in his many accomplishments.” Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, Steidl uses a variety of technology to manage his condition. He is currently on the dean’s list at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus and will graduate in May with an Associate of Science in Social Work Foundation. On campus, after serving as a senator for three years, he is now vice president of Student Government, and he advocates for accessibility and inclusion as a member of the college’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance. In addition, he serves on the youth caucus of the National Council on Independent Living, advocates in the United Way’s 21 and Able and #IWantToWork campaigns and is a proud member of the LGBT community. His current advocacy efforts involve educating legislators about the need to increase wages for direct support professionals.
Steidl works part time in tech support at Tobii Dynavox, a world leader in electronic communication devices. He also serves as a guest host of the “Look Who’s Here!” broadcast by AllAbilities Media, a project of Unabridged Press, for which he received a Golden Quill Award for Communications. Following graduation, he plans to continue working part time while exploring the next steps for continuing his education. He will also keep working to ensure that people with disabilities have access to housing, transportation and voting machines.
Photo (courtesy of ACHIEVA): Gathered around Mark Steidl to congratulate him on his award, are (clockwise from top left): Mary Richter, board chair of ACHIEVA; Steve Suroviec, president and CEO of ACHIEVA; and Michele Rosenthal, sister of the late Cecil and David Rosenthal.