Participant Story: Katie Phillips

I am learning that there is value in sharing my perspectives with others and that by sharing who I am, my community can help me be a better person.” – Katie Phillips

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Katie Phillips received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Creative Writing concentration and an Anthropology minor.  While at Bryn Mawr, she worked in the library, worked for a congressional campaign, and volunteered with the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia chapter.  Additionally, Katharine studied abroad in Ireland and China during her undergraduate studies. She is interested in politics and social justice and enjoys horseback riding and traveling.  She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at PUMP.

Maryem Aslam: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Katie Phillips: Being challenged to work harder and to be engaged with the things that matter the most to my community.

Maryem: Tell me something you are learning about yourself through PULSE.

Katie: I am learning that there is value in sharing my perspectives with others and that by sharing who I am, my community can help me be a better person.

Maryem: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Katie: I love that my nonprofit partnership is creating connections across issues and organizations to empower young people to bring equity to our region and beyond.

Maryem: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

Katie: The friendships. I love that living in community challenges us all to be more supportive and kind to each other.

Maryem: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Katie: How passionate people are about their city and how invested they are in making it a better place.

Maryem: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Katie: Chester Chip Cookies, Ally’s special recipe!

Story by PULSE Participant Maryem Aslam.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation:

Participant Story: David Hogan

PULSE has inspired me to view what I’m doing on a daily basis being less about self-betterment and more about serving our house, PULSE, and the neighborhood community. ” – David Hogan 

 

David Hogan grew up Bethesda, Maryland, and attended Middlebury College where he earned a degree in History, with minors in Political Science and French.  David has devoted much of his time to school and recreational athletics.  He was a member of the Middlebury College NESCAC Varsity Swim and Dive team as well as head coach of Little Falls Swim Team in Bethesda, Maryland.  David has served as trip leader for MiddView Outdoor Orientation and Habitat for Humanity in addition to working as a research assistant for the U.S. Army Center of Military History. In his free time, In his free time, David enjoys watching and playing sports, hiking, and reading. He is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving with the Bloomfield Development Corporation.

Emily Vogt: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

David Hogan: I think having an immediate network of friends through PULSE has been the most valuable part. It has been easier to establish relationships with other community-minded people and to adapt socially to a new city where there so few people from my college.

Emily: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?  

David: PULSE has inspired me to view what I’m doing on a daily basis being less about self-betterment and more about serving our house, PULSE, and the neighborhood community. This change from an academically structured lifestyle to a service-focused lifestyle can be difficult at times, but I think it will be worth the effort.

Emily: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

David: I enjoy the company of my co-workers and my supervisor. Even though we often work on independent projects, we feed off each others’ energy to produce more than we would alone. It’s also fun to get together for a staff lunch every now and then to talk about things other than our day-to-day work.

Emily: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

David: Eating dinner with my housemates at the end of a long day can be really nice. There have been times when I have come home tired and fatigued and my spirits have been lifted by the ringing laughter at the dinner table.

Emily: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

David: The old, rich architecture. Pittsburgh is full of cool, old buildings from 19th century mansions like Stanton House, to old empty warehouses, to picturesque brick townhouses and businesses.

Story by PULSE Participant Emily Vogt.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation:

Participant Story: KeAndra Hollis

“Having a community, as well as program coordinators, who are invested in me, my goals, and my development has been one of the most valuable parts of PULSE.” – KeAndra Hollis

 

A graduate of Spelman College, KeAndra Hollis majored in Economics concentrating in Government and Business. KeAndra has extensive experience and has been heavily involved in community service, serving as a Policy Intern to Councilwoman Mary Sheffield of Detroit, working with the Congressional Black Congress through her service as Congressional Intern to Dean of Congress, Congressman John Conyers Jr., and her years of work with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. KeAndra also served as a mentor with Gifted Girls of Grace where she mentored middle and high school girls through academics and self-esteem.   KeAndra’s hobbies include writing, reading, watching films and documentaries, running and dancing, and exploring new places.  She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at Homewood Children’s Village.

Tom McIntyre: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

KeAndra Hollis: Having a community, as well as program coordinators, who are invested in me, my goals, and my overall development has been one of the most valuable parts of PULSE thus far. This experience has allotted time for me to not only become aware of weaknesses that I can improve, but also to realize the strengths I possess. My potential growth is further advanced through time allotted in seminars, meetings and fellow PULSErs holding me accountable. They offer me help along the way and there is always someone available to talk to.

Tom: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

KeAndra: I like that everyone has a desire to learn from one another. Everyone’s leadership styles are valued and no one is looked down on. One of our directors suggested for each staff member to evaluate other expertise we may find in one another and meet with that staff member to strengthen that skill for ourselves. Imagine one of your directors or managers coming to you to improve in a skill that you are confident in, in addition to you learning from them. To be part of such culture allows me to grow, feel included and make an impact on others.

Tom: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

KeAndra: Even after talking with many peers about their experiences visiting Pittsburgh, for some reason, I thought it would be less of a city and be more of a small rural town. I am more of a big city girl so I was a bit elated to see it as more of a city. There is so much to do! The small neighborhoods have something unique in each of them which makes the city altogether more exciting. I love how it’s a small city, but it feels much larger!

Tom: What’s the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?

KeAndra: Going to the Pirates-Cardinals game with a bunch of PULSErs. From our seats in the stadium, we could see all the bridges, the river, and the skyline at night. By the last inning, we had snuck down to the front row. We thought we were going to get kicked out when we saw an employee rush over to us, however he was just informing us to dry our seats before we sat down. It was an awesome time!

Tom: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

KeAndra: We cook something different everyday. My roommates are super ambitious. We try cooking foods from all over the world. Tuesdays and Thursdays are always vegetarian. I’ve realized there are so many vegetarian meals out there! I had always thought that a meal needed meat to be complete. My favorite meal is vegetarian gyros which includes chickpeas, pita, avocado, onions, and tzatziki sauce. I never imagined a gyro without meat, but the chickpeas were a great healthy substitute. Also, the homemade tzatziki sauce was just so delicious!

Story by PULSE Participant Tom McIntyre.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation:

Participant Story: Amanda Alexandre

Not only is everyone passionate about what we do, but we also value joy, having fun, and doing the smallest things to make someone’s day better.” – Amanda Alexandre

 

Amanda Alexandre, a native of Long Beach, NY, completed her undergraduate degree at Susquehanna University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. During her time in school, she was a Global Ambassador Intern, supporting international students’ transition to a new culture and providing academic advice. She also raised donations to help build houses in Snyder County with Habitat for Humanity.  In her free time, Amanda practices yoga and meditation. She also enjoys running, reading, crocheting, and traveling. She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at the Crossroads Foundation.

Hannah Green: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?  

Amanda Alexandre: PULSE has inspired me to be more intentional. There are many PULSErs with food allergies and I’ve become more mindful when cooking. Getting to know everyone’s different and unique personalities has also inspired me to be more intentional in being supportive of others’ needs.

Hannah: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Amanda: I enjoy the relationship that I have with my coworkers. Not only is everyone passionate about what we do, but we also value joy, having fun, and doing the smallest things to make someone’s day better. Everyone is so friendly and supportive.

Hannah: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

Amanda: I have enjoyed eating meals with my housemates and watching Jane the Virgin with them.

Hannah: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Amanda: During a typical week, I travel to three different high schools and meet one-on-one with students in the senior class. We discuss the college application process and other ways that the students can prepare for college. I plan different college prep workshops and various events, such as college tours for the high school seniors.

Hannah: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?

Amanda: When it was my day to takeover Instagram, I featured my supervisor and program director. Not only were they excited to be on the PULSE Instagram story, but they killed the act!

Story by PULSE Participant Hannah Green.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation:

Participant Story: Hannah Green

I have loved getting to know the other PULSErs and being able to experience post-grad life alongside them has made the transition from college to the ‘real world’ much easier.” – Hannah Green

 

 

Hannah Green grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended Allegheny College where she earned a degree in Communication Arts, with a minor in German Studies, while maintaining her Dean’s List status.   Hannah has worked with the Gifted and Talented Program in Meadville, PA.  She also tutored elementary school children with Meadville’s America Reads Program.  Hannah served as the Public Relations Chair for Allegheny College’s chapter of UNICEF.  In her free time, Hannah loves experiencing the latest music, television and films.  She also enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.  She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

Amanda Alexandre: What do you enjoy most about your nonprofit partnership?

Hannah Green: I have enjoyed getting to know the Oakland neighborhoods and the people who live there. I grew up in Pittsburgh, but I never got the chance to engage with Oakland in the way that I am able to through my service with OPDC. Oakland is unique because it is home to both students and long-time residents. It’s been really interesting to see the challenges that come along with working with so many different kinds of people who have such different relationships with the neighborhood.

Amanda: What have you enjoyed most about living in community?

Hannah: I have really enjoyed learning about other people’s experiences and building relationships with my housemates. I live in Stanton, which is great, because there is almost always someone home to talk to or hang out with. It’s been fun developing a family dynamic with the people I live with.

Amanda: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?

Hannah: A group of PULSErs and I attended a gallery crawl downtown, then went to a music event in the South Hilltop. We didn’t have to spend any money and we were able to see some great art and music.

Amanda: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Hannah: I love Heather’s butternut squash soup!

Amanda: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

Hannah: I think the best part has been getting the opportunity to be apart of the PULSE community. I have loved getting to know the other PULSErs and being able to experience post-grad life alongside them has made the transition from college to the “real world” much easier.

Story by PULSE Participant Amanda Alexandre.

Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

Also, check out other Stories of Transformation:

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