new year wishes for lovers

Participant Story: Seth Culp-Ressler

“[PULSE has] made me do most things in a more intentional way than I have in the past. A lot of the elements of the program encourage the participants to think carefully about what they do and how they do it.” – Seth Culp-Ressler

Seth Culp-Ressler, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, completed his undergraduate degree at Duquesne University with a degree in Multiplatform Journalism and a minor in Philosophy. During his time in college, he was very active in Duquesne’s student-run newspaper, The Duke, serving in multiple roles. He was also Editor in Chief of Duquesne’s Off the Bluff magazine, and was a part of the St. Ambrose Choir. He hopes to further his storytelling skills, and get a more well-rounded perspective of Pittsburgh. Seth is a car aficionado, plays guitar, and enjoys photography.  He is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Kaylee Ferguson: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Seth Culp-Ressler: It’s a really nice opportunity for acting as a transition between college and the working world. Even though we’re only two months in, I’m seeing the benefits of the experience as a transitional period.

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

Seth: It’s made me do most things in a more intentional way than I have in the past. A lot of the elements of the program encourage the participants to think carefully about what they do and how they do it.

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

Seth: It allows me to do all of the things that I wanted to be doing. All of the skills that I wanted to be using at my nonprofit partnership is exactly 100% of what I do, and I love that.

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

Seth: It has forced me to be much more social than I am usually inclined to be.

Kaylee: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Seth: Everyday is different. There are tasks that I kind of regularly do, but it’s different all the time. I’m all about it, though.

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

Seth: Through Lily Rybarczyk, the former PULSEr that works at the Cultural Trust, I got connected with another former PULSEr that needed someone to take pictures of the Northside Flats. It was a great excuse to spend an afternoon exploring the neighborhood. I also got a lot of content to fill my Instagram for the next two months in one afternoon, and that’s always a good thing.

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

Seth: All of our meals involve rice, beans, vegetables, and cheese. So, any combination of these things.

Story by PULSE Participant Kaylee Ferguson.

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:

TWO NEW PULSE ASSOCIATES JOIN PULSE THIS SPRING!

Robert Bryant and Cassandra Scanlon join PULSE!

Robert is the Recruiting and Partnership Associate while Cassie is serving at the Marketing and Communications Associate.  We are delighted to have both of them provide much needed support over the spring.  Both have tremendous gifts and talents and we are excited to see the ways that they will continue to enhance the PULSE program.

Check out their bios below and give them a warm PULSE welcome.

 

Robert Bryant makes every attempt to couple his passion for knowledge about the world with a commitment to service in his local community. He currently lives in East Liberty and is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). At GSPIA, Robert focuses on human security and Russian studies, and also takes part in the Johnson Institute’s Leadership Portfolio Program, through which he serves on the board of directors at The Global Switchboard. Originally from the Charlottesville region of Virginia, Robert received a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and French from James Madison University. After his undergraduate studies, Robert taught English for a year in Nantes, France. He then worked as a business analyst in Frederick, Maryland, where he supported procurement professionals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and volunteered as an ESL instructor for local immigrants. Robert is eager to serve in the Pittsburgh community by supporting PULSE’s mission to foster youth leadership and community engagement.

 

 

 

Cassandra Scanlon first realized her passion for service in high school participating in her school’s Interact Club. She is currently a sophomore studying International Relations and Professional Writing at Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, she has further her passion for service by participating in Carnegie Mellon’s Fostering Opportunites for Refugee and Empowerment Club and serving as a philanthropy chair for her sorority.  She is also involved in Moot Court, a staff writer for The Tartan, and a member of genUN United Nations Association. As a native Pittsburgher, she has worked with several Pittsburgh non-profits and loves seeing how PULSE  helps better her community.

 

 

Participant Story: Kaleigh Herron

The most valuable part of the PULSE experience is the program’s commitment to the city. They take the time to connect us with our neighbors and introduce us to different parts of the city within an historical context.” – Kaleigh Herron

Kaleigh Herron grew up in Croton-on-Hudson, New York and attended Juniata College where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Economics and a minor in Spanish. At Juniata, she devoted much of her time to campus service working as a Peer Tutor for calculus and Wildlife Management students.  She worked as an Intern with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection where she conducted a ten-year resampling project to track changes in wetland plants in the West of Hudson watershed.   She also volunteered extensively with Juniata’s Student Alumni Association.  In her free time, Kaleigh enjoys music and dance.  She is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh.

Noble Smith: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Kaleigh Herron: The most valuable part of the PULSE experience is the program’s commitment to the city. They take the time to connect us with our neighbors and introduce us to different parts of the city within an historical context.

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

Kaleigh: I am learning how to be a leader and how to see myself as a leader. My view of leadership is changing and I am learning more about different leadership styles.

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

Kaleigh: I have enjoyed seeing the willingness of people to work together, especially when we are constantly exposed to sources that say otherwise.

Noble: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Kaleigh: The main duties that I have are at the office, restore, and on the construction builds. As a Volunteer Coordinator, I schedule group builds and enter reports on who is volunteering. At restore, I mentor a high school student, as well as lead the new volunteer orientation. On construction builds, I meet volunteer groups, take pictures of the site, and participate in construction.

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

Kaleigh: The most fun adventure I’ve had in Pittsburgh so far was going to PNC Park for the first time. My partnership gave me tickets to a Pirates game and multiple PULSErs came. I momentarily lost the tickets, but everything worked out. We had a great time and the Pirates won!

Story by PULSE Participant Noble Smith.

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: Bethany Arneson

I headed off to PULSE with the intention of learning skills that would help me in my intended career path. However, through my experience here I have been reminded a number of times that service is not for me or what I think I want to contribute to the community, but rather what the needs of the community are.” – Bethany Arneson

Bethany Arneson is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University in Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts. While attending APU, she had a chance to be involved with multiple devised pieces and contemporary commentary shows including a devised documentary & movement based piece that she and a team of peers took to the International Edinburgh Festival Fringe (the largest arts festival in the world) in Edinburgh, Scotland, a trip she also helped plan. She also had the chance to work as an administrative assistant in the department’s production office, as well produce other projects including a new play reading in LA, and the department-wide 24 Hour Play Festival (2 years in a row). Through her classes & community service opportunities, she has discovered a passion for social justice & community-based theater work. In her free time, she loves spending time with friends, seeing plays, thrift shopping, researching, critically analyzing pop culture, and offering unsolicited life advice. She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving with Urban Innovation 21: KIVA Pittsburgh.

Ryan Johnson-Evers: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Bethany Arneson: I headed off to PULSE with the intention of learning skills that would help me in my intended career path. However, through my experience here I have been reminded a number of times that service is not for me or what I think I want to contribute to the community, but rather what the needs of the community are. While I haven’t necessarily received a lot of the skills in the way I expected, I have also realized that is probably not what I needed or what God intended. In hindsight, I realize that the patience and other skills that I have unintentionally learned are the skills that I needed and will be important for me in the future.

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

Bethany: This year I am living with different types of people who I have never lived with before. I have unintentionally hurt them through well-intended statements. I am realizing that your intention does not necessarily equal the impact of your words, which has been frustrating because I knew I never meant to hurt someone but it did, because there were things I didn’t know about or ask about based on their particular background or culture.

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

Bethany: I love that our houses are so close together, so that we have the opportunity to go over to other PULSE houses whenever we want. It is great because even though we are starting into the adult world, PULSE is like a segway where there is a built in community where other people are experiencing the same things as you before we go out into the “real world.”

Ryan: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Bethany: I was surprised by how difficult driving and directions are here. I had never heard of a “Pittsburgh left.” I had no idea that Pittsburgh had a reputation for steel or bridges, I guess nobody had ever told me about what Pittsburgh is famous for. By far the weirdest thing is french fries on top of salad.

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

Bethany: Me and two other PULSErs took the bus on a Sunday morning to a free day at the aviary and encountered a very humongous line with many children! Luckily once they opened the aviary the line went quickly. We saw a lot of different birds but I was disappointed that I didn’t see baby flamingos. Then we wandered around the North Side and got coffee and I ended up staying in the North Side flats and seeing a show spur of the moment with Maura.

Story by PULSE Participant Ryan Johnson-Evers.

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:

PULSE Fellow Video Story – Shayna Gleason

Meet Shayna.  New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington D.C, Spain, Minnesota. Shayna seeks opportunities to serve and engage new communities.  Next?  Shayna chose a year of service with PULSE.

Living in the East End of Pittsburgh, Shayna understands that community is a supportive network of neighbors, housemates and friends.  Through serving in her nonprofit partnership, Shayna is investing in Pittsburgh’s future generations and thriving communities. Shayna has found a new home: Pittsburgh.

 

Participant Story: Maura Bell

“I’m learning that my identity is not wrapped in my job and that I can look at life more holistically.” – Maura Bell

 

Maura Bell, a native of Pittsburgh, completed her undergraduate degree with honors at Indiana University with a degree in Ballet and a minor in French. During her time in school, she was involved with the Jacobs School of Music as a Ballet instructor. She was also a member of the Hoosier Catholic Student Organization, Hutton Honors College Association, and Honors Residential Council at Indiana University.  In the time since graduating, Maura has been dancing professionally with the Saint Louis Ballet Company in Saint Louis, Missouri.  In her free time, Maura enjoys cooking and sharing meals with friends, practicing yoga, and learning to sew. She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at the New Hazlett Theater.

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

Maura Bell: I’ve loved creating a home with my housemates.

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

Maura: I’m learning that my identity is not wrapped in my job and that I can look at life more holistically.

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

Maura: I enjoy knowing that the work I do daily serves a mission of cultivating the arts. Because I trained and performed as a professional dancer, the arts hold a special place in my heart. I am grateful to continue my work in the arts, now in a behind the scenes capacity.

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

Maura: Living in community has provided me the opportunity to learn different perspectives. I am constantly challenged to look at life from new angles.

Maryem: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Maura: The theater is a very dynamic place, so each day looks different. My main focus is managing the organization’s database, tracking performance attendance and demographics, and sending donor acknowledgement letters. I am also helping with volunteer enrichment and running the box office. 

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

Maura: During orientation week, a group of us went to Squirrel Hill to spend time at Dobra Tea House. We loved reading the descriptions of the exotic teas and carving time out of a hectic week to enjoy conversation.

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

Maura: Chester Chip Cookies.

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

Maura: Being inspired by my fellow PULSErs!

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:

PULSE Fellow Video Story – Ashish Bibireddy

Meet Ashish. Upon graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Ashish wanted to explore an intersection between his passions in wellness and community.  Ashish was seeking an opportunity to positively impact others while also experience growth as an individual.  Ashish chose a year of service with PULSE. 

Ashish is learning how communities thrive when empowered to reach their full potential together.  Through his nonprofit partner, Ashish implements wellness programs with local leaders empowering communities across Pittsburgh. At home, on the Northside of Pittsburgh, Ashish finds strength in the mutual respect he shares with his neighbors and fellow PULSE participants for the overall growth of the community.

Ashish has chosen to serve, live, and grow in community with others to bring about a positive collective impact in Pittsburgh.  PULSE understands this passion to serve today will make a lasting change in Pittsburgh communities and beyond for the future.

Participant Story: Alexa Bartel

I like living in an urban environment and I never thought I would. I enjoy the independence and freedom. It has allowed me to explore different parts of my personality through the experience.” – Alexa Bartel

Alexa Bartel grew up in Allentown, PA, and attended the University of Vermont where she earned a degree in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Pure Mathematics. Through UVM, she spent a semester studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. While in college, she worked as an Engineering Camp Counselor, teaching coding basics and robotics.  Alexa also devoted her time to volunteering with Village2Village, working with local engineers in Uganda to construct a filtered spring water well.  Since graduating in 2016, she has worked as a Design Engineer with The Pidcock Company. In her free time, Alexa enjoys crafting, being in nature, and exploring new places.  She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at the Green Building Alliance.

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

Alexa Bartel: I like living in an urban environment and I never thought I would. I enjoy the independence and freedom. It has allowed me to explore different parts of my personality through the experience.

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

Alexa: That I get to network with so many people in my field — engineering. It gives me the opportunity to be exposed to women engineers that I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to meet before.

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

Alexa: There’s a built in family and friendships in community. It feels safe and comfortable. Living in the Northside, we live so close together. It’s super valuable because we have each other so close.

Ally: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Alexa: How friendly people are. I’ve had so many surprising and interesting conversations with random people. There’s a norm in Pittsburgh where you can go up to someone and have a conversation. I’ve never lived in a place like that.

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

Alexa: All of the opportunities to try new things and get involved with different service opportunities or the different speakers we hear from through PULSE. And, of course, all the people.

Story by PULSE Participant Ally Carter.

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: Siddhartha Dash

I enjoy getting to engage with a group of people who generally care about improving their communities.” – Siddhartha Dash 

 

 

A graduate of University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, Siddhartha Dash majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry while earning a certificate in Nonprofit Management. He was heavily involved in the Pitt community through his work with the Blue & Gold Society, Delta Chi Fraternity, and Project Paw Print.  On top of his school involvement, Siddhartha also founded International Genetic Engineered Machine.  In doing so, he conducted bacterial research, raised more than $37,000, presented his research on P. Acnes at Boston University and was awarded a Silver Medal for his work on E. Coli research.  Siddhartha likes playing soccer with friends. He is a part of the East End cohort, and is serving at Partner4Work.

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

Sid Dash: I had never been in a professional setting and workplace before doing PULSE. I have done internships, but nothing as consistent or structured as my current partnership. I wasn’t sure how I would deal with being in that type of environment, but so far it has been great! I’ve learned much about interacting with people in a professional setting, how to act, and how to build relationships. It’s taught me that it’s a setting that I don’t mind being in.

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

Sid: I enjoy getting to engage with a group of people who generally care about improving their communities. It is often difficult to see the impact that you have on the people around you. However, at Partner4Work, we’re helping the city develop new programs and work with communities like Hazelwood and Homewood on a daily basis. It is really rewarding to serve with people who genuinely care.

Koehler: What do you enjoy most about living in community?

Sid: At Stanton, at least, I enjoy knowing that there’s always someone to talk to. It doesn’t need to be about a problem, but just having someone always there. It’s nice to not have an empty house. I’m someone who likes being around people, so it’s really nice to have such a large house like Stanton. We are all there to look out for each other. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, but we all share the chores and cook together and hang out. Living in community has really helped me build relationships with seven other people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Koehler: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Sid: I’ve been in Pittsburgh for four years, but, for example, I’ve never been to the North Side or Highland Park. I’ve, also, never really experienced downtown on a daily basis like I am now. Seeing these different neighborhoods has really been an eye-opening experience as opposed to just Oakland and Shadyside, where you can sometimes feel like you’re stuck in a bubble. It is surprising to see the stark differences between neighborhoods, such as the North Side and Hazelwood.

Koehler: What is your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?

Sid: My favorite “family meal” is the butternut squash soup that Heather makes. I never expected to like squash soup, but I’m definitely going to have to try to make it myself at some point!

Story by PULSE Participant Koehler Powell.

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:

Join us at the Recruiting Open House January 30th

Interested in becoming a PULSE fellow?

Join us for a PULSE Open House to chat with current PULSE fellows about how you can serve, live, and grow with PULSE during a year of service and leadership!  This FREE event is a casual opportunity to learn more about PULSE, meet current PULSE fellows, check out one of the PULSE houses, and enjoy great food and drink.

RSVP Today!

East End – RSVP

Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: PULSE Stanton House, 5615 Stanton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience - Cultivating a community of young servant leaders to transform Pittsburgh
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