new year wishes for lovers

Participant Story: Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus

I’ve been surprised by the small community atmosphere that I’ve found throughout the city. I’m constantly finding out about connections between my neighbors, coworkers, and mentors.” – Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus

Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus, raised in Mount Rainier, MD, completed her undergraduate studies at Goshen College with a degree in Environmental Science/Sustainability and a minor in Music.  At Goshen, Cecilia was involved in environmental advocacy through her service on the Ecological Stewardship Committee and as a leader of the EcoPAX Environmental Justice Club and the GCDivest campaign where she co-wrote a literature review entitled “Socially Responsible Investing and Mennonite Education Agency”. Near her DC-area home, she has spent recent summers as a swim coach and wetland restoration intern along the Anacostia and Patuxent rivers. In her free time, Cecilia enjoys playing rugby, swimming, and singing in choirs.  She is a part of the Northside cohort, and is serving at The Door Campaign.

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

Cecilia Lapp Stoltzfus: PULSE has inspired me to wrestle with what it means to be a good neighbor. Between connections with families on the block, our local pre-teen “biker gang,” and other PULSE houses, I’ve found very strong community in Perry South.

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

Cecilia: Through The Door Campaign I have daily opportunities to connect with young, vibrant leaders in Pittsburgh. My supervisor is an inspirational example of a community-grounded visionary and I learn a lot from him about making the city’s wealth of resources available in underserved communities.  

Ben: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.

Cecilia: Every morning I ride my bike to my office: a coworking space in downtown Pittsburgh. Although it’s just my supervisor and me in the office, we spend a lot of time in meetings with our board, consultants, and other nonprofit partners. Several times a week I also go visit local schools to coordinate our Aquaponics Sustainability Program.

Ben: What surprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Cecilia: I’ve been surprised by the small community atmosphere that I’ve found throughout the city. I’m constantly finding out about connections between my neighbors, coworkers, and mentors.

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

Cecilia: Relying on biking as my primary form of transportation has led me to discover many interesting areas in the city. I’ve explored riverfront trails, gone on an urban farm tour by bike, and have become all too familiar with the city’s many hills!

Story by PULSE Participant Ben Emswiler.

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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