Participant Story: Damilola Onakomaiya

 

“PULSE has helped me reexamine my notion of nonprofit work and the different ways it intersects with community life and its role transforming a city and creating cross cultural connections.” – Damilola Onakomaiya

 

Damilola Onakomaiya grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria, and attended the College of Wooster where she earned a degree in Philosophy. She served as a trip leader in 2016 for a service trip in West Virginia and also earned an award for Distinguished Achievement in Biology in 2014 at Green Mountain College. In her free time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and meditation. She is serving at East Liberty Development, Inc.

Lucas Driediger: What has been the most valuable part of the PULSE experience so far?

Damilola Onakomaiya: I really like my nonprofit partnership. It is a good mix of office work and field exploration. I get to visit abandon properties and be part of the process that brainstorms best uses for the properties to create stable mixed-income neighborhoods.

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

Damilola: PULSE has helped me reexamine my notion of nonprofit work and the different ways it intersects with community life and its role transforming a city and creating cross cultural connections.

Lucas: What are you learning about yourself through PULSE?

Damilola: I’m learning that I really enjoy learning about city planning, the court system, and real estate. These are areas I didn’t know too much about before PULSE.

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

Damilola: This. Laughing with strangers.

Lucas: Whathas suprised you most about Pittsburgh?

Damilola: I really didn’t know Pittsburgh before I got here. It’s a really special city, I think. I remember towards the end of our orientation week we took a boat ride around the three rivers and learned about the history of the city. Pittsburgh is a wonderful mix of old and new in a way I haven’t quite experienced in the U.S. It has this postindustrial creativity that I’ve become slightly fascinated with, like the way you feel when you walk around Carrie Furnace. It’s a really cool scene here.

Story by PULSE Participant Lucas Driediger.

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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