Participant Story: Emily Kraybill

kraybill_btn“I love the community living aspect of PULSE. There’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work to a house full of fun, goofy, caring people that are going through what you are going through. I love having this transition year after college.” – Emily Kraybill

Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Emily Kraybill graduated from Goshen College with a major in Social Work and minor in Women’s Studies. Emily’s dream Saturday in the ‘Burgh includes many things, but it has to have the perfect mixture of fun, adventure and quiet.  When Emily isn’t laughing in the kitchen with her housemates, playing games with friends, or taking a stroll in Highland Park, you will find her at her placement with Oakland Planning and Development Corporation. She serves with Joblinks, a career center in the Oakland neighborhood that focuses on connecting people to employment resources.  Emily is a program assistant, assisting job seekers with filling out online job applications, writing resumes, creating cover letters and (one of her favorite things) running mock interviews with clients.  Emily has been excited to spend her “transition year” in Pittsburgh.

What do you love about Pittsburgh?

There’s a sense of pride here in Pittsburgh. People are proud to call this city their home and are eager to share the best parts of it with others. And of course, you can’t mention pride without mentioning Pittsburgh neighborhoods. I love the friendly competition between neighborhoods: each one has a special characteristic that they’re certain to tell you about.

What is the best part of the PULSE experience?

I love the community living aspect of PULSE. There’s nothing better than coming home from a long day at work to a house full of fun, goofy, caring people that are going through what you are going through. I love having this transition year after college. You go to work and put on your ‘adult hat’—you go to meetings, serve clients, respond to emails—and then you can go home and put on your ‘young adult hat’ and have dance parties in the kitchen and laugh about mistakes you made at work. PULSE encourages you to use both hats and to lean into this time of transition.

What are some hobbies that you would like to pursue or have started pursuing?

One of the best things about this year is having free time for hobbies. In college, I started to make ‘silly monsters’, or little stuffed creatures out of felt, wool, and buttons. With free time, I’ve been able to make more of these, and have even finally found time to learn to use a sewing machine. There is life after homework!

What is something about Pittsburgh that has surprised you?

The culture. From Pittsburgh sports fans to perogies to ‘Pitsburghese’, I was not expecting such a rich and unique culture. Born in Lancaster, PA, I was expecting for the culture to be the same because it’s in the same state, but no, it is very different. I have loved learning and exploring the culture.

How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Before this year, when I thought of my future, I thought about my professional career in terms of what I wanted to do. Now, with PULSE’s emphasis on community and evaluating the role that you play, I think about the future in terms of who I want to be.  I’ve thought about what skills and experience I can obtain to work within my community, instead of thinking about finding the perfect job.

Story by Anna Wildermuth (Pawsey) – PULSE Alumnus ’10-11, ’11-12

Read more stories about the Participant experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.

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