Alumni Story: Anna Wildermuth

anna-wildermuth“PULSE was everything I wanted (and needed) after graduating college. I wasn’t sure what my next steps were going to be after graduation.“-Anna (Pawsey) Wildermuth, ’10-’11 and ’11-’12 Alumnus

Anna (Pawsey) Wildermuth is a 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 PULSE alumnus. In this interview, we discuss the PULSE program, living with 7 women in one house, serving two years as a fellow, lessons learned, and growing with others in community.

What about the PULSE program was attractive to you?

PULSE was everything I wanted (and needed) after graduating college. I wasn’t sure what my next steps were going to be after graduating from college. I knew that I wasn’t ready for a full time job (nor did I even know what my next steps would be).

PULSE was appealing to me for many reasons, but the one that I needed and loved the most was the intentional community. I knew that after college, I NEEDED that community. I was going to be adjusting to what life looked like after school and had no idea what it was like to live life alone. I’m SO thankful for that community.

As a social work major, I knew that I wanted to be working in a grassroots organization. I wanted to be working with community members, neighbors and friends. I loved the idea that I would be placed at a nonprofit that would help me thrive. I landed at Union Project my first year, and PULSE my second year. I was able to learn so much that have influenced my life today.

What was the best part of your PULSE experience?

The best part of my PULSE experience comes in the form of 7 women; Abbi, Alicia, Andrea, Beth, Dill, Laura and Maggie. I was one of the lucky ones to live in a house with 7 other women. They became my lifeline after college; a source of friendship, encouragement and love. Those women have a very special place in my heart. I built life long friendships through PULSE.

What did the PULSE experience teach you about yourself?

The PULSE experience taught me, that life is about building relationships. I was incredibly lucky to have been part of the PULSE experience for two years, being surrounded by people that encouraged, supported and cheered me on. I am successful today, because of them.

PULSE provided me with great coworkers at my nonprofit partnership, housemates that turned into friends , and the opportunity to explore a city that became my home away from home.

How were you impacted by your PULSE experience?

PULSE expanded my worldview. When you are placed in a house with 7 strangers, you learn a lot about life. You learn from one another, debate with one another and support one another. PULSE opened my eyes to new ideas, new traditions, and life lessons. I always felt comfortable asking questions, making mistakes and learning alongside coworkers and friends.

What kind of work do you do now?

I am currently working for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio (in Delaware County) as a Program Coordinator. I work to recruit, enroll and match volunteers to a “mentee” for build life long positive relationships.

How did PULSE prepare you for what you are doing now?

PULSE prepared me to work in nonprofits. It can be an exhausting life at times, but a life filled with passion, joy, and excitement. PULSE gave me the opportunity to try new things, to get my hands dirty, and experience ALL sides of an organization. I was able to wear many different hats while part of the PULSE program and I believe that I’m successful in my work today, because of that opportunity.

How have you stayed connected to PULSE?

In 2012, my husband (Joel, 2011-12 participant) and I moved out of the city. It was one of the most difficult decisions we made. We still value PULSE and the work it continues to do for the city we love.

We support PULSE financially because we believe in mission of PULSE. We know the impact it can have on the city of Pittsburgh as well as in the lives of the participants. We love PULSE.

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