“I think PULSE is structured in such a way that it makes me challenge my limited perspective. It encourages a close-knit, connected community, so considering how well-networked Pittsburgh is, there are several opportunities for community engagement.”
Alyssa Miville grew up in Montgomery, Pennsylvania, then moved to Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania to live with one of her four sisters before PULSE. Alyssa attended Susquehanna University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Alyssa is passionate about working with children and their families, volunteering, and overall making a positive impact on the lives of others. Alyssa has taken on many service roles including as a Resident Assistant for First-Year Students; the Deacon of Service and Deacon of Outreach and Communications in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life; a Research Assistant, Tutor, and TA in the Department of Psychology; and a Childcare Assistant and Kindergarten Camp Counselor. Alyssa also brought her passion for service to a study abroad program in Peru where she worked closely with children in a rural village outside of Cusco. Alyssa is a part of the Northside cohort and serves at First Presbyterian Church. Alyssa was interviewed by Emma Schutzius.
Emma: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Alyssa: I think PULSE is structured in such a way that it makes me challenge my limited perspective. It encourages a close-knit, connected community, so considering how well-networked Pittsburgh is, there are several opportunities for community engagement. The nature of the program makes me want to get more involved, and it helps me meet people in a brand new city. PULSE truly challenges me to be more mindful of how I spend my money, what I eat on a daily basis, who I engage with, and how I spend my time.
Emma: What have you enjoyed most about living in community? How have you and your housemates pushed/encouraged one another?
Alyssa: The thing I enjoy most about living in a community is the way that everyone cares for one another. My housemates and I challenge each other to take care of ourselves and to take breaks after long days at our nonprofits. Plus, we notice when we’re taking on too much. We act as a support system for one another, which is really nice.
Emma: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?
Alyssa: The thing that I have enjoyed most about working at First Presbyterian Church is our weekly Tuesday night dinner. We work with a lot of folks in the community who are struggling, so it’s a way for us to get to know them, to hear their stories, and to see how we’re transforming their lives. The atmosphere of the church is just really friendly and welcoming, which helps me get to know other people in the community as well, whether they be volunteers, guests, or staff workers.
Emma: How do you like to spend your morning and evening commute?
Alyssa: I really enjoy listening to music on my way to and from service. I’ll also bring my journal along with me whenever I leave the house, as the commute time makes for a good opportunity to catch up on writing about my experiences in the city.
Emma: What are three words you would use to describe your PULSE year so far?
Alyssa: Inspiring. Challenging. Exciting!
Emma: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Alyssa: Something that has been really fun and interesting for me has been learning how to swing dance. It’s something I’ve always wanted to pursue, so I enjoy spending my Saturday nights over at Swing City. From East Coast Swing to Cha-Cha to Charleston to Argentine Tango… I’ve been having a blast learning new moves each week! So now, not only do I have PULSE and the First Presbyterian Church to make connections through, I also have the dancing community.
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